Trends for 2018: Marketers will find the best strategy for voice

As voice technology grows in popularity brands will need to ensure any communication they have with consumers hits the right note.

If there is one piece of technology that has captured marketers’ imagination this year it is voice recognition. Amid the rising popularity of voice-controlled devices, including Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, brands have jumped on the voice bandwagon – coming up with their own ‘skills’ (what Amazon calls voice-driven apps on the Alexa platform) and even, in the case of Burger King, using an ad to trigger voice searches on a viewer’s computer.

These are all valid ways of thinking about voice. Voice offers a new and innovative way to reach consumers that technologically advanced brands can take advantage of.

Domino’s Pizza, for example, sees voice as a way to sell more pizza and so has enabled customers to order directly through Alexa using voice. The brand’s digital boss Nick Dutch admits it isn’t seeing huge sales from the channel now but it expects to in future and is “preparing for the fact this technology will be something people use”.

However, perhaps the bigger transformation for brands is in search. Google claims 20% of mobile search queries submitted via its app are already done using voice. Meanwhile, comScore estimates 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020.

That will have a big impact on search results and therefore SEO strategy. Instead of consumers seeing a long list of results and being able to pick the most suitable one, most voice results will probably serve up just one answer.

The types of search queries are different too. When typing, people generally input queries such as ‘weather’ but in voice they might ask ‘do I need an umbrella today?’. That offers more context and therefore more chance for brands to show up relevant content, but that requires a change of approach.

Source: marketingweek.com; 11 Dec 2017

What Makes Consumers More Willing to Hear Ads on Their Voice Assistants?

They want control

The surge of voice assistant usage in the US raises a natural—and as yet unanswered—question.

How exactly will ads be served to consumers using such services?

New data from Invoca might provide some insight into the answer.

The call tracking and analytics firm surveyed US voice-enabled speaker owners, asking them what factors would make them willing to listen to ads delivered through their devices.

Three in 10 said they would entertain ads via voice assistants if they were simply asked if they wanted to hear one before it played. In addition, 28% were open to ads if they got to choose the brands doing the advertising.


Personalization was also a strong selling point: One-quarter of respondents were willing to listen to voice assistant ads customized for them.

The traditional search/display landscape certainly stands to be disrupted by voice. eMarketer predicts that the number of voice-enabled digital assistant users in the US will grow from 60.5 million this year to 75.5 million by 2019.

And users of such services are expected to skew young. This year, for example, nearly half of voice-enabled digital assistant users will be millennials, eMarketer estimates.


Invoca’s survey also underscored how much voice assistants have become a part of users’ daily routines. It found that nearly nine in 10 people who had a voice assistant talked to it every day, while one-third said they used it more than five times per day.

One reason for the sudden rise of voice assistants might lie in the fact that they are now often available on smartphones. In fact, a poll of US internet users conducted by Pew Research Centre earlier this year found that 42% of respondents used a virtual assistant on their smartphone—more than any other device, including smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Echo.

Source: emarketer.com; 26 Dec 2017