In what might be an industry first, JPMorgan Chase has appointed VaynerMedia as its agency of record for voice marketing as the financial services giant looks to amplify its strategy around the nascent practice.
"We want to get organized around having voice as a core part of our marketing efforts and marketing campaigns," says JPMorgan Chase Chief Marketing Officer Kristin Lemkau. "Voice is not only coming; it's here, and in a multitasking world, it's really significant," she adds.
Over the last year, Lemkau says she's seen her own use of voice notably increase, whether it's just to check the weather or order takeout.
"I feel like a lot of brands were playing catchup on Facebook and Snap, and consumers are always a little ahead of brands, so it would be nice to be ahead on voice," she says.
JPMorgan has worked since May 2016 on social strategy with VaynerMedia, which Lemkau calls, "provocateurs in the best way." The company also works with various various agencies, such as Droga5 for creative and Zenith on media.
VaynerMedia will work with JPMorgan to figure out its voice strategy, including simple "briefings" and complicated "skills," says CEO Gary Vaynerchuk. An example of a briefing, he says, could be someone asking JPMorgan a quick question via Alexa, like "What's my balance?" A skill could be someone asking: "If I keep saving the way I am now, how long would it take for me to buy this house?" or "What can I spend on vacation next week?"
When it comes to the more personalized questions, like checking an account balance, JPMorgan's internal team will work to figure out all of the data security and cyber protection issues, with counsel from VaynerMedia, says Lemkau. The company is looking at all voice platforms right now – not just Alexa – and is looking to release its first voice activations later this year.
About a year ago, VaynerMedia developed its voice capabilities and hired specialists under the offering called VaynerSmart. "We started last year building out Alexa skills and briefings for current clients, and then we realized in late 2017 that this is going to be a much bigger space than most people think," says Vaynerchuk.
The agency has produced Amazon Alexa skills for GE, Johnnie Walker, Ellen's Heads Up, Amazon original show "The Tick" and Wine Library.
"There's nothing that's going to disrupt marketing to the level that voice will since social media came in 2009," adds Vaynerchuk.
On May 22, VaynerMedia will host a one-day conference in New York City called VoiceCon in which brands, agencies and tech companies come together to discuss the current and future voice landscape as it relates to marketing.