Written by: Mendy Nestor

Voice Enabled Devices — Branding, Marketing, & Public Relations

Amazon Echo — Google Home – Apple HomePod — Alexa —Siri…

Voice enabled devices are currently all the rage for consumers. And, why not? I’m certainly one of the many consumers who have benefited from asking Alexa to play a music playlist, or to give me the score of last night’s game. But how does branding, marketing, and public relations fit into this new world?

Well, to be honest, no one knows just yet. There are a lot of questions that Google, Amazon, and Apple have yet to answer as to how they plan to handle some of their features in the future – especially when it comes to products and marketing. But, one thing we do know is that the value of your voice is becoming more marketable by the day.

In an August 6, 2017 posting on ADWEEK.com, “Gummi Hafsteinsson, Google Assistant product lead, says that, for now, the goal is to create a personalized user experience that ‘can answer questions, manage tasks, help get things done and also have some fun with music and more. We’re starting with creating this experience and haven’t shared details on advertising within the Assistant up to this point.’

While Hafsteinsson declined further comment about ads, agencies are now preparing for them. ‘In the near term, [organic search] is going to be the way to get your brands represented for Google Home,’ says 360i president Jared Belsky, who points to comScore data that forecasts 50 percent of all search will be via voice tech by 2020. ‘Then ultimately, the ads auction will follow. You’ll be bidding to get your brand at the top of searches. I believe that’s the way it will go. Think about it—it has to.’

So, with so many unknowns, what can we do?

Preparation is key.

Keep up with trends and always ask yourself how you, or your organization, can fit in to the emerging technology. Alexa currently offers news updates in the “Flash Briefing” from major news outlets. While your organization is probably not one of the most popular topics of the day, all news will soon become searchable. So, stay on top of the technology and be ready to activate when it becomes available.

The current formula for web search is probably not going to follow the same route in voice search, so relying on someone in the industry who does know the most up to date tips will be essential. In voice search, the more specific the request, the better — since no one will sit through 10 audio listings to find what they want.

Get creative.

This is a new world we are all navigating, so think outside the box on how to best use this new tool for your organization’s promotion. Think about how the technology can be used for fun, education, and even reputation management, etc.… the possibilities can be endless.

Same rules still apply.

Just because you are set up for voice enabled success, doesn’t mean you will be successful. The same digital promotion rules will still apply. Paid, owned, and earned media will continue to help lead to your organization’s growth in this area. If users don’t know that you are able to be found by voice search, they most likely won’t think to look.

Your brand will have an actual voice.

Your organization’s brand has always had a look and a feel and a hypothetical voice. I always preach to our partners the value of a consistent voice across all platforms and how it is essential to a solid PR campaign. Well, now your brand will have an actual voice, so it becomes more important than ever. Work now to determine (or refine) what that voice is – how it sounds – what terminology your voice will use. You will certainly need to use that voice in the future!

We are still in the early stages of how to best promote brands on voice-assisted devices, but doing your homework up front, preparing yourself, and consulting with experts in the field will help you stay on top of this soon-to-be giant in marketing and PR. Don’t get left behind just because it isn’t here yet or seems overwhelming. Set your organization up for future success!

If your organization is ready to leap into the next big area of promotion, give Infinity Concepts a call. You can reach Darrell Law, VP of Client Services at 724.733.1200 x26 or at Darrell@infinityconcepts.net.

Mendy Nestor

Mendy Nestor

Sr Director of Public Relations at Infinity Concepts
Mendy utilizes an integrated approach to facilitate relationships and convey messages.
Mendy Nestor