Voice is creating a lot of noise, for good reason. Publicis Media conducted a comprehensive study of US and UK smart speaker users to understand the evolution of how consumers interact with brands via voice.
Key findings from the study included a significant memory effect, as well as heightened physiological responses when interacting with smart speakers.
Voice delivered nearly two times unaided brand recall (96 per cent) compared with TV, and is on par with native mobile.
This correlates with measurement of electrodermal activity (sweat response) suggesting that people are in a more active and alert state when interacting with smart speakers.
Voice also stood out as one of the best experiences compared to TV and native mobile. It was found to be more engaging, fun, helpful, useful, informative and less boring.
Starcom Australia CEO Toby Barbour, said: “We believe that voice is the most human technology we’ve ever seen, and the Publicis Media study supports this view.
“Voice offers a real-time connection that heightens relevance and memory with a hands-free experience. For example, learning how to remove stains while you are doing the laundry.
“This creates a unique opportunity for brands to deliver the highly customised experiences that consumers are seeking.”
The Publicis Media findings are important given the predicted rise of voice in the near future:
- Telsyte predicts that 3 million Australian households will have a smart speaker by 2022, equating to 30 per cent household penetration
- Projections are that worldwide 50 per cent of ALL searches will be voice searches by 2020 (ComScore, 2017)
- US/UK voice commerce will grow from US$2 billion to 40 billion-plus by 2022 (OC&C Strategy Consultants, 2018)
While consumers are enthusiastically embracing voice there is understandably some cynicism and caution about the involvement of brands.
General perceptions of advertising, especially what has transpired in digital and social advertising, means consumers will be reluctant to give up their data.
“Voice is undoubtedly on the rise, and there is a huge opportunity for marketers and brands.
“But the bar is set high for brands with expectations of personalisation and utility without invasion of privacy,” Barbour said.
“Brands will need to recognise that these devices are an intimate part of people’s lives and focus on authentically and purposefully helping people versus simply activating the technology.”