mart speakers are now used by more than 60 million U.S. adults with a 40% annual growth rate and there are twice as many monthly active users of voice assistants on smartphones. The adoption rate of voice is actually faster in many countries that have more recently gained access to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Voice assistants quickly transitioned from a novelty to a robust and active consumer engagement channel.
A lot of planning goes into designing and building Alexa skills and Google Actions. And, there may be detailed plans about the launch and how to drive initial consumer interest. However, we have seen few people give much thought to what happens next. At XAPP, we believe that Launch is Day One of your voice app lifecycle.
Some brands and agencies will tell us they are considering whether now is the right time to launch an Alexa skill. Our experience with clients ranging from the top automakers and consumer brands to retailers and media broadcasters is that having an Alexa skill now is essential to winning in the voice era. Here are eight reasons why brands, media companies, and even government agencies should launch an Alexa skill now.
XAPPmedia, the leader in interactive voice engagement for brands and media, today announced that Kirk Owen has joined the company as Vice President of Business Development. Mr. Owen most recently served as a senior business development manager for Amazon on the Alexa team. While at Amazon, Kirk worked with developers to bring Alexa skills to market for gaming, finance, retail, and media. Prior to Amazon, Owen served as General Manager of TotalCast for Capitol Broadcasting Company, served as CEO of Zenph, was an Executive Producer for The Walt Disney Company’s gaming division Playdom, and was co-founder and CEO of Merscom. He earned an undergraduate degree from Claremont McKenna College and an MBA from Duke University.
Many people know that XAPP has launched more than 1,000 voice apps for big brands and media organizations. However, you may not know that XAPP’s work on behalf of the world’s largest automaker, Mattress Firm, National Geographic, Luxottica and many others were all the result of a collaboration with leading marketing and advertising agencies.
Earlier this month, XAPPmedia participated in a session at Advertising Week titled “How Media and Brands are Using Voice AI to Connect with Consumers” alongside representatives from Cumulus One, 360i and Spark Foundry. Forbes contributor, Lauren deLisa Coleman, covered the session, noting that the consumer adoption of voice assistants and smart speakers, creates a “situation where the stakes become quite interesting for the right brand to problem-solve for appropriate consumer questions and dilemmas, provide value and begin a relationship in a more intimate way than anything that television or mobile currently offers.”
During Monday’s Advertising Week Panel, Suzanne Grimes of Westwood One, along with XAPPmedia’s Pat Higbie announced a new partnership with XAPPmedia to bring voice activated marketing to the national advertising marketplace.