Hey Siri, Voice Technology Is Cool, But It Isn’t The Future Of Marketing

Bangkok, Thailand - July 27, 2019 : Apple Watch Nike+ Series 4 showing its screen with Siri, Apple's voice-activated digital assistant.

The prevalence of voice technology is on the rise, but one study has shown there is still a long way to go before it is the norm.

Martech company Campaign Monitor surveyed 400 people around the world – including Australians – on how they use (or don’t use) voice technology.

Voice technology has been made popular in recent times through the proliferation of voice assistants like Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Home, but the research shows there are still improvements to be made for these systems.

A common complaint with these voice assistants is their likelihood to suggest an external web search when a question is asked.

Almost half (45 per cent) of respondents said they’d prefer their device to have more direct knowledge, rather than suggesting web searches.

Meanwhile, 44 per cent said they’d like their device to have improved understanding of speech patterns and 35 per cent said they wanted AI to improve to better anticipate speech preferences.

Concerns around data security also appear to be a roadblock for voice assistants, with 39 per cent of people stating they’d like to better understand and regulate how their smart device records and stores data.

These concerns would no doubt have been escalated by Apple’s recent confession – and subsequent apology – that contractors regularly hear Siri’s recordings of private conversations.

The report finds that while voice technology is set to be a significant disruptor, its impact on digital marketing as a whole could be less pronounced.

“Ultimately, voice technology doesn’t really have great commercial value for digital marketing,” states the report.

“Similar to virtual reality, voice technology is really neat, but unrelated as the technology has advanced today.

“While there’s still a chance for voice technology to become a major disruptor in some industries, most digital marketers won’t see a huge shift in how they interact with their consumers.”

It does suggest however that voice provides the opportunity for brands to give their customers a “first-class experience” through strategies like playlist marketing, earcons, and voice-activated offers.


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