Alexa is confused, give her a break.

Amazon’s Echo and its competitors were at the top of shopping lists this holiday season. And now, social media is buzzing with videos of mishaps and rants from frustrated parents whose kids are ordering expensive toys by voice demand. But if you get past the giant teddy bears in your living room, Echo and other IoT devices carry an important reminder for marketers: know your customer.

Alexa is more than just cool technology. It’s an opportunity to see how different users interact with a platform, and it is a call to relook at your customer segments. Since Alexa doesn’t recognize the different voices in your household (yet), there’s little customization for individuals. So while your device can be customized for your household, it’s not customized by user within that household. And that’s where people are getting frustrated.

Other devices within your IoT have internet addresses and cookies that allow marketers to push specific messaging to the user. For example, I may see ads for Home Depot while I’m online, while my son sees ads for Burton. We’re in the same house, but our experience is quite different. The messaging works because the data informing it is specific to our personal devices and activity.

What remains to be seen is how marketers are able to capitalize off of shared devices like Alexa and deliver targeted messages to each member of the household. It might be through voice recognition, or perhaps through Alexa recognizing and speaking to a number of devices in the household to detect who is giving directions. While we wait for that level of access to open up, the very existence of shared devices in a household is a reminder to us of the importance of being on time and on target with new and existing channels.

Alexa and her counterparts have become an interesting spectacle but until the technology develops, it pretty much ends there. So for marketers, our time is better spent really nailing our other platforms. Because a well-executed strategy is about more than just connecting devices together; it’s about taking a customer-centric look at your messaging and making sure your delivery is consistent across all channels.

It all comes back to knowing your key customer segments and how to engage them. From there, you can create strategies for leveraging what you know about them in proportion to what you think they’ll bring back to the business. Need to take another look? We can help.

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Category: offer strategy, targeting, customer experience

Michael Caccavale

Michael Caccavale

As the leader of Pluris, CEO Michael Caccavale is the innovator and forward-thinker behind the company’s marketing enablement, analytic and optimization solutions.

About this blog

At Pluris, we believe that we all can do a better, more efficient job at marketing to our most important customers. On this blog, we'll discuss how strategy, database management, offer optimization and analytics can help us all be better marketers. Sometimes, we may just talk about sports.

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