Digital marketing firm 360i developed a new proprietary software that “aims uncover precisely what smart assistants Google Home and Amazon Alexa are sharing and saying back to consumers.” The Voice Search Monitor (VSM) software was used to ask both devices the same 3,000 questions and monitor each product’s response. The results from this initial test found that Google Home is “six times more likely to provide an answer than Amazon Alexa.”
Brands Are Starting to Pay Attention
It’s not surprising that Google Home is better at answering questions than Alexa considering the company’s search expertise and its many investment in AI over the years. The study also found that Alexa’s real strength is in retail search, which is conveniently what Amazon excels at. Also not surprising. The 360i findings confirm what we already knew: if you want the best voice search, buy the device from the world’s best search engine company.
But what the 360i study reveals is that brands are starting to pay attention. If a digital marketing agency is taking the time to create software to study how the voice assistants interact with consumers’ question, it means their clients are interested. It also means they are looking to spend some of their marketing budget on voice experiences. We could start to see better Alexa skills and Google actions because brands have the money and the resources to develop sophisticated voice user experiences for consumers.
It could also force Amazon and others to rethink their monetization options for skills, as Voicebot’s Bret Kinsella pointed out recently: “Amazon also wants to encourage consumer brands to establish an Alexa presence and their skills by definition tend to be promotional either directly or indirectly. A completely ad-free experience on Alexa is unlikely and would actually undermine user access to certain content which is popular.” It will be interesting to see how brands and their large budgets will impact the consumer experience on Alexa and other voice assistants. As they say, money talks.