When smartphones first arrived on the scene, people had no idea how they would go on to transform marketing and customer engagement. Now this change is about to happen again, only this time with voice.
Smartphones created a mobile marketing revolution when they started to take off 10 years ago. This revolution helped brands to reach out to audiences across the world by collecting massive amounts of critical data and using it to create and hone real-time interactive experiences with their users.
If you didn’t have a mobile marketing strategy back then, it was more than likely failure would be paying you a visit. Now the same applies to voice – if you aren’t thinking about how to incorporate it into your marketing strategy you may be left in the dust.
Disruptor or Disrupted
The continuing rise of voice technology such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Siri is beginning to drastically change engagement as we know it. This technology is being asked to play music, check the weather and more in many households now, with reports that the technology is even stepping into retail.
A recent study by NPD Group Inc found that after the purchase of an Amazon Echo every category apart from travel increased in overall online spending by consumers. From this Google and Walmart have teamed up to form a partnership that allows customers to “voice shop” via Google Assistant.
As voice assistants are being used more and more, screen time is being bypassed by interacting through voice – it wouldn’t be wrong to think the days of touching, swiping and tapping are on the way out. In fact, by 2020 it has been estimated that voice will drive half of all searches on mobile, and mobile will drive half of all e-commerce transactions.
Because of this, brands are going to have a much harder time competing with each other, as when you use text to Google a question you get presented with a list of options. But when you use voice, for example, to add a food item to your shopping list, it may just pull in the best option based on price. Crucial elements that connected you with the brand experience disappear with voice.
This means that marketers and brands need to make it a priority to learn how to understand and track voice interactions in order to provide the right experience to the right customer while making sure it as easy as possible for consumers to search and shop for products.
Additionally, to reach the demands of their customers, brands will need to make sure that their apps and voice strategies work well together by balancing the immersive experiences that apps provide with simple, powerful voice experiences. As certain experiences are purposely built for voice interactions, while others just for apps.
The Future is Now
As voice continues to develop and get more intelligent so will the things we can do with it. Being able to compare prices and order taxis as well as have intelligent conversations with it are just a few of the things that we can expect from voice in the future. It won’t just be phones that we’ll be talking to in the future as well, devices such as refrigerators, cars, washing machines and other more complex devices will be listening to us.
Planning for the impact of voice on engagement and brand strategies is something that marketers need to be doing now in order to win with voice.