Alexa, How are you going to Monetize?

Here at Epsilon Agency, we constantly try to educate our clients that we are moving towards a day in which advertising to connected and intelligent systems, will be just as important as advertising to individuals. Eventually that will mean that our AI assistants will be able to predict our needs and offer products or solutions that satisfy them. The building blocks of that future are being laid out in the voice assistant space, with Amazon at the helm.

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It was revealed this week that Amazon is in talks with the likes of Proctor & Gamble, Clorox, and other large brands to develop advertising plans to be delivered through Amazon’s line of Echo devices. Forward thinking brands have already set themselves up well for this future, by creating skills that offer utility to users through a voice interface. Others who haven’t yet taken that step, are rightly concerned about the role that search will play in voice commerce.

While voice based commerce is still in its nascent days, we know that consumers are much less likely to skip the first recommendation they’re given compared to if they were browsing on a computer. It’s much easier to scroll past those paid ads and suggestions on a graphical interface. If you currently ask Alexa to buy toothpaste, one of her responses is “Okay, I can look for a brand, like Colgate. What would you like?” To the vast majority of consumers, toothpaste is toothpaste, so Amazon just made the decision of which one you’re going to buy.

Implications

What will Amazon’s ad product look like in the coming years? Well, the tech behemoth is sure to integrate its massive trove of consumer data into the equation. Brands will be able to target users with some of the same capabilities that they do through online ad serving today, however done through a more expressive platform. Developers of popular skills will reap the gains by selling ad space during their experience. Today, these developers and brands are allowed to offer native ads through music, radio, podcasts or flash briefings as well as sponsorship opportunities in commerce based skills.

After that phase, we’re likely to see a paid search product from Amazon, just as Google and other major search engines have today. When this occurs, it will be at a point in time where voice commerce has become normalized. At this junction in time, being front and center when it comes to voice search, could be the difference between a successful brand and a dud.

 

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