Marketing Beyond the Screen

Using Voice Technology to Boost Brand Engagement

Phrases like “Hey, Siri,” “Hey, Alexa” and “OK, Google” are quickly becoming part of our everyday lexicon. As more consumers become comfortable with digital voice assistants, smart speakers and other voice-first devices, more companies are looking to leverage voice control technology to their advantage.

For marketers, voice-activated hardware and software presents a cornucopia of opportunities to engage target audiences in more personalized and frictionless ways.

– Large global tech companies — including Amazon, Google, Apple and Microsoft — are driving the market. Their artificial intelligence (AI)–driven platforms for voice control include software (virtual assistants) and hardware (smartphones, smart speakers and other smart devices).

– For most marketers, voice control isn’t a top priority; those experimenting with it are still in the earliest stages. Most projects involve Alexa “skills,” Google “actions” and other apps to encourage engagement.

– Experiments are ongoing in SEO, advertising and promotional messaging, content delivery, customer service and voice commerce. So far, no “killer” applications or monetization models have emerged.

– Agencies and other consultants are beefing up their technical resources and forging technology partnerships to help their clients develop more meaningful voice strategies.

– Best practices are evolving, but brands can take concrete steps to get started now. First and foremost, they must think carefully about how they can add value and utility to users’ lives. Frictionless, compelling and entertaining voice experiences will be key to long-term customer engagement.

Source: emarketer.com; 24 July 2018

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