Alexa – I need a pick me up…

As brands continue to struggle with the question of how exactly to use voice assistants to deepen their relationships with customers, perhaps it is time to go back to basics.

Research suggests that 70% of users are using their Echos or Google Homes to search for information about brands. However, Adobe reports that their everyday use seems a little more user-oriented and less marketer wishful thinking. More than half of 18-34 year-old US consumers say they use their devices to listen to music or entertainment and a similar number report hearing an ad. But, the least common task is ordering products with only five per cent of users admitting to doing this.

Bayer Consumer Health’s vitamin brand, Berocca, hopes to change this. It has become the first FMCG brand globally to adopt ‘actionable audio ads’ with Berocca Boost, its energy vitamin and mineral effervescent tablets with added caffeine. Consumers listening to Global radio stations via their Amazon Alexa smart speaker can interact directly with the ad to buy the vitamin supplement using a simple voice command.  

The ad allows listeners to respond immediately to an ad that asks them to ‘Open Berocca Boost’ either by verbally requesting more information about the product, or by purchasing directly through a voice command. Created by voice technology company, Say It Now, with dynamic audio ads supplied by A Million Ads.

While the ability to target ‘in the moment’ and the immediacy of the ordering process are attractive, it remains to be seen if the experience can be maintained end-to-end, relying as it does on last-mile fulfilment. As Alexa is built into the customer’s Amazon ecosystem, the question of payments and delivery address should be relatively straightforward. But again, the seamlessness of the process could be challenged with new recipients – a gift, perhaps – or changed payment cards.

Featured image: amedley /