By Jessica Bubenheim, on 2 May 2018
Voice marketing? Voice assistants like Google home mini and Amazon’s Alexa, are transforming how companies set up their marketing strategy to sell to consumers. Over the next decade, global firms will have to innovate in making their voice heard through voice marketing. The core challenge for future marketing strategies will lie in establishing algorithms to become heard on your target audience’s preferred artificial intelligence platform.
Unlike online search, voice search does not allow for a variety of results- your assistant will voice one. Digital assistants will become the advisory voice to consumers ears, anticipating and satisfying their needs, and over time, optimising purchase decisions.
To stay relevant on digital voice assistants means understanding the trends for voice marketing. But the focus will need to shift from consumers to artificial intelligence platforms, to become the brand that is voiced on AI assistants.
Branding in the world of Voice
Thanks to AI platforms, marketing trends for branded-goods companies are seeing a shake up. Increasingly, AI assistants like the 'Google home mini' are becoming the voice between your firm and your customers. As your customers use voice search, visual and digital brand recognition will become less pivotal, as the important role of AI algorithms takes over. How do marketers ensure not to lose their voice in the age of voice- through voice marketing.
Voice marketing will ensure that your brand continues to matter in the powers of Google home. Five steps to starting your voice marketing strategy:
As digital marketers, we understand the role of data. In the age of voice, we need to understand how algorithms are used to sift through that data. The first step is to invest in understanding the algorithms that platforms will use to recommend and choose products. How is the mini device, Google home, going to choose to voice your brand over your competitors?
2. Know your voice.
A big part of branding will be clarifying who you are, what makes you distinctive, and what makes you better. Trending in voice marketing will be finding clarity in what category your firm is placed by both consumers, and more importantly, algorithms. Voice searches will categorise depending on the relevance for a product or brand. For some categories, brands may be more
important than price, like with Apple. For other categories, like pencils, brands may be less relevant. For those brands where brand remains pivotal for category placement, promoting brand awareness through current marketing strategies outside of voice assistant marketing may be a good strategy.
3. The digital balance.
You’ll increasingly find your customers online, but for now, they’re not 100% there yet—currently about 90% of global retail sales occur in brick-and-mortar stores. So don’t cut all brand building investments just yet, because changing consumer habits are is take time to kick in. As voice assistants gradually take over consumer shopping habits however, continuous evaluation of your ROI from branding efforts will become increasingly important. Depending on the category voice assistants place you under, you’ll need to look into adjusting your strategy accordingly.
4. Mapping your customers to your voice.
As consumers shift their reliance towards voice assistants for complex purchase decisions, brands loose their power. An important question to ask is- who are they losing their power too? Over the next decade we will see rising dominance in a selected few voice assistants. Our bets are that Alexa and Google home are here to stay. What is less clear, will be mapping our customers to the various voice assistants, and understanding how to adjust our strategy accordingly. The same way we are currently changing our ‘tone’ of voice for the various marketing channels, AI assistants will be yet another opportunity to target our customers through a new voice.
5. Marketing as a science.
With algorithms, algorithms, and more algorithms feeding consumers what they want to hear, customer acquisition and voice marketing will become even more of a science. We will have to reprogram our thinking, and hop on the line for a talk with our mini friend, Google home.