What’s Next for Alexa?

What’s Next for Alexa?

Every day we are introduced to new technology and products that are set to be the next big thing and as consumers we continuously crave more. One such technology that is continuously developing and on the rise is that which is controlled by our voice. We have all met Apple’s Siri and have seen the small mic option on Google search however how many of us really use these features and are they even all that helpful?

One of the most talked about offerings now available on the market is Amazon’s Echo. The Echo or Echo dot commonly known as Alexa is Amazon’s contribution to the future of voice activated technology. Put simply this is a hand’s free, small voice activated device with a built in speaker.

Alexa is the added bit of help you always wanted around the house, she can give you updates on the weather, update your shopping list, play the radio or stream from your Spotify and when paired with additional devices such as the Bord Gáis Energy Hive she can help keep you warm all by saying ‘’Alexa, tell Hive to put the heating on to 24 degrees’’.

When we get beyond the fact that she is just what we all needed in our homes and start to think more like advertisers we begin to wonder what can she do for my brand?  If you search for a restaurant menu on your phone or computer you are greeted with an array of ads, however when a user interacts with Amazon’s Alexa no such feature is in place.

Ads on devices such as Amazon’s Echo is almost the expected ‘tech-evolutionary’ next step and I think this is where brands can show just how helpful they can be to their consumers. For example, if you asked Alexa the next showing of a movie in your local cinema she will not only tell you the time she could also present you with an offer on the cost of a ticket. Or when you ask her to search local plumbers in your area, she could offer you a percentage off your next home insurance quote.

The possibilities for Alexa to learn from each user on such a detailed level creates more opportunities for brands to understand consumers on an even deeper level. Alexa could begin to learn things such as your favourite musician when paired with your Spotify account and can offer you tickets to an upcoming concert.

Of course, with all this new technology and an explosion of interest from consumers comes new challenges and threats to brands. If, or perhaps a better word – when the possibility of advertising becomes available on these types of devices brands will be stepping into people’s homes in a much more invasive level than ever before. Not only will top class innovative creative be required to succeed in this environment but we will need to look at the possibilities of introducing branded content further down the line.