What Do Voice Technologies Mean for Data and Marketing?

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Voice commands, interactions and support are all part of a relatively new interface born from the connected device market. Of course, they also borrow from the big data industry, thanks to source systems or software that tap into massive troves of data.Google Home and Amazon’s Echo — Alexa — for instance, rely on contextual data to deliver accurate responses, search results and interactions. Ask Alexa for a great recipe, and she’ll scour the web and give you some ideas. Tell Google Home to play a particular track from your favorite artist, and it will tap into a variety of streaming services to make sure that happens.On the consumer side of things, these voice technologies are relatively straightforward. You could say they’re innovative, yes, but they don’t actually do anything that wasn’t done before. Instead of conducting a web search by typing in text and selecting options, you can control it all via voice commands. Instead of shopping on Amazon or other eCommerce sites, you can simply call out what you want to buy. Voice, as a whole, just makes life much more convenient.However, the implications for this voice technology in data and marketing fields are completely different.

What voice technologies mean for modern marketing teams

For starters, voice search and voice support alter the mobile experience almost entirely. What required a series of taps, gestures and physical interactions before can be done simply through a single or multi-tiered voice command. Indeed, this has a bearing on you as a marketer.Believe it or not, anywhere from 20 to 25 percent of queries carried out through the Google Mobile App and on Android devices is done via voice searches. Your audience and customers are now using voice search functionality to find brands, products and more. ComScore even thinks that by 2020, 50 percent or more of all web searches will be conducted via voice.This has a significant impact on you and your marketing campaigns. Key terms are no longer as relevant with voice search because customers are relaying entire questions in natural speech. This may or may not have a severe impact on SEO optimization in the near future — but we’re not saying SEO will fall by the wayside. It will always be important in some way. However, we are saying SEO-only marketing strategies won’t be as effective.To better understand the structure of your average voice search, we can look to Google:

  • They are more likely to include an “on-the-go” or mobile topic.
  • It’s highly unlikely they will deal with or include sensitive information.
  • If a website requires heavy interaction from its audience, it usually will not be included in the brunt of voice searches.

What does all of this mean when combined? Your marketing and search ranking strategies will need to adapt to include this new form of technology. Smart snippets in Google Search, for example, will be a huge benefit to those who can appear in them. These are the kind of quick scraping elements that voice search apps and platforms can use to return a speedy, accurate response.

Social media is changing, too

Voice search is altering the social media landscape, too. Facebook has implemented voice messages in its Messenger service. Android Auto is a unique platform that allows users to interact with their phones using voice, while they’re driving or need a hands-free experience. Both allow forms of voice search and explicit commands to interact with the services in question.It’s not a leap to assume the voice technologies will be expanded to include more functionality and features on social. Imagine users conducting a page or brand search on Facebook, through simple voice queries.And when the social media giants adopt a new technology, many others will follow. Expect to see a lot of voice search functions and support implemented across the conventional web, too, such as on company websites, or eCommerce platforms. Amazon already utilizes voice technology to allow customers to shop their giant catalog on the Amazon Echo devices.

AI and the future of marketing

Voice functionality also relates to big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence. How? Technically, Siri and Alexa could be considered a modern form of AI. They rely on a series of contextual systems and combined technologies to return accurate results to customers. Marketing, will follow suit.Imagine advertising and promotion systems that already know what percentage of customers will engage and react positively to a campaign? This can actually be done using historical data, customer information and even third or second-party data purchased from a marketplace. Collected data is essentially fed into a machine learning or data processing tool that uses a series of algorithms to identify actionable trends. You’re likely using technology just like this already. The only difference is that these new tools will be voice- and speech-enabled.It’s amazing to think that voice can be so powerful in today’s world, at least when it comes to modern technology. Sure, natural speech has always been powerful in our world, but it was in the human domain. Now, it’s a huge part of how we interact with technology, and one another through technology as well.

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