Alexa, Why Should I Pay Attention to Voice Assistants in Marketing?

March 12, 2018

The world is starting to love voice assistant technology. In fact, 25 million smart speakers flew off the shelves of retailers in 2017 resulting in triple the sales from the year before.

Just as a ship captain shouts commands from the deck to his crew, we have the ability to command our home’s appliances, place orders online and access a world of endless information with the reach of our voice.

Technology and consumer behavior both play a huge role in the growing popularity of voice assistants and it’s creating a whole new strategy opportunity in the world of marketing.

Because Technology.

Technological advancements have directly influenced the methods used in the marketing and advertising world during the past century. Thumb back through the history books and we can clarify the truth of voice assistants being the next big thing.

The Industrial Age set in motion the improvement of tools. We went from hand tools to machines injected with electricity. Anything from the automobile to the smartphone is an example of the life-enhancing instruments that came from this time.

A few chapters later we enter the Information or Digital Age – the ability to store and access an astronomical amount of information, giving us a clearer understanding of the world around us. When you want to know something, you “Google it” and the answer is a few milliseconds away.

We are entering what Google has labeled as the “Age of Assistance.” The instruments we once had to manually operate are filled with gobs of data and the ability to predict intention, allowing the device to act more independently in assisting us in our behavior.

All of this leads up to us shouting from across the room, “Alexa, order me a pizza.” Just like magic, 60 minutes later there is a knock at the door and dinner is served without having to lift a finger.

Consumer Behavior and Marketing

Voice assistants usher a more natural relationship between user and technology. Yes, you read that correctly, I said a relationship with technology. If you saw Amazon’s Super Bowl ad where “Alexa Loses Her Voice,” there is a good chance that after laughing a little you left with a more solidified mental picture of Alexa being a person rather than a piece of tech.

This personification of voice assistants has already started to evolve consumer behavior from a rigid typing interaction to a more natural conversation. In Google, we are bound to start seeing searches that reflect more natural speech patterns. This will push marketers to change up their strategies. With search queries evolving, there is a need for a larger focus on understanding the query’s intention vs. focusing on the query itself.

A conversation between two people is simply the exchange of information, and the outcome is determined by the interpretation of the exchange. Think back to the last time you had a conversation with someone where you left saying to yourself,  “I love talking with him, he just gets me!” The conversation is elevated because there was little misinterpretation around the information exchanged. As marketers, we need to get really good at predicting the correct intention of consumers as they use voice assistants to search. The accuracy of our predictions will contribute to the elevation of the consumers experience.

Why You Should Pay Attention to Voice Assistants

So, why should you pay attention to voice assistants when it comes to marketing? Consumers are requiring a more personal experience with everything they do because of their interactions with voice assistants.

The success of businesses will depend upon a personalized customer journey, and that begins with the marketing message.

At Commit we believe that harnessing the power of these conversations at the precise moment in time when brands and consumers intersect is not only the best thing to do, but it’s the only thing to do in order to deliver the kind of results our clients have come to expect from us.