With an estimated 55% of adults looking to own a smart speaker by the time 2022 hits, it is easy to see why voice-activated technology has become a disruptive force in the business to the consumer communications field. With more than 20% of all searches being voice-led and 50% of consumers using voice-activated tech on a daily basis, businesses are getting excited about the influence and impact it has on marketing strategies. Let’s take a look at what voice-activated tech is, how it is impacting consumers, and how marketers are utilizing it.
What Is Voice-activated Tech, What Does it Need to Work & How Many Types Are There?
Voice-activated tech, as the name suggests, is any piece of technology that can be activated and used with only a human operator’s voice as opposed to the need for buttons and dials. More commonly known today as Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), voice-activated tech has been integrated into devices such as personal computers and mobile phones, and even in military applications such as F-16 fighter Jets. ASR software works by capturing a user’s voice through a microphone and translating it through a sound card into commands a computer can recognize and follow like “call father” and “open the web, search Lego toys” to name a few. There are several types of ASR, each with a distinctive and identifying feature of how it operates. Some ASR software requires “training” or rather, the user to read a passage so that their unique voice can be recognized and is called a Speaker Dependent System. Inversely, A Speaker Independent System is able to recognize multiple speakers without the need for any initial attunement. Furthermore, a Discrete Speech Recognition system requires users to pause between each word, while a Continuous Speech Recognition System allows for a more natural speed. Finally, a Natural Language ASR is able to understand and accurately respond to questions asked of it.
How Voice-activated Tech Impacts Consumers & How Marketers Are Using It?
Voice-activated tech is impacting both consumers and markets and here is how.
- Consumers are using it to make informed buying decisions.
- Add items to their shopping carts.
- Compare product pricing.
- Place one-time orders.
- Reorder products that are out of stock.
- Find business phone numbers to call.
- Enjoy daily news briefings.
- Get walkthroughs of recipes.
- Enjoy puzzles and games (Skill Apps).
Content marketers are emphasizing on short-form content offerings, concise answers, and quick feature-rich snippets.
Marketers are aiming to get featured snippets on Google to hit position zero in the voice-search.
Marketers are integrating and delivering voice-enabled chatbots to help deliver relevant and helpful content that is in relation to the spoken search.
Skill apps are being developed to engage consumers in other relevant ways.
What the Future Marketing Space Will Look Like with Voice-activated Tech?
With 24% of internet users preferring to use a voice-activated, personal assistant over a traditional website to interact with their favourite companies, it is easy to see why 43% of companies are investing in this technology for marketing purposes. While some brands have got an early start into space, numerous others are jumping in this year as the future marketing space is beginning to heat up. Here is what it will look like going into 2020.
- Digital voice-activated assistants are being used to shop online: While this has been spoken about for many years as a trend that will slowly grow as consumers become more acquainted with voice-activated devices, we are now actually seeing it happen. Consumers may not be placing as many orders as what was predicted, but they are certainly using them to make informed buying decisions, compare the prices on products, or even add items to their shopping carts. And the big-name brands are catching onto this voice-based commerce experience and using it to personalize their marketing strategies. Brands like Johnnie Walker, Domino’s and Nestle are integrating voice technology into their current systems in order to provide a better, quicker, and more personalized shopping experience. While voice is only valued at $2 bn, it is expected to skyrocket to $40 bn by 2022.
- Big enterprising companies are going to fully integrate digital assistants for internal use: Large business to business (B2B) brands like Salesforce, which is a cloud-based software company, is jumping into the digital assistant conversation by launching their own extensions of the voice-platform. With Salesforce, they have launched Einstein Voice which is an extension of their Einstein platform, which handles the data, infrastructure, modelling and prep work needed to embed and scale predictive models into Salesforce specific applications. These applications include building AI-powered apps (customized) that utilize the power of image recognition and natural language processing, and real-time analytics using customized dashboards. Beyond this, Salesforce has also developed Einstein Bots which allows their customers to build their own voice-activated assistant with customized branding.
How Is This Tech Integrated into Future Marketing?
Content marketers will need to create short-form content products that provide quick and crisp answers to users through voice search. On the SEO side, marketers will need to have the information appear as featured snippets on Google, and there will be a demand for traditional SERP results. To have these work well, marketers will need to understand spoken word search behaviours and the informational needs of their users.
Why Marketers Are & Should Continue to Embrace Voice-activated Tech?
Marketers can tap into some major benefits from voice-driven strategies that centre around outshining the competition, converting customers, and increasing one’s search engine optimization. Voice-activated tech brings in new content-consumer interactions that change how customers interact with brands, for the better.
- Reap the benefits of increasing sales opportunities: Consumers using voice-activated tech are far more likely to be open to receiving promotions and deals, which means increased sales opportunities for businesses. According to the research, 52% of consumers want to actually hear about promotions and deals available to them and 42% want personalized information that pertains to upcoming events they are interested in. With the right voice-activated strategy, businesses can reap major benefits in the sales department.
- Increase inbound traffic via business phone calls from customers. When a consumer voice-searches up a business, they are far more likely just looking for the phone number of that business. It is easier to voice-search a business and say, “call” then it is to type in the business name, find the phone number, type it into your phone, and dial. According to recent statistics, 28% of people who search up a business will end up calling them. This converts into 10-15X the revenue than web leads and it converts customers 30% faster3.
- Improve your brand’s search engine optimization. When using voice-activated search terms, the user can speak more complex phrases and the result will still be efficient and quick. When compared to typing in complex product names or key phrases, voice search is a lot more accurate. This improves a brand’s search engine efficiency as voice-activated tech productively enhances how accurately a specific term comes up.
- Stand out from your competition. With a traditional text-based search through the Google search engine, the consumer sees up to 10-15 listings, some of which are ads, and some of which are actually branded listings. Despite ranking on the first page, whether you are in the first-place position or not, your company is competing against every single other listing on page one to three (most consumers don’t click past three). This means that you are not guaranteed a conversion. With voice search, only one result can be pulled up – this is position zero and if you can get into this position, you are going to dominate the spoken search term. This gives you a massive leg up on your competition and makes you stand out, regardless of which voice-activated device is used.
Voice-activated Technology & Let’s Nurture
As voice-activated technology continues to move into the spotlight like the way to go, it is key that all types of organizations look to integrate it into their marketing mix. Here at Let’s Nurture, we have expertise in developing and creating custom voice-based skills development and voice-enabled applications that integrate with both the existing web and mobile devices for end-consumer solutions. We utilize SDKs, and APIs to build customized and personalized voice-assistant development for enterprises who want to get into the voice-activated tech market. For further queries about how we can help you, contact us or write to us at email@example.com.