Voice Marketing in a First-Party Data World

Lottie starts out by explaining that working in the sexy and innovative realm of voice marketing has been a journey, not a sprint.

Firstly - why move into this space? Clearly, all signals show that voice marketing is becoming the fastest-growing consumer technology.


Firstly - why move into this space? Clearly, all signals show that voice marketing is becoming the fastest-growing consumer technology.


  1. Voice-based shopping will soar by $40b
  2. 71% prefer to conduct queries by voice
  3. 65% of voice speaker owners can't imagine life without
  4. Google Assistant can read 120 languages
  5. 52% of searchers want information about deals
  6. 18-34 are primary users and it's important to establish a voice here


How Voice Developed over Time


Lottie explains that in Contiki's view, voice is the next iteration of web, mobile and social. The market share shows that 74% are using Amazon Alexa in the UK, whilst 60% and 30% Google Home in the US.


Voice is gradually becoming part of everyday lives - in cars, TV, games consoles, fridges and even showers! Looking at voice in isolation as an interaction with a smart speaker is a mistake, rather the wider interaction with our everyday environments is key.


Pack my Bags


So what's the idea? Firstly finding a niche is key. Historically, Coniki's strength has been around 'Travel Hacks', where being helpful. It is clear that this strength shown in SEO, is also a strength that can be leveraged in this new smart speaker environment, where the convenience of voice can tap into their content and insights in an intuitive, conversational way.


With the incision of screen-based devices to enhance that voice experience, as well as the omnichannel link with other first-party data environments, allows hand-offs to happen between voice, apps, podcasts and other resources where information can be 'transmitted' and sent to users, keeping the journey alive.


Frictionless Digital Services


The key to working in this space was to merge the brand experience, with usefulness for users to help with their everyday needs and to guide them through the experiences which can enhance their travel experience.


From here, initiatives like Make Travel Matter which are built on core sustainability and brand values were able to be linked-in to the overall digital relationship, where recommendations on travelling sustainability and making your impact count could form part of the overall message and experience.


This 'true sense of value' also creates a real first-party data connection, where sharing valuable insights means users are keen to share data to benefit from an optimised experience.


Contiki x Colombia


This partnership was a true industry first, taking all the learnings from building the Alexa skill and going a step further by honing in on the specific needs when it comes to packing for a destination like Colombia.


The approach focuses on personalised, adaptable, sustainable packing lists so that travellers can be better prepared and understand both what to take but also get a feel for the destination and the variety to be considered.


This 'skill' was not just about a tool, but a huge content opportunity driving strong PR and promotion thanks to the originality of the initiative, thus driving huge brand awareness and curiosity from travellers curious and potentially considering Colombia, not only those actively planning.


Key results looked like this

  1. 5m reach
  2. 39.7k video views
  3. 28.1k engagements
  4. 91 Bookings


Brands often focus on paid media but this is a reminder of how critical innovation is in terms of earned media. The initiative won many awards including a Webby Award and Alexa's own innovation award, all helping to earn audiences and drive powerful brand engagement.


First Party Data


Using Amazon's customer profile API, they were able to access e-mail addresses through opt-in. They're also able to then from there create a user journey around people who used the Alexa Skill, which helps them to drive further marketing activities and see the role of voice marketing within this.


It's also a great example of getting more involved with their users, communities and travellers on a day-to-day basis, which from there means being part of how they use technology organically. It's a rich opportunity which can deliver more meaningful results and engagement.


Video & Image


Using the Alexa skill on a device which is video enabled, such as the Alexa devices with screens, adds a much more immersive experience. Things like image search are also easily linked into this, helping drive further discovery from this point and onwards.


Strategy Beyond Campaign


'Reminders' - building things like FAQs into voice marketing is a huge opportunity, to have a conversation about needs, ideas, suggestions and common questions to support the pre-trip part of the journey.


'Commerce' - still an area to test but one to keep an eye out for. Perhaps not likely to drive active purchases, but the ability to provide device only deals is an interesting one to also measure the return on investment and call to action elements.


'Gamification' - an area with heaps of untapped potential but clearly requiring lots of experimentation as we continue to learn what this space is capable of and how people might interact in it - quizzes for example can be a really great playful element to run in a voice environment.

Key Takeaways

  • Voice marketing is becoming the fastest-growing consumer technology.

  • Destinations can access e-mail addresses through opt-in using Amazon's customer profile API. From there, they can create a user journey around people who used the Alexa Skill.

  • Gamification is an area with heaps of untapped potential but clearly requires lots of experimentation as we continue to learn what this space is capable of and how people might interact in it.
Published on:
December 2022
About the contributor

Lottie Norman

Contiki