social media, marketing
Written by Joe Paradiso

Hey Alexa, bring me some new customers

We are living in an exciting time. We have: watches we make phone calls on just like Dick Tracy used, smartphones that provide us with access to tons of useful and useless information, cars that can drive themselves (well almost), and web appliances with voice assistants that answer our questions and handle various mundane tasks on our behalf.

Siri, Alexa, and Google can wake us up, turn on the lights, play our favorite song, tell us the weather, make some coffee, order breakfast online and have it delivered by UberEats. All that handled for you with some simple voice commands, so is it unrealistic to think they can bring your business new customers too?

Those of us on the bleeding edge of marketing have been asking those same questions, how soon before these handy devices that seem to be dominating our households start to offer suggestions on where to eat, which plumber to use, and what repair shop is best? We can project this is going to happen, the question is when, how, and how do we capitalize on it.

What we know today is that;

Google, Facebook, and Amazon are pushing to get their assistants into every product they can, headphones, kitchen appliances, television remotes, alarm clocks, and toys. Their goal is to make voice the first choice for interacting with technology.

Today, 50% of all interactions combine voice and touch according to a Google study with the expectation that those numbers will continue to increase (not a good trend if you sell keyboards).

Google has developed a vast data repository that these devices use to provide answers to most of our factual questions like how far is it from NY to California or how many HR’s did Pete Alonso hit in 2019. For more complex questions like “what’s the best television”, it depends on its search facilities to locate the best answer. Only “featured snippets” which come from the most trusted Google sources are used and read as responses.

Your next question should be how can I get my site to be a “featured snippet”. It’s the same answer as to how do you get your website to the top of the organic Google search list; your website needs great content, an excellent reputation, and authority. Have your marketing agency or website designer review your site and SEO plan to ensure your keywords are applicable, prioritize your keywords, and ensure your website is using simple, easy to understand language.

Time will tell if these devices reach the goals their creators have set for them. Privacy advocates contend that these devices consistently violate our privacy by recording audio and video of our daily lives, not just the commands we initiate with them. There’s an effort to reduce the capabilities of these devices and have better control over what they record and store. Apple just recently acknowledged that audio and location data from their phones were monitored by a 3rd party company for marketing purposes. We’ve all had those moments where we mentioned a product around our phone or web appliance, and the next day our inbox and searches were filled with spam for said product, it’s probably not a coincidence. Despite the invasion of privacy, these devices are likely here to stay. As business owners and marketing agencies, we need to figure out the best way to utilize these devices to deliver new customers to our doorsteps.

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