How people interact with readily available technology is changing. One of the most significant of these changes has been voice tech and the rise of the digital voice assistant.
Voice technology is poised to transform aspects of digital marketing as there is an increased adoption of voice tech in both the home and the workplace.
Already digital voice assistants such as Alexa and Google Home are becoming familiar household names. What will the impact be on marketing, and what opportunities does voice tech offer marketers?
The Rise of Conversational Voice Technology
The technology of voice tech is growing faster at this time in its development than that of smartphones at the equivalent period in their evolution.
Take-up is swift and it is spread across generations, with significant proportion of older people using it.
Usually, with connective technology, there has to be a dialogue between user and equipment, a kind of learning process. Not with voice tech, where it is simply a case of talking to it, giving commands and asking questions.
Voice search is already having an impact on SEO, with over 35 times more Google voice search queries in 2016 as compared to 2008, according to Search Engine World.
Figures from global researchers Gartner suggested that around 30% of all searches will be done without a screen in 2020.
The Implications of Screen-free Voice Search
Increasingly, people are delegating searching for products and services, whether B2C or B2B, to voice assistants and voice searches.
Furthermore, removing the screen as the primary interface for these kinds of interactions means marketers will need to think hard about what kind of content will attract audiences when it is being relayed back to them verbally.
Optimising content for voice-search presents a challenge to marketers. There are, however, specific marketing opportunities now emerging
Amazon refers to voice-based apps, with which Alexa interacts, as skills. The opportunity is there for businesses to develop app skills of their own, designed to be used with the device.
This is where content marketing comes into play.
For example, the Time Out city guide now has an Alexa skill, which gives the user a daily briefing about things to do in the specific city on a given day. It can also provide instant briefings. All the user needs to do is ask.
The whisky brand, Johnny Walker, has an Alexa skill that helps the user find a whisky suited to their taste. It also provides various facts about whisky, should the user want to investigate further.
Brands must consider this new form of providing content, and how to adapt to a world where, potentially, typing and clicking will become things of the past.