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WFA launches ‘Voice Coalition’ to help brands leverage Alexa-style devices

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has unveiled the Voice Coalition, a group designed to help brands understand more about the impact voice will have on the way consumers select brands.

Founded in partnership with Fast-Up Partners (FUP), the group has been created following research into the way consumers use voice-enabled assistants to guide their purchase decisions.

It will aim to improve knowledge and understanding for brand marketers across all voice platforms, helping them benefit from this exciting new communications channel.

The coalition already brings together a number of WFA members, including Mastercard, and is open to any clients interested in exploring the potential of voice commerce.

Raja Rajamannar, CMCO of Mastercard and WFA President, said: “Research just conducted by WFA with The Economist Group shows voice to be a relatively low priority today to many marketers. But when quizzed on upcoming priorities, 55% of WFA members say voice will be big – and on par with influencer marketing. Given voice commerce goes well beyond marketing, it’s going to be of major strategic importance to companies going forward.”

The launch coincides with new research conducted for the WFA by independent research group BVA into current consumer behaviours among owners of Alexa devices in the UK and US. Based on 1,500 respondents in the US and UK and augmented by focus groups in New York, the study represents the most accurate look at interactions between Alexa and brands to date.

It found that 35% of those surveyed used voice to check prices, 30% use it to add items to their shopping list and 18% use it to add items to a cart/basket. Fifteen percent have used it to make a purchase.

The study highlights the impact voice assistants have on the wider purchase journey with 81% of those who had added an item to the cart ending up buying it later. The impact is even more dramatic among those who have an Alexa with a screen.

Sixty-seven percent plan to use voice commerce at some point for adding items to cart and 60% are willing to use it to purchase directly. More than two thirds (68%, rising to 81% among 16-34s) are willing to let Alexa recommend brands and 77% are happy for Alexa to recommend an appropriate Amazon brand.

The categories most affected by voice are electronics/technology (40%), food and groceries (47%) and petfood/petcare (31%).

The study also highlighted that many have yet to use their Alexa for voice commerce with 36% saying they haven’t had a need to do so yet and 32% saying they just haven’t got round to it.

“Given its hugely untapped potential, this is an ideal time to be exploring the opportunities presented by voice. The coalition aims to help its members in trying to navigate this exciting new channel”, said Stephan Loerke, CEO of WFA.

“Voice offers a huge opportunity and this initiative will help brand owners develop a greater understanding of voice through bespoke research, support and knowledge sharing”, said Frederic Colas, CEO Fast-Up Partners.

Image by HeikoAL from Pixabay

Do you provide Web Analytics solutions? We want to hear from you!

Each month on Digital Marketing Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on different parts of the print and marketing sectors – and in July we’ll be focussing on Web Analytics.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help marketing industry professionals find the best products and services available today.

So, if you specialise in Web Analytics solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact James Howe on j.howe@forumevents.co.uk.

Here are the areas we’ll be covering, month by month:

Jul – Web Analytics

Aug – Conversion Rate Optimisation

Sept – Digital Signage

Oct – Brochure Printing

Nov – Creative & Design

Dec – Online Strategy

For more information on any of the above topics, contact James Howe on j.howe@forumevents.co.uk.

Looking for new Digital Signage solutions? Start right here…

Sourcing new suppliers, solutions and innovations is time-consuming and, frankly, dull. Hours of Googling, arranging meetings and travel… but there is another way.

The Digital Signage & Interactive Solutions Summit is our answer.

23 & 24 September – Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted

This two-day event will give you the opportunity to meet with innovative and budget-saving suppliers, face-to-face, based on your own individual requirements.

No time wasted. And no hard sell.

It’s free for you to attend, plus overnight accommodation, all meals and refreshments plus an invitation to our networking dinner are included.

But you should register now to avoid disappointment as we have a limited number of free VIP places.

The suppliers attending will cover the full range of HR solutions, and include:

Beaver Group
John Anthony Signs
LG
Linney
MRG Systems
SIS Digital
Sony Europe
Volume Networking

This is two days of ‘speed dating’ for business, and you’ll also have the opportunity to attend inspirational seminar sessions and network with like-minded professionals throughout the event.

Places are limited, so register today!

Digital Customer Engagement Summit – Claim your free ticket!

There’s a free VIP place reserved for you at this autumn’s Digital Customer Engagement Summit on October 15th.

This unique event takes place at the Hilton Canary Wharf, London.

Can you confirm you will be joining us?

The Summit will give you access to innovative and money-saving suppliers for a series of pre-arranged, face-to-face meetings based on your requirements.

You can also attend a series of seminars, and network with like-minded peers.

Lunch and refreshments are included with your free VIP ticket.

If this would be useful for your business, please confirm your attendance here.

Places are limited, so register today to avoid disappointment.

SME GDPR compliance only ‘skin-deep’

72% of UK SMEs report being ‘very aware’ of GDPR and its requirements, but 60% say that the recent changes to data protection have had a ‘slight’ or ‘no’ impact on their business, while 8% do not know.

The figures, from a survey commissioned by Shred-it, have revealed a positive understanding and engagement with the principles of GDPR among SMEs on its first anniversary, but also highlight a possible cosmetic understanding and key areas of concern around the more complex aspects of full compliance.

The independent survey of 1439 SMEs comprised a series of unprompted questions and covered a range of businesses in specific market sectors across the United Kingdom with 85% having 10 to 49 employees.

When asked about GDPR readiness nine in ten rated themselves as a ‘4’ or ‘5’ out of 5; the main actions taken were reviewing policies (45%) and emailing customers for consent (35%). These are considered to be the lighter ‘front end’ aspects of GDPR compliance according to Shred-it’s experts.

The survey data showed that one third (32%) of SMEs reported that GDPR has had a ‘great’ or ‘considerable’ impact on their business. When those businesses that had experienced challenges with GDPR compliance were probed further, they cited data breaches and disclosure requirements as the main challenges, with healthcare (27%) and real estate (25%) the main industries affected with those specific areas. Small proportions also reported issues with subject access requests, again with healthcare (28%) and real estate (15%) being the main industries affected.

Ian Osborne, Vice President UK & Ireland for Shred-it, said: “On the surface it is good news. It is clear that many feel they are already compliant with GDPR having reviewed areas such as ‘consent’ activities and publishing a privacy notice. These typically deal with the ‘front end’ aspects of GDPR. However, while many say they are ready, there is a real question mark over the extent to which the majority of SMEs are prepared to respond to a data breach or how to react to a subject access request, for example. Our survey suggests that there is still a need for a large education exercise to show SMEs what is really involved in GDPR compliance at depth.”

Of the 10% that said they were ‘not quite’ or ‘not at all’ ready, who rated themselves as a ‘1’ to ‘3’ out of 5, 42% (54 businesses) said they have not been dealing with it; when asked what was holding them back, their unprompted reasons were that data protection authorities were ‘only interested in bigger companies’, it was ‘not applicable to us’, it was ‘too complicated’, and they were ‘too busy’. Of the 10%, two in five would only trust someone in-house to help them comply with GDPR – only one in ten would consider external support and only 4% would trust the data protection authority for assistance. The SMEs that would consider external support were unsure what services they needed and when they would intend to look for support.

In the twelve months between 25th May 2018 and 2019 the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, has taken 59 enforcement actions.

Osborne added: “Our survey seems to show two clear pictures emerging. One is where the majority of SMEs are genuinely engaged with the process of compliance; within that group there are many who believe they are already compliant but may have missed some key more complex parts of the GDPR. It is the minority in that group who have recognised its greater challenges and are wrestling with its more complex areas. The other is one where some SMEs recognise they are not ready, seem unwilling to address the issue of GDPR compliance and are reluctant to seek support in any form to help them. When the relevant authority’s fines become more common headlines across the UK, we expect that views may change about what compliance really means.”

Do you provide Brand Monitoring services? We want to hear from you!

Each month on Digital Marketing Briefing we’ll be shining the spotlight on different parts of the print and marketing sectors – and in July we’ll be focussing on Brand Monitoring solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help marketing industry professionals find the best products and services available today.

So, if you specialise in Brand Monitoring and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Lisa Carter on lisa.carter@mimrammedia.com.

Here are the areas we’ll be covering, month by month:

July – Brand Monitoring

August – Web Analytics

September – Conversion Rate Optimisation

October – Lead Generation & Tracking

November – Brochure Printing

December – Creative & Design

For more information on any of the above topics, contact Lisa Carter on lisa.carter@mimrammedia.com.