Robots and marketing: how Amazon Echo’s Alexa is helping brands

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) empowers machines with human attributes, and this emerging technology is already being used used by platforms, such as Facebook, which uses AI to identify people in your photos, and YouTube, wherein machine learning cues up recommended videos. IMC specialists also recognize the power of AI to “automate interactions with consumers and let machines make decisions about marketing that were previously made by humans.”

Meet Alexa, your home virtual assistant

Industry leaders suggest that consumers in general are becoming more comfortable with the idea of talking to a machine, and now they can do so with a device that is essentially part of the home, Amazon’s Echo. With already more than 1,000 integrations with different apps to perform different tasks, also known as skills, many brands are partnering with Amazon to leverage this growing trend.

Brand examples

As part of their “order anyware” campaign, Domino’s has integrated with Echo to offer the Domino’s pizza ordering skill. While a Domino’s profile is required, Echo’s virtual assistant Alexa can order your pizza and have it delivered to your home, saving time and hassle.

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Capital One’s skill for Alexa allows people to use their voice to check and manage their account balance and make other account changes.

Alexa can also arrange transportation through Uber for users.

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Alexa and her friends

According to one article, brands need to consider the benefits of this channel now as home devices utilizing the artificial intelligence of Alexa and her competing counterparts may eventually become part of mainstream culture – changing the way we “consume media and shop.”

The future of AI

Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft have joined forces to create the nonprofit Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to research AI, develop guidelines for creating new AI products and technology and help the public understand the potential benefits. As voice-activated technology and smart home products evolve and become more popular, what do you think is on the horizon for marketers?

 

 

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Emerging media marketing strategies appeal to multiple generations

Emerging media marketing strategies can help brands connect with consumers in ways that align with their technology use, as well as the unique attributes of each demographic. Among the age cohorts that are most likely to be influenced by such tactics include millennials and Generation X.

Millennials

Adults ages 18-35, also known as Millennials, are online approximately 25 hours a week and are active on various social media platforms. According to Forbes, “62% of millennials say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer.”

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Research indicates that millennials are more likely than other generations to share their experiences on social media, which can work to create user-generated content for brands. In turn, this can increase brand authenticity – a trait important to this group – as well as consumer loyalty.

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Marketers can also connect with millennials through the Internet of Things as “two-thirds of them, globally, have smartphones” and are digitally-connected at all times.

There are also traits of this generation that marketers can align with in order to appeal to this generation. For example, millennials are “more informed than ever on social issues such as obesity and equality”; therefore, brands can convey messages like the one below to tell a story that millennials can appreciate and share.

Generation X

Individuals born between 1965 and 1980 fall into the Generation X category, and have an active online lifestyle, with 80% on Facebook, Twitter or another social networking site. Digital video is also popular among Gen X, with 75% downloading or streaming video online at least once a month.

Another unique characteristic of this group is that they generally are more interested in news and politics. With this information in mind, IMC professionals can create content, such as an “edutainment” like the one below is “sure to hit the right chord with this age group.”

Other traits of this demographic include busy work schedules and a concern for fitness and wellness. Emerging media tools can be used to illustrate how brands and products align with these ideals.

For example, Starbucks’ blog provides helpful recipes to make people’s lives easier.

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Walgreen’s promotes not only physical health, but mental health on their Twitter page.

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What do you think? Is there a one-size fits all emerging media strategy when it comes to appealing to a diverse audience?