MediAvataar's News Desk
A couple of weeks ago, I posted about smart speakers being the new radio and referenced an article on Recode that suggested people were less likely to skip ads. However, the article also presented some interesting findings about the use of smart speakers for shopping that makes me wonder how many brands really need to worry about shopping by voice.
As I have noted elsewhere, voice shopping brings a whole new challenge, particularly for smaller players trying to get established in the marketplace. Assuming that someone specifies which brand they want, a huge assumption, then salience is going to bias the choice to well-known, incumbent brands. And in a voice-first world, the first brand to be chosen in a category will have the advantage of inertia on its side for years to come.
But just how prevalent is voice shopping likely to be and which brands need to worry about it the most? The Recode article suggests that, as of now, people are not shopping till they drop on smart speakers. Far from it, the article suggests that one in five smart speaker users have ever made a purchase using their device and regular usage is far less than that. Data from a survey by Voicebot suggests that most people prefer to shop at physical stores and only a fraction would prefer voice.
Of course, that preference is highly likely to change with experience and product category. Quoted in the Recode article, Google Director of Product Management and Hardware Micah Collins, states,
“I think shopping is still very early days, especially for voice-only products. Shopping is predominantly a visual and tactile experience.”
Like Collins I find it difficult to believe that people will buy shoes, clothes, or household electronics and durables without at least looking at what they are about to buy. And that, of course, ignores all the other attractions of shopping in stores, including physical interaction with goods, advice from store staff and just the fun of a day out with friends.
Instead, voice shopping is likely to be most prevalent for familiar, routine purchases. According to Digitas, 85 percent of virtual voice assistant purchasers say they’ve purchased the first brand offered by their device, rather than the specific brand they initially requested. So as if the advent of direct-to-consumer brands was not enough of a challenge, now consumer packaged goods brands need to worry about how to incentivise Alexa to make a sale for them.
If traditional packaged goods brands are not to be totally commoditised by the shift to voice shopping then they will have to work even harder at building predisposition and attitudinal loyalty to overcome the lure of choosing what an assistant first offers. Again, scale will be a factor, big brands are more likely to be available and suggested, smaller brands are going to have to figure out how they disrupt that in-built advantage.
But what do you think? Is voice shopping going to be universal? What might you buy?
Written by Nigel Hollis, Executive Vice President and Chief Global Analyst at Kantar Millward Brown.
The fourth edition of the BabyTech Summit at CES makes parenthood cool, calm and connected.
Modern parents are helping grow the baby tech category and this year’s edition of CES displays the burgeoning demand. From maternity belly bands to silent breast pumps, this segment is becoming increasingly sophisticated, meticulously crafted and slickly designed, shedding the clinical and bulky looks from yesteryear.
Health tech startup, Owlet Baby Care debuted the Owlet Band to “give parents a glimpse inside the womb all in the comfort of their own home.” The band wraps the mother’s stomach in a soft, thin fabric that houses sensors to track the fetal heart rate, kick count and give real-time insight from the second and third trimester. “This product could be a game-changer in determining the wellness of a fetus,” says Jeff Humpherys, Owlet’s chief data scientist in a statement. The Owlet Band will be available for consumer purchase later in 2019.
The demand for smart connected baby monitors are on the rise, according to research company Technavio. With the market expected to see $119 million incremental growth between 2019 and 2023, it’s no wonder the competition for better, more accurate baby monitors that visually blend in with the interior furnishings are drawing attention at CES this year. One of the Best of Baby Tech Award Winners this year includes the Miku baby monitor, which uses AI SensorFusion technology to track the baby’s breathing, sleep and movement even in total darkness. Parents can get a little more peace of mind and perhaps a few more minutes of shut-eye knowing Miku is keeping a close watch on their baby.
Smart breast pumps made a lot of noise at CES a couple of years ago and this year we see more contenders and product refinement. Technology company Elvie launched “the world’s first silent wearable breast pump” in September and has won the Best of Baby Tech award at CES this year. The compact Elvie Pump fits inside a nursing bra allowing mothers to express milk inconspicuously while on the go. Willow, another smart breast pump that made headlines when it launched in 2017, continues to make upgrades and released Willow 2.0 at CES. “The next generation of Willow gets moms pumping faster, which means moms can get back to living their fullest lives faster,” said Naomi Kelman, CEO of Willow in a release. Both the Elvie Pump and Willow 2.0 are priced at $499 and currently taking pre-orders.
The global baby care market proves to be fruitful, it was valued at $87.14 billion in 2017 and expected to reach $108.04 billion by 2024, according to a study by Zion Market Research. This year’s BabyTech Summit lends its smart tech to connected parents willing to shell out for a more nimble, stress-free and seamless parenthood.
Times Network, India’s leading television broadcasting network announced the appointment of Amitabh Biswas as Head of Marketing, English Entertainment cluster.
In his role, Amitabh will lead the brand and media strategy for the Network’s English Entertainment channels (Movies Now, Romedy Now, MNX and MN+) across platforms. Based in Mumbai, Amitabh will report to Vivek Srivastava, EVP and Head Entertainment Cluster, Times Network.
Commenting on the appointment, Vivek Srivastava, EVP and Head Entertainment Cluster, Times Network said, “I’m delighted to welcome Amitabh to the Times Network team. A versatile marketing professional with a proven track record in brand building along with a strong understanding of the business, Amitabh will be an asset to our brands. I am confident that he will add tremendous value to our ambitious growth strategy in the English Entertainment segment.”
Speaking on his new role, Amitabh Biswas said, “It’s great to be back at the organization where I’ve grown through critical stages of my career. With continuous break-throughs in the media platforms, evolution of the connected consumer and tectonic shifts in their content appetite, I look forward to this opportunity to enter the next era with these leading entertainment brands.”
With over 15 years of brand management experience across broadcasting, advertising, telecom and management consulting, Amitabh joins Times Network after his entrepreneurial venture. In his previous roles, Amitabh has worked with Times Network’s news channels, Reliance Infocom, Star News, Bloomberg UTV, Star Majha, Star Ananda, where he focused on brand inventions, market research, strategic planning and operations.
Network18 will be launching its very first weekly newspaper – Firstpost. Expected to see the launch on Republic Day - 26th January, 2019, the newspaper will mark the media conglomerate’s foray in the newspaper domain.
The Network appointed Praveen Swami as the Group Consulting Editor a few months ago. Along with BV Rao, the Editor of Firstpost, he will lead the editorial team of Firstpost newspaper. Rahul Kansal, Network18’s brand advisor will also be seen in the role of Business Head of the newspaper. A veteran of media marketing, Rahul was earlier the Executive President of Bennett Coleman, serving as the business head of The Times of India. Praveen Swami has earlier held key editorial positions at The Indian Express, The Hindu, and The Daily Telegraph, London. B.V. Rao comes with an extensive experience of 33 years where he has led newsrooms across various brands, formats and platforms.
A roster of some of the biggest Indian and international columnists will write for the paper; anchored by a talented team of journalists, cherry-picked from India’s leading newsrooms.
EFFIE Awards India 2019 celebrates pioneering brand stories
The Advertising Club (TAC) India hosted the latest edition of the coveted “EFFIE AWARDS INDIA 2019” presented by COLORS at Taj Lands’ End, Mumbai. The awards that prides itself as being the gold standard in advertising and marketing fraternity saw brand innovators and thought leaders being recognized for their pioneering brand and media strategies.
Hindustan Unilever Limited was adjudged as the EFFIE Client of the Year, while McCann Worldgroup India was named EFFIE India Agency of the Year. The coveted Grand EFFIE was won by the Ogilvy India Group for the Fevikwik Campaign – “Getting the fixer at home to fix more”.
Speaking about winning at the coveted EFFIEs, Mr. Vikram Sakhuja, President of The Advertising Club and Chairperson, EFFIEs said “EFFIES continues to have a place off pride and eminence in the life of every marketeer and advertiser. Winning an EFFIE is a career milestone and is reflective of the campaign’s innovation, execution efficiency and communication impact. The focus for us at the EFFIEs is to reward and recognize brand stories that have strength of idea and have showcased effectiveness, scalability and contributed significantly to brand and the categories communication and growth agenda.”
Elaborating on the entries Mr. Mitrajit Bhattacharya, Co – Chairperson, EFF c IEs said, “The EFFIEs 2019 has continued to witness significant representation and support from industry leaders and media mavens. The awards this year saw as many as 283 leaders, including 137 Clients, 105 Planning/ Agency Heads, 15 Media Professionals and 26 Specialists who adjudged the awards across Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, ensuring inclusivity and substantial category representation. The awards have year on year evolved to include new categories and represent new genres basis changing industry ecosystems, ensuring that the awards continue to stay relevant and pertinent.”
EFFIE Awards India 2019 continues to epitomize the pinnacle in advertising effectiveness by recognizing and rewarding thought leadership showcased by brands and advertisers.