Deloitte: Brands must stand up or fall silent in a voice assistant future

By AdNews | 9 August 2018
Simon Stefanoff

In a world where voice assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Home become an everyday part of life, it will be critical for brands to stand tall or be forgotten.

This means that paper towel brands, such as Handee Ultra, or stain removers, such as Tide, will be competing for one slot – to be the alternative to Amazon or Google’s own solutions.

In January Amazon confirmed that Alexa had been localised for the Australian and New Zealand accent local skills and local knowledge - with Aussie media companies flocking to join. Google's version launched the year before - see Google Home launches in Australia with Netflix and Stan integration.

That’s the verdict of Deloitte Digital director Simon Stefanoff who spoke at the AdNews Media + Marketing Summit session on 'how AI is on the brink of revolutionising media, marketing and advertising'.

“I think campaigns are going to start to be far more brand name heavy and focused around asking for [a specific] brand,” Stefanoff said.

Read: Voice marketing: What brands need to know

“For example, with the Amazon Alexa if you're Handee and you're selling paper towels and I'm out of paper towels and I say, 'Alexa order me paper towels,' it’s going to give me Amazon private label, and I have to say, ‘No thanks, I want Handee’.

“It’s got to be convenient, it's got to be quick…so that's going to be very important in the future.”

This is already happening in the US and will soon spread to Australia once voice assistants take hold.

Stefanoff said Australia’s adoption rate of voice assistants trumps that of the US, even though this country is a few years behind.

Behold the 'god bot'

In the US it took three years for a 7% household penetration, while 5% of Australian households have adopted voice assistants in one year.

“The reality is that these smart speakers are what I like to call the 'god bot,” Stefanoff said.

“Whenever a customer talks to them before they can get to your brand they have to go through an intermediary so they're either dealing with Amazon or Google. This means it’s your role as brands and marketers to be convincing the algorithms Amazon and Google that your brand and your client is the best place to service that request.”

In the US, a recent study found that 41% said they would use voice over mobile or web in the next three years because it takes the friction out of those interactions.

“The question is, do your customers love the brand enough to ask for it?,” Stefanoff added.

The three pillars of voice marketing are tailoring voice searches, speech quality, and how a voice command can execute a request in an efficient way that meets customer expectations.

'DeloitteAssist' is an example of voice innovation from Deloitte. The a voice-activated hospital bedside assistant, created by uses AI and natural language processing, to provide the next generation in hospital care.

Stefanoff said it worked to provide patients with better access to nursing care, improves care responsiveness and supports better planning of staff workloads.

Clcik the image below to check out the DeloitteAssist video.


This year's Media+ Marketing Summit's presenting partner was Carat, our health and wellbeing sponsor was Tonic Health Media and our lunch sponsor Bloomberg Media Group. Bauer Media Group, DataXu, Facebook, Tribe, Amobee, ARN, NewsMediaWorks & ThinkTV also supported AdNews. Keep an eye on AdNews for our next event in October, 'Lessons in Leadership'.

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