Evaluating The Powerful Trends in Voice Activated Services

No doubt, there has been an amazing shift in the number of digital voice services out there and the users utilizing them. Here are just a few of the many personal assistant services out there:

Alexa – Amazon

Bixby – Samsung

Cortana – Microsoft

Google Assistant – Google

M – Facebook

Siri – Apple

Viv – Samsung

Watson – IBM

There are others like Dom from the Domino’s Pizza or Erika from Bank of America.

Recent Announcements Concerning Voice-Activated Services

There have been two big announcements this month in this industry.

  1. Facebook is shutting down M, with the last day of 1/19.
  2. Amazon is ramping up for advertising on Alexa.

Despite the inability for Facebook’s product to take off, in sharp contrast, Amazon’s is soaring.  This is huge as Amazon keeps seeking to expand its dent in the PPC industry. Amazon sold “tens of millions” of Echoes this past holiday season.

Purchasing Trends in Voice-Activated Services

All of these announcements made me pause to consider the impact of voice assistants and their devices on our industry. Check out these statistics from Google:

Wow!  And, these trends are only going to increase as people become more comfortable with voice-activated assistants and the number of devices sold increases.

Amazon’s Dominance

With approximately 36 million Americans using these in 2017 (up 129% from 2016) and Amazon having about 70% of the market share, we have to start paying attention to this arena (stats provided via eMarketer).

We know for sure that Amazon is preparing for ads via Alexa.  Will this advertising channel only be available to the big brands as is the case with the Amazon Advertising Platform? I’m guessing so, at least at first.

Ads on Google Personal Assistant

And, how will Google respond? Will we start to see ads for the Google Assistant via Google Express? It appears that Google might have dabbled at its first attempt at ads last March with a promotion for the Beauty and the Beast movie with a subtle line in their “Ok Google, Good Morning” line up by adding:

 “By the way, Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast opens today. In this version of the story, Belle is the inventor instead of Maurice. That rings truer if you ask me. For some more movie fun, ask me something about Belle.”

You can hear the clip here, as well as the source for this statement from Google in the aftermath of consumer backlash:

“This wasn’t intended to be an ad. What’s circulating online was a part of our My Day feature, where after providing helpful information about your day, we sometimes call out timely content. We’re continuing to experiment with new ways to surface unique content for users and we could have done better in this case.”

My gut feel is that we won’t see anything more from Google until they know they’ve gotten it “right.”

Potential Facebook Marketing Audiences

In Facebook, you can currently target users who own a Kindle Fire. I wonder how soon Echo devices owners will be added. You can already select ALEXA, Siri, and Cortana as targeting interests. While numerous other Google apps are listed for targeting, Google Home isn’t available yet either.

These targeting methods might prove to be valuable ways to get your products in front of your potential customers to guide them into making a purchase down the road via their personal assistant device. Can’t you already envision an add with a call to action something along the lines of “Just Say Out Loud ‘Alexa, buy me now’ and This Will Be on Your Doorstep Tomorrow”?


The role of these services and devices just generates more and more questions as well as a huge potential impact on your Google Shopping campaigns and Amazon Sponsored Products ads as more buyers may skip the search process and jump to buying directly via their Personal Assistant Devices.

Can you think of other ways voice-activated services and devices will impact the PPC Industry?  Comment below to share your thoughts.