Digital assistants and a new wave of marketing opportunities

A new YouGov report reveals that more than four in 10 consumers say they would let a digital assistant either help them with or undertake activities such as monitoring their diet (43%) or recommending holidays (42%), opening up new opportunities for brands and advertisers.

The 'Digital Innovation: Surviving the Next Wave of Change' report assesses how advertisers can prepare themselves for technological advances and suggests that digital assistants present a new range of opportunities to brands despite widespread apprehension about 'individualisation' in marketing and advertising.

Media Performance consulted Stephen harrison for his verdict.

Stephen Harmston, head of YouGov Reports, said that individualisation has been one of the key aspects of digital innovation in the last decade but that most consumers are resistant to it because "they don't like to feel like they are being marketed to."

"However, new technologies such as personal digital assistants and virtual reality are building momentum and are on the cusp of entering the mainstream," Harmston added.

Our Advertising Sources told us that more than a third of the consumers surveyed said they would let digital assistants help with or do such tasks such as recommending leisure activities (38%), sorting out home finances (35%), and assisting with household product shopping (34%).

"If consumers feel they will benefit, through these technologies they will share a wealth of information with brands," Harmston said.

"This allows marketers to be much more subtle in how they tailor ads to individuals and could even end up feeding directly into the development of new products."

However, Harmston also warned that digital assistants will lead to possibilities for some brands but "pratfalls for others."

"Our brand advertising tracking data shows that in recent periods of big technological change there have been a number of high profile casualties," he said.

"The likes of BlackBerry and Woolworths didn't adapt quickly enough to rapidly changing environments and there is nothing to stop other big brands suffering similar fates today.

"Not understanding or appreciating the opportunities and challenges afforded by the likes of personal digital assistants could set some brands apart from their rivals - and not in a good way."

Media Performance will ensure it stays ahead of the trend for ourselves and your business. We are excited to see the advertising opportunities digital assistances are set to create in the foreseeable future.

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