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Voice Assistant Marketing: Meet Saskia from Merkle

How will creating a voice assistant improve your digital marketing strategy?

Voice Assistant Strategy: Introducing Saskia from Merkle

“Ok Google, talk to Saskia from Merkle”

We would like to welcome the newest member of the Merkle family…Saskia. Our very own voice assistant who is available on Google Assistant and Alexa devices.

With 8,000 voice searches being made every second on Google alone, discover how your business can optimize content to appear for voice-activated searches. Begin building your voice search optimization (VSO) strategy by taking Saskia’s 5-minute quiz on how you can start ranking for voice search queries.

Saskia - Merkle's Voice Assistant
Merkle’s Voice Search Assistant, Saskia, on Google Assistant


What can Saskia do?

Saskia takes you through a quiz-style programme, revealing key industry insights into how you can optimize your site to rank for voice search queries, increase website traffic, and help you begin to make your mark in the ever-growing world of Voice.

Get a head start and discover how to optimise content to rank for voice search by visiting our blog in which our Merkle Voice Search Specialists divulge some key industry insights.


How to find Saskia?

Saskia is available globally on the Google Assistant. Just ensure you have downloaded the Google Assistant on your smart device and use the wake word “Ok Google, talk to Saskia from Merkle”.

Merkle’s voice assistant is also available on Alexa-activated devices. Again, ensure Alexa is downloaded on your device and use the wake word “Alexa, open Saskia’s voice quiz”.

So have a chat with Saskia and start your VSO journey today. Let us know in the comments how well you did.

Please feel free to leave a review of Saskia’s voice search quiz.


Why Consider Using A Voice Assistant As Part Of Your Digital Marketing Strategy?

In the worlds of business and marketing, voice technology is becoming increasingly standardised as a point of contact between brands, customers and businesses.

Voice assistants provide a cutting-edge opportunity to provide more immediate and more convenient answers to users, and encourage them to make the transition from users to buyers.

But which top three benefits should convince you to create a voice assistant like Saskia?


Voice assistants widen customer bases by solving their problems

Voice assistants (VAs) are on hand to provide answers to user queries – by creating your own VA and owning a memorable wakeword/phrase, you can ensure you are visible to potential customers by being part of those solutions.

Voice technology sees customer service transformed, as voice assistants are on hand 24/7 to solve customer problems. Through conversational marketing, your brand can help users decide which products are most suitable for them, which service will best fit their needs, or provide simple instructions for using your products or booking appointments. Voice assistants provide the answers users are seeking, and can act as stepping stones to further leads such as phonecalls, emails or social media messages.

The customer issues that VAs are able to solve will be highly dependent on industry – a great example comes from Estée Lauder, who offered personalised advice for users who were curious about skincare.* After asking, “OK Google, can I talk to the Estée Lauder Nighttime Expert?", users were offered an evening skincare routine based on their exchange with the voice assistant, in addition to a free service to sample one of the brand’s Advanced Night Repair serums. Similarly, asking Amazon Alexa, “Alexa, ask Domino’s to feed me” was dreamt up by Domino’s Pizza as a simple, hands-free solution to customer peckishness. Both of these brands offered clear customer value by providing solutions to popular problems, utilising voice technology to attract a wider customer base.


Voice assistants inform customers about your brand

As well as assisting customers with more general queries, VAs also serve to inform users about your brand. From offering users the chance to ask about local store information and opening hours, to product ingredients or your brand values, VAs provide a new avenue to deepen customer-brand engagement.

Apothic Wines are just one brand which was able to engage customers via voice assistant. They created a guided at-home wine tasting via Google Assistant, educating users about their Apothic wines using their own voice actor (the Alchemist) to strengthen the connection to their brand tone.

Apothic Wines Voice Strategy
Apothic Wines Voice Strategy Case Study


Voice assistants can drive increases in revenue

Voice commerce – using voice technology to make purchases through voice commands – is an area which can no longer be ignored when considering the future of retail and ecommerce. With nearly a quarter of all UK households now containing a voice activated device, and people able to make hands-free buying decisions anywhere on-the-go with their mobiles, brands must familiarise themselves with this newer form of purchasing to broaden audience reach.*

A campaign run by Nike back in 2019 highlights how the effortless nature of voice commerce can mean huge conversion numbers – when launching the new Adapt BB shoes (where laces can be tied by voice assistant!), fans simply needed to ask Google Assistant how they could buy the shoes that basketball athletes were wearing during a live game. The new product sold out in just six minutes.

But unlike Nike, we’re not all worth $35 billion and (unfortunately) don’t have the same reach potential with voice launch campaigns. So, is using a voice assistant likely to drive revenue for your business? To answer that, we need to consider the buyer’s journey holistically.

According to Navar, 51% of those who use voice technology to shop do so to research products, and 22% make a direct purchase through voice. Whilst purchasing capabilities within voice commerce are therefore not the largest motivation behind voice users’ behaviour when it comes to retail – particularly with screenless voice assistants that cannot display products – you should still consider creating a dedicated voice assistant that highlights your products or services. Why?

  • Over half of online shoppers who use voice are doing so to research products - voice assistants can provide valuable information to potential customers at the ‘Awareness’ and ‘Consideration’ stages of the buying journey
  • Product research can result in customers adding your items to shopping lists for in-store purchases, and also in contacting your business – both of which encourage customers to make their final purchasing choice with you at the ‘Decision’ stage
  • Product research leads to heightened brand visibility and awareness
  • With over one fifth of online shoppers using voice to buy products, voice commerce provides customers with a streamlined, frictionless buying journey – particularly for products where appearance is less importance (such as household goods, entertainment items and groceries)
  • Repeat purchasing through voice assistant is simple, and helps you foster brand loyalty
  • Brand trust is strengthened for current customers when voice assistants help them track their purchases
  • Brand trust is strengthened for future shoppers when voice assistants encourage users to leave ratings and reviews

By creating a voice assistant to cater for all stages in the buyer’s journey through voice search you can boost visibility, boost conversions and boost revenue.

Navar Voice Search Ecommerce Report
Top uses of voice search for online shoppers
Source: Navar Consumer Report 


How Can Merkle Help With Your Wider Voice Optimisation Strategy?

With a dedicated specialist team equipped to keep your brand on top of the latest developments in voice technology, from voice assistants to voice search optimisation, get in touch to discover how your business can gain a voice in 2021.