Google I/O 2017: Why your New Alexa Skill Needs to Also Become a Google Action

Friday, 19 May 2017

Google just made a very compelling case for you to be creating Google Actions, the equivalent of Alexa Skills, for Google Home and Google Assistant.

Google I/O is geared at developers but Marketers should be paying attention. Google made a host of exciting announcements including Google Lens, Google.ai, Google Photos updates, and more. From a marketing side, the fact that Google Assistant and Google Home took some major strides really stands out.

Amazon Echo’s Adoption

Amazon’s momentum with Echo was obvious and clear, enhanced by the recent announcement of the Echo Show.

eMarkter just reported recently that the Echo controls 70% of the voice assistant market. So that means of the 35.6M American’s that will use a voice assistant this year, 24.9M people will do so with Alexa.

eMarketer Voice Assistant Market Share Graph

Amazon has a clear lead in the in-home assistant hardware space. Enter Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Scott Huffman, VP of engineering for Assistant. Strategically going broad with their assistant ecosystem.

So here’s why you should now be building your Alexa skills as Google Actions as well.

1. 100M+ devices & now iPhone

Reach is always one of the primary questions when considering the use of a tool or technology for your marketing needs. Google Assistant, when taking into account both Google Home and Android, is available on 100M+ devices. And it’s just launched on the iPhone.

Already ranked 34th of all free apps in the App Store, the number of potential customers with Assistant is under rapid expansion. That means greater access to customers.

Google Assistant App Store Rank

2. Google Assistant can be added into any hardware device with the new Google Assistant SDK.

Your very own hardware products can now incorporate and be driven by Google Assistant. Amazon provides this through Alexa Voice Service. More than anything this creates parity between the two systems and Google has signed up a lot of great partners already.

3. Integrated and Personalized Actions

Actions are now really powerful. Google Home can recognize up to 6 distinct people in a household via voice only and respond accordingly. This means that you can treat your customers as individuals rather than a household in Google Home, making for a truly personalized experience.

They’ve also made it seamless to integrate payment with your action while handling all the heavy lifting, personalization, and card processing from the CC customers already have on file with Google.

Listen to Valarie Nygaard take you through it starting the keynote here:

4. Your Google Home screen is your TV

The design of the Amazon Show has been a bit criticized. Google went a different route. Through Chromecast you will be able to use a customer’s TV to show visuals for your own Google Actions. Hugely powerful and a much more integrated smart home feel.

Google Home on your TV

Following the keynote a few things are very clear:

  1. Google Assitant, and as a result your Google Actions, are going to be available to a broad and large audience
  2. Customers will start experiences Google Assitant on new devices
  3. You can personalize and seamlessly integrate communication and e-commerce
  4. For visuals, just use the TV

Given all those benefits and the relative ease of creating Google Actions once you already have content organized for Alexa Skils, why would you not build Google Actions as well?

Main Image Source: AP/REX/Shutterstock

About Me

I’ve spent the past 10+ years at Laughlin Constable evolving, growing, and leading digital marketing. We’re a proudly Midwestern, fiercely independent agency. We work best with clients looking for a transformational and not just incremental change. Leveraging creativity, technology, and an inflection point take brands from Now to Next.

Before that, I spent my days building enterprise software solutions and nights gaming. Being a father of two amazing daughters shapes much of my perspective.


Also published on Medium.

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