Octave Audio

Making Charity Donations Easier With Alexa

Publishing Excellence Awards
Best use of Audio

According to research conducted by the Charity Commission, more than 90% of charities have been negatively affected by COVID-19, and 62% of charities say that they ‘’anticipate a threat to their charity’s financial viability during the next year.”

Aware of the acute impact of the pandemic on charities, Say It Now and Octave believed they could help mitigate this by raising awareness and driving donations, all by using Actionable Audio Advertising to target listeners and engage with them via simple, interactive means that only required the listener to use short voice commands.

Data showed that, as of March 2020, 34% of UK homes had a smart speaker, and digital radio listening has increased 12% on these devices since the start of the pandemic (source: UK Research and Innovation). Due to Octave’s portfolio of radio brands - such as Magic Radio, Absolute Radio and Virgin Radio - Octave was able to identify smart speaker listeners as 33% more likely to regularly donate to charity via the internet and be even more generous than Octave's mobile and desktop listeners (source Touchpoints 2021).

Therefore, the team then set out with the following objective: Use Actionable Audio Adverts to raise awareness and drive donations to help mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 on these charities.

By making audio adverts actionable and interactive, they enabled their charity partners to start a truly engaging, conversational experience with their key audiences (e.g. donors) and deliver a much stronger call to action. Working with programmatic partners, the team created audio campaigns that listeners could directly interact with – by requesting more information about the charity or by donating all through simple voice commands on their smart speakers.

For example, with their Crisis campaign, the Actionable Audio Advert voiced by widely-recognised comedian Jo Brand said to listeners: “...Crisis is providing food, advice, a place to stay, and is helping people find somewhere to call home. Please donate by simply asking your smart speaker to ‘open Crisis UK’. Help someone take their first steps out of homelessness. Say ‘Open Crisis UK on this device now’.”

Their results showed that when listeners engaged with Actionable Audio Advert on smart speakers, the results were overwhelmingly positive. They enabled the charity campaigns to effectively raise awareness of their cause and drive immediate donations. For their NSPCC campaign, of those who listened to the Actionable Audio Advert and ‘activated’ (or engaged with) the advert, 81.8% showed a positive intent. 42.9% opted to learn more (helping to drive awareness of the campaign) and 6.8% donated.

For crisis, well over half of active users (57.5%) showed a positive intent and more than one in five moved to a donation intent (22.7%). The voice of Jo Brand drove 2.2x as many unique users (ad reach) compared to the Alexa voice. Conversions to donation intents also saw a 2x increase. For the MacMillan advert, one in four (24.4%) of active users showed a positive intent and 16% moved to a donation intent.

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