“Hello. What’s new in marketing today?”
Do you use Siri or Google Assistant on daily basis? Well, if your answer is ‘all the time’ then congratulations, you belong to the niche that are voice-search ready. In actuality, 2019 statistics show that only 4% of businesses in the US incorporate voice-search in their marketing strategies. The low percentage comes as quite a shock, considering that nearly 40% of people now depend on voice search every day.
Undeniably, voice search has rapidly increased in popularity. Reports predicted that by 2020, 50% of global searches will be conducted via voice. So, what does this number mean to business? It means, it’s time for brands to initiate voice-search optimization in their marketing portfolio if they want to stay ahead of the game.
What is Voice-Search?
Simply put, voice-search is a voice recognition technology that allows people to perform searches by speaking into their devices. The devices can be everything from speakers, smartphones, or home-assistant devices.
Thanks to the rapid advancement of AI and machine learning in the recent years, voice search is now experiencing significant breakthrough. Obviously, this also means that the adoption of voice-activated technology will be the trend of the future.
Voice-Search in Marketing
There are many reasons why brands need to adopt voice search strategies. This emerging technology is changing the way marketing is done, because it is changing the way people search and find brands to interact with. So the underlying question here is: how can voice-search affect marketing?
Optimized and Unique Customer Experience
Apart from being relevant, voice-search technology provide a new and optimized customer experience that will nurture brand’s relationship with customers and potentially increase brand loyalty. Digital marketers, by now, understand that customers want everything as quickly and easily as possible without sacrificing quality. Simply put, customers value brands that nail speed, convenience, and quality experiences.
A successful case that nabs these key components is Domino’s Pizza. The brand partners with Amazon’s Alexa to promote voice-enabled pizza orders. While doing so, it has successfully promoted the idea of customers having to do nothing but speaks to Alexa to order and receive their pizza from the nearest Domino’s. This is exactly what modern marketing looks like: providing convenience at its best.
Not only that, brands can take the practical and functional elements of voice-search technology to offer a unique experience for their digital customers. Whirpool, for instance, collaborates with Alexa to create a line of intelligent and voice-activated appliances that can converse with customers, answer questions, even provide recommendations on what ingredients they can buy. Voice interaction technology is shaping brands into a set of interactive experiences that customers are happily indulge in.
Better Content and Advertising
Voice-search technology is arguably driving changes in today’s SEO strategies. People today interact with search queries via voice. For one thing, voice queries tend to be slightly longer than text searches and for another, voice searches tend to be posed in the form of full questions. This means marketers are given plenty approaches to tell their brand stories.
The best example comes from Amazon Alexa’s super bowl ad. The ad basically shows how far Alexa can go as an extension of the current society’s lifestyle. From infusing voice-search in dog collar, oven, satellite, there is no doubt that voice-activated technology is capable of driving diversity and variety in content marketing. At the same time, the diversity of content prompts marketers to think of new ways to capitalize their products and services. For instance, Ford can collaborate with Alexa to promote its cars by utilizing its skills to answer ‘how to buy a car’ question from customers.
The specificity of voice-search leads to a more personalized result. Both Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa are able to differentiate individual voices. This means, there’s a big possibility that individual voice print identification can be applied on different set-ups.
Think of voice-recognition lock on smartphones. Imagine that users will be able to do the same for their contacts, settings, search history, and others. So, for instance, if a user asks about his flights on his computer, the result will be different from the ones that his wife receives when she asked the same question. Moreover, a lot of voice assistants that we know currently have names, either Alexa, Cortana, or Siri, and personalities, that’s why interaction with them can easily feel much more conversational and personal.
With this level of personalization, voice-activated technology is offering the perfect blend of humanity and technology for customers to feel like they are conversing with friends instead of machines. This allows brands the chance to fully understand customer’s requirements and to position their products accordingly. Think of offline retail where a good shopping assistant can convert prospects to customers while an overly aggressive salesperson will likely push customers away.
Up-Sell and Cross-sell
Voice-activated technology allows marketers to inject retention and up-sell products in the disguise of good customer service. How? They key here is voice-search technology’s ability to collect data and business intelligence.
For example, when voice-assistant knows that a user is checking out Samsung smartphones despite being an iPhone user, Samsung can tap into the technology to recommend existing online deal to convert the prospect into customer. Another example is when voice-assistant recognizes that a user is about to buy a smartphone, brands can utilize it to do cross-sell, say offering discounted price if the user bought it together with headphones.
Voice-search is on the run to become the ‘next big thing’ in digital marketing landscape. While it might cause disruption in marketing, at the same time, it also leads to tremendous opportunities.
As people change their purchasing behaviors, brands also need to think of a solid approach to implement voice-search in their marketing strategy to enhance customer experience and stay relevant. Beyond that, since there are much rooms left to improve in voice-search realm, businesses need to stay up-to-date of voice-search technology’s potential to increase web traffic and to edge out their competitors.