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.

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  • Julian Foster 24 Dec 2017 at 11:03 pm

    Good article. The truth is people will ask for more, they are more interested in asking what can be delivered on a social level since we all want what we can’t have, which is access to being closer to friends through an immediate social suggestion. However an umbrella today will always needed as much as an umbrella tomorrow.

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