Innovation In Voice Search Top Of Mind For Marketers At Large Brands

Voice search continues to put pressure on marketers from larger brands to rethink strategies to connect with consumers. 

“Where do I begin?” remains one of the most common questions among marketers interested in voice search campaigns, says James McCrae, director of digital and brand strategy at agency Blue Fountain Media.

“It’s a nice to have strategy, not a need to have,” McCrae said. “So we’re hearing more interest from larger brands vs. smaller ones.”

At this time smaller brands just can’t justify the cost, he said. Most brands will have an innovation team within their company that wants to work with Blue Fountain Media’s innovation team.

Blue Fountain Media also has a Moonshot division supported by about 20 of the 100 employees at the media agency. The group focuses on emerging technologies such as voice search on smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home, as well as smartphone assistants and internet connected devices that do not have screens.



McCrae says some campaigns should focus on games to entertain, while others might want to focus on functions like the ability to purchase products. About 80% of CPG shoppers say searches--text and voice--made on mobile devices impact their purchase decisions, according to research from Think With Google.

For instance, one large consumer product goods company with multiple food brands is working with the agency to develop a variety of skills for Amazon Alexa and Google Home. One brand wants to use voice as a conversational interface to help consumers determine the perfect recipes for meals.

Another brand offers a snack, so it aimed its marketing strategy at families taking road trips. In this instance, Blue Fountain Media designed a voice assistant skill based on games for car trips.

McCrae says the search industry is quickly moving into a world where “we go beyond the screen.” Voice is becoming an essential piece of the post-screen digital world. The more rapidly brands can prepare, the better they will be prepared to live in that world when it becomes the norm, he says.  

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