The sound era – from touch to voice – Part One

The sound world is expanding at a rapid pace. We are surrounded by different alternatives where the specific intonation and vibration of the voice are crucial to delivering the message. The world is projected into the podcasts, and voice applications have become an essential part of our daily lives.

Because of the pandemic, the world of the voice industry expands, and the intensity of phone touch narrows. Users’ and customers’ behaviour has also changed due to possible contact with microbes and bacteria during the frequent touch of the mobile device. At the same time, the dynamics of the day require more flexibility and speed. It is far easier to send 20-second voice info in Messenger instead of typing all those words with your fingers. 

The need for more contactless commands motivates many companies to perceive voice assistants as a new way of interacting and dealing with their audiences. A survey by the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work among 1 400 marketing and IT managers argues that significant actions have been undertaken to enable voice business adoption. The objective is to dig into the changes companies are making to use voice technologies, their investments and the challenges to overcome. The findings are the following:

# Companies perceive voice as a vital force to reckon with and expect its wide acceptance in the economy.

# Many brands are gearing up to make the necessary investments in the voice business.

# There are many challenges for businesses that execute voice strategy, for example, data privacy or creating voice-centered content.

This survey also shows that companies plan to spend an average of 3% of their revenues on building voice capabilities over the next five years. And they have high expectations for returns, aiming to drive 6.3% of the revenue from the voice for the same period. 

Just like companies needed an internet strategy in the ‘90s, a search strategy in 2000, and a mobile strategy in 2010, they now need a voice strategy. Voice strategies group into two categories and brands can choose according to their business goals and specific uses:

  1. Build voice capabilities for third-party assistants like Alexa, Siri, Hey Google. For example, voice search optimization, voice-activated web-based content, and adding voice capabilities (Amazon Skill or Google Action) to a product or service through a specific interface. The Australian company Woolworths surprised its customers by sending them free personal voice assistants so they could add items to the shopping list by voice.
  2. Create voice capabilities from scratch and add them to existing products and services. Examples: enabling a voice-based chatbot to answer customer questions, or adding a voice option to an existing product, process, application. India’s e-commerce company Flipkart has introduced a multilingual voice AI assistant in its grocery app to help customers use their voice when buying.

How to improve your voice strategy read in our next post. Until then, see also:

5 movies to inspire the business person in you

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