Hi Simon & Rob, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. For our readers, could you give us a brief breakdown of Voice Vouchers and your latest proposition “Send Me a Voucher”?
We set up Voice Vouchers (the company) based upon two main insights – that a significant portion of search (up to 50% according to Comscore) was moving to voice in the next 12 months and that by 2021 (according to Amazon) half UK households will have a Smart Speaker. These channels represent new opportunities for performance marketing where early adopters have a chance to create new ways to unlock value for consumers and activate marketing channels (for example influencer communities) that have previously been difficult to exploit in a compelling way.
“Send Me a Voucher” (our product) leverages voice (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant) and messaging platforms (today Facebook Messenger but soon WhatsApp) to deliver offers to savvy shoppers quickly and conveniently – all they need to do is talk to their smart speaker or open up a messaging conversation. Once they’ve done so our technology can not only deliver money saving opportunities but also enable new customer experiences that help advertisers align performance marketing with their wider brand and product marketing initiatives.
Utilising voice technology, how are these unique voucher codes generated and work compared to traditional voucher/coupon codes currently used in the market?
The codes work in the same way in terms of issuance and redemption. In the case of voice specific codes, we have technology that enables us to turn the voice code we generate for the customer into the tracking mechanic. So essentially the code becomes a click-less, link-less way to monitor performance – the code becomes the cookie.
It’s an interesting time right now in the space as new technologies continue to disrupt the voucher ecosystem. Particularly for Voice Vouchers, how are these new types of codes being commercialised in the affiliate/performance channel?
Our codes can be much more readily incorporated into brand advertising and owned/earned media than traditional codes (which have tended to reside on publisher websites and voucher code sites only). Without giving too much away we are talking to blue chip brands about some really exciting deployments on social media, direct integrations with hardware and ways to create “brand owned” experiences within Send Me A Voucher that feel completely proprietary.
In addition, how is “Send Me a Voucher” mitigating some of the common challenges associated with voucher codes/coupons?
Part of the reason we’re working with brands directly is to avoid the challenges around things like code leakage, expiry dates and t’s and c’s that are understandable in the industry but are a source of frustration to consumers. Creating delightful performance marketing experiences that convert is at the heart of what we do. We have a long way to go but we’re actively talking to forward-thinking brands and looking for more to sign up with us as we progress to our full consumer launch later in Q4.
You’ve partnered with Uniqodo on this new opportunity. What’s been the overall response so far to “Send Me a Voucher”?
The response has been overwhelmingly positive and the team at Uniqodo have been phenomenal partners. By working together we’ve been able to offer advertisers solutions that reassure them on control and misuse of codes, build confidence that we can track performance and create really innovative promotional opportunities that advertisers will be confident will be exclusive to our platform. We have a number of major brands in discussions with us to build incredible voice specific experiences.
Ultimately for brands, how can they best utilise this opportunity in the affiliate channel? Can these codes be tracked and monetised through CPA?
We would love brands to talk to us directly alongside their network partners. Codes can of course be tracked, reported back to the network and monetised via CPA in the way the industry is used to. However, we’d also like to talk to brands about how to go even further – some of the voice specific experiences we’re discussing really elevate performance marketing to a whole new level, creating a completely new channel that can unlock value in areas that were previously very hard to monitise and measure.
As we look ahead to 2021, do you see voice technology playing a much more central role in the voucher codes space? If so, what opportunities can we put in place to optimise performance?
Yes, we do. Since so much search activity will move to voice the industry needs new ways to deliver codes to consumers in the right context. Whether they’re on the move or shopping at home we want to make it possible for them to “just ask” to get the code they need. As voice tech is integrated into automotive, wearables and connected devices we believe the need for high quality, convenient performance marketing experiences will grow and our credentials in the space (our team won a Gold Cannes Lion for voice in 2019) position us as the go-to company to enable brands to optimise their performance effectiveness in this new, exciting and untapped area.