Grey Matter Blog

Read the rules. Then break them.

Doer/Maker is headed to Seattle to give a keynote at the spring AESP conference.

Our topic?

Breaking the rules.

Specifically, we’re talking about breaking the rules of inertia.

The rules of “we’ve always done it this way”.

The rules of “it’s the best we can do”.

The rules of not good enough.

It’s amazing the things that people settle for.

The things that companies settle for.

We started Doer/Maker because we refuse to settle.

Settle for less.

Settle down.

So, in our keynote, we’re talking about voice marketing. And how, as far as we can tell, a lot of people are just doing it plain wrong.

Did you know that by 2020, 75% of US households will have a smart speaker? And that 50% of search will be voice search?

So, we’ll ask you this: is paid search a part of your marketing strategy? Is it an important part?

Are you ready for 50% of it to go away?

That’s not rhetorical. It’s a real question. What if 50% of what you were achieving via paid search was suddenly coming in another way, a way that you have not prepared for yet?

And search is really just the beginning.

Voice is a way to add value. A way to transform your customer experience. To be even more relevant. If delivering content to your customers is a part of your marketing strategy and you aren’t getting ready for voice, stop reading right now. Seriously. Stop reading and go make some phone calls. You have already waited too long.

Did you know that Alexa skills are limited? Remember back about 20 years ago when there was a rush to buy URLs, because you might be able to buy one for fifteen or twenty bucks and then turn around and sell it for a whole lot more?

This is the same thing.

What do you want to be known for? What thought leadership are you trying to corner the market on? Building content for? Now imagine your biggest competitor working on a voice app for that corner of the market. Your differentiator. The thing you’ve been working so hard to own. Imagine them building the definitive app, so that when consumers ask their voice assistant a question, it’s your competitor that answers.

This isn’t the future. This is happening right now.

Not building for voice is the equivalent of having a call center full of empty desks and ringing phones. A great demonstration that you don’t give a shit about your customers.

And what we’re seeing is that if they’re paying attention at all (which some are but most aren’t), companies are trying to do the very hardest applications of voice technology fist. Account integrations. Bill pay scenarios. Automatic ordering. Instead of saying, what do we want to be KNOWN for. What do our customers want to know? What do we have to share that could be valuable. And then publishing content against that thing.

Well, either that or they’re building totally useless voice applications. Things that no one will ever ask. Or they’re building for one voice assistant at a time. (The equivalent of building your website for Chrome but not for Safari or Firefox or those poor people who still use Internet Explorer).

You can take all the time in the world to build the most sophisticated voice experience you want once you own your market. But don’t let someone else “buy your URL” of voice.

It’s time to act. Not settle. Not wait for someone else to do it first. Not shrug your shoulders and count the hours till the end of the day.

Fight inertia. Stop settling.

Do something.

Make something.

William Stowe