Now Marketers Can Ask Alexa How Their Ad Campaigns Did

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Amazon's Alexa devices.
Amazon's Alexa devices. Credit: Amazon

That voice-activated Alexa system isn't just for asking trivia questions, finding nearby movie times or creating a shopping list. For marketers, now it's for work, too.

Datorama, a cross-channel marketing analytics firm that's scored $50 million in funding, has introduced a voice-activated component of its platform, allowing clients to summon their previous campaign measurement data by asking their Alexa-enabled device.

The new querying capability is intended to supplement the traditional dashboard reporting that marketers are accustomed to, giving them an additional way to pull quick data points in the midst of a business conversation -- during a board meeting, for example.

"At the speed of conversation, there are instances where maybe you need information," said Jay Wilder, director of product marketing at Datorama. "Wouldn't it be great if you could just ask the question and get the response back immediately without friction?"

The Datorama platform is integrated with Alexa. Once a client adds her Datorama account information to the Alexa system, she can tell it to find specific campaign data. Clients must signal Alexa, then tell it to query Datorama by saying something like, "Hey Alexa, ask Datorama the following question."

The Alexa system has been trained to recognize Datorama's campaign measurement lexicon. "There are certain code words or tokens that Alexa understands," said Mr. Wilder, including terms such as "KPIs," "goals," "campaigns," "underperforming" and "top." The system can also be customized to recognize client-specific nomenclature.

The Alexa platform works with Amazon devices including Echo, Echo Dot, and Amazon Tap. The voice-enabled functionality can also be used to automatically generate a breakdown of measurement data on previous campaigns that can be emailed to an end user.

According to Mr. Wilder, the integration was relatively straightforward, and the Alexa system seems adept at understanding marketing-speak. "I expected more hiccups," he said, noting that the technology does have some preferences. "Alexa has a better time with KPI than Key Performance Indicator for some reason."

Israel-based Datorama made a splash as a young startup, garnering funding from then-Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt's venture capital fund. Following a $32 million series C round of funding in which Mr. Schmidt's Innovation Endeavors participated, the company has raised a total of $50 million.

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