Voice Assistants in Marketing: Empowering Business Growth
Modern technologies have reached unbelievable results, and it is pretty complicated to imagine life without them because they have become an integral part of our day-to-day activities. These technologies can do many tasks - like using our voices to get some kind of information or order some product or service. Some developments allow AI-based technical solutions to recognize different voices or generate them. Many businesses understand the importance of implementing these high-tech innovations to simplify people’s lives. And one of these innovations is voice assistants.
In this article, we will focus our attention on different voice assistants and how they are used in marketing. Additionally, you will deepen your knowledge of this topic and see how beneficial these assistants can be. But the first thing, which is necessary to understand, is the reason for the popularity of voice assistants.
The popularity of voice assistants is going up
Going back to 2011, Apple purchased one promising for the company startup Siri Inc. The tech giant had already understood the tremendous potential of the startup (everyone knows the voice assistant Siri) and started developing it. One year later, Google presented something similar to that startup, but it was provided for the users of Android.
And companies’ stakes on the voice assistants were played, played positively. Considering the data of the users of the voice assistants, it is worth highlighting that 71% are using these assistants to do shopping online. And it is not wondering because this way of shopping is much easier and more convenient.
With this statistics in mind, many marketplaces have started to think about the implementation of voice assistants and integrating them for the users’ sake.
Voice assistance in marketplaces
A good example of the implementation of this idea is the worldwide know company Amazon. In 2014, the company launched its voice assistant by the name of Echo (the name of the assistant is Alexa). This voice assistant can complete some basic functions, like setting up a reminder or looking for information on the Internet. But the company added one more useful for both (users and the company itself) feature - to order products on Amazon’s website. Presently, Alexa knows and recognizes over 25,000 different requests.
Definitely, many other retail companies use different voice assistants to provide their customers with the option to make an order or buy any product with the help of a simple voice.
Voice assistance for business development
As the tendency to use voice assistants is going up and up, businesses see the tremendous potential of this technology as well. While small businesses are still thinking about the proper and beneficial implementation of voice assistants, some brands have done significant steps.
The well-known pet food company Purina has cooperated with Apple and its assistant Alexa. The company has developed a special command for Alexa - “Ask Purina.” With this request, people can get more extended and reliable information related to a dog breed. You can get the information in the most preferred language, whether it is English, German , Ukrainian , Polish , or French .
Starbucks has used this option as well. In 2017, the international chain of coffeehouses gave its customers an opportunity to order its production while using Alexa.
Kayak, an American-based travel company, has allowed travelers around the globe to use Alexa while planning trips.
So, you see that there are a lot of possibilities and opportunities for the further implementation of voice assistants. And it is just the beginning.
The next step in the implementation of voice assistants was the development of “smart” products. You have probably heard about Echo Dot developed by Amazon. It is a little loudspeaker that can listen carefully to what you are saying and immediately answer your questions. And there are a lot of analogs of this development.
Nevertheless, the technological giant Samsung has reached even better results in this regard. The company launched a series of refrigerators by the name of Family Hub with the integrated voice assistant Bixby. This assistant allows users to check the news or make a grocery without going to the shops. Moreover, this voice assistant works closely with the “smart” ecosystem of Samsung’s smart house.
Offline retail use assistants too
Considering the extreme growth in popularity of voice assistants, the offline segment could not stay aside. And now, you can see that some well-known brands use these assistants as well. For instance, Walmart implements this innovative idea for its buyers. The retail corporation cooperates with Google so that the Google Assitant is in charge.
One more fast food corporation McDonald uses the voice assistant to help drivers in the United States make an order. This option is available in America only, but the corporation intends to broaden the horizons of its usability.
The dark side of voice assistants
We have given you bright examples of the practical implementation of this innovative technology. However, mass awareness quickly brought the opposite effect - frustration. Surveys showed that most users turned to assistants only for simple tasks - to ask a question, find out the weather, turn on music, set a timer, and nothing more - nothing complicated.
The interviewed users mentioned:
- They do not understand how to entrust money manipulation to an assistant who can't answer a simple question.
- They do not fully know how assistants work and what they can really do, or what kind of requests to ask them.
- Concerns about security and being uncomfortable talking to assistants in public.
Additionally, one of the most frightening problems that many people are afraid of is the leak of their sensitive information. It is not surprising that voice assistants are based on AI, and this AI collects and stores all your data. Even if you do not remember something, your voice assistant can remind you. And fear is that this data can be stolen and spread across the Internet.
From one perspective, this leak is suitable for marketers because marketers will be more aware of their customers’ needs and desires. In some way, the leaked information can be used in a positive way. But the side of customers is still on the other side.
The future of the technology
While knowing all pros and cons of voice assistants, it is worth talking a little bit about the future perspective of this innovative technology.
Fortunately for enthusiasts, this is just the beginning. Smart speakers are gradually training people to interact with technology. The future of voice probably won't even be in speakers. Leading manufacturers have long added screens to their assistants. Samsung, for example, has built the Bixby voice assistant into its refrigerators.
The key element is the assistant, not the device it's built into. Some will infiltrate every aspect of our lives and be available at home and on the street.
Some believe that in the future, stores and other public places will be equipped with voice assistants that can recognize us and tailor their responses to our needs. Right now, however, they are trying to figure out what we said in the first place.
Considering the perspective from the side of marketing, every voice assistant deals with information only. And that is what marketing needs. This information can give marketers useful insights and help to understand the customers’ needs more. But if a voice assistant can predict the desire of the customer, it will be a life-changing moment for the whole world.
One of the most reasonable recommendations regarding the further implementation of voice assistants is to take into consideration the increasing popularity of technology to optimize search queries and the development of marketing strategy for the company.
It is worth paying attention to the further perspective of the technology. Even though not everyone gets used to using voice assistants in everyday activities, the number of admirers of the technology is constantly increasing.