A few weeks ago, I had a meeting with a long-time client and friend. He had just read an article about voice tech and asked me if we should invest in voice ads. Knowing his target market and product, I was quick to answer: No.
Even the average Joe knows voice technology is the future. In 2019, there were over 3 billion digital voice assistants used in devices around the world. Amazon’s Echo sales were skyrocketing even before they slashed prices by as much as 40% a few months back. So, why did I advise my client not to jump on this clearly evident trend?
Trends and future predictions are sometimes difficult to catch in the moment while they are actually developing. What is even more difficult, is to imagine the implications of big changes to everyday lives. So let’s hop in the past to see the future a little bit more clearly.
It’s July, 1968. Gordon E. Moore and Robert Noyce just founded their semiconductor chip company by the name Intel. A few months later, after a few failed attempts NASA launched Apollo 7, sending people outside the Earth’s orbit for the first time in known history. And that same year, Roy Jacuzzi was granted a patent for the Jacuzzi whirlpool hot tub too.
If you asked an average Joe back in 1968 what he thought the future looked like, it’s very unlikely he’d be able to fathom what computational power, space exploration or even skinny dipping would look like 60 years in the future. That is, at least in part, unless he had just seen Space Odyssey: 2001, released earlier that year.
At the time, the movie must have been a thought-provoking, conversation-starting sci-fi delight, qualities it has retained for the past 62 years as we’ve seen so many of its “predictions” come to life. And soon, HAL 9000 might be reading lips and giving the silent treatment to astronauts alike. (Given Elon’s sense of humor, it actually might happen.)
But let’s return to the present and our 2020 average Joe. He’s home alone, doing some social good by distancing himself and chilling on Netflix. He is also craving something delicious, so he tells Alexa to order a large Domino’s MeatZZa for dinner. He doesn’t need to ask her for recommendations, because he already knows what he wants, and where from.
That is the real significance of the voice marketing trend. Brand-name recognition will mean large profits for some and big losses for others. Loyalty will count twice and brand awareness will be the most coveted value.
So, while you are clicking on your laptop, thinking about what sweet deal to offer potential customers and drive tomorrow’s sales, think about what they will remember about your brand instead.
I do believe that voice will change the way we advertise, and in fact, it’s already changing the game. So, before we hop on the voice marketing train, let’s rethink what we are doing at the moment. What can we do now, to remain relevant for years to come?
About the author
Father, left-handed optimist and co-founder of Solveo – a one of a kind innovation consultancy based in South-East Europe. Often described as the “idea man” by his team of Solvers, Ivan loves to help companies overcome the obstacles of the modern age through better communication and innovative solutions to everyday problems.