Hello, Amazon Alexa
“The future is here…and the way I want everyone to think about voice is not what it is today, but where it’s going and where it will be tomorrow.”
We recently welcomed Michelle Levin, Sr. Business Development Manager at Amazon, to our offices to help prepare McCanners for clients’ questions about building voice experiences through Amazon Alexa technology. Alexa is the beauty and brains of voice, a technology that gets smarter with every interaction and is available today on a range of devices, including the popular Amazon Echo.
Levin said that voice is headed in a direction that will benefit advertisers by providing consumers with authentic brand experiences. “Alexa Skills” gives users immediate and engaging answers to verbal requests, for example, your favorite pizza order can be placed instantly by saying: “Alexa, tell Pizza Hut to place an order” to your Amazon Echo. This interaction serves as an organic brand experience between you and Pizza Hut. Any brand is able to independently develop their own skill for Alexa, creating a two-way communication model between the company and consumer.
What makes a good skill? According to Amazon, if it solves a consumer need, keeps users engaged, prioritizes usability, remains relevant to the brand and provides unique value – the skill will be successful.
Alexa is the inaugural introduction to voice and soon enough “she” will be everywhere. In the future, Alexa will be connected to ovens, refrigerators, and cars. Similar to the rapid growth of the smart phone, voice technology is expected to spread like wildfire. According to MindMeld, by 2020, over 200 billion internet searches per month will be done with voice.c
Understanding and staying ahead of user-friendly technology like Alexa is necessary to create the most competitive work for clients. Levin noted, “If you plan for today, you’ll already be behind the game.”