Voice and AI

Digi Doc, you blogged about voice starting to dominate search and marketing last year, and I saw Gary V is also on this bandwagon big time. Any more info?

Doctor Digital Says

It feels like the time between Doctor Digital predictions and mass market adoptions are getting shorter. Probably because they are. I blogged previously about voice, and how it was being touted as the next big thing. That foreshadowing hasn’t stopped, and when paired with the acceleration of consumer and affordable applications for AI (artificial intelligence), voice is heading to be a ubiquitous part of how we engage with customers and brands.

2018 saw a huge flux in the use of AI-based tools and applications, starting to be adopted even by small and midsize businesses, making inroads into almost all industry verticals such as automobile, healthcare, manufacturing, homes and more. Today, AI technology is heavily integrated into everyday life from voice-based AI such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa, Facebook to text-based AI in the form of smartwatches and smart glasses.

AI has made our lives much easier and more efficient, providing businesses with the chance to automate repetitive tasks, customize customer experiences, manage supply chains, and increase operational efficiencies. For the in home experience, it provides assistance for anything as simple as selecting a playlist to moderately complex tasks such as searching for the perfect recipe, booking flights or hotels and more.

Add into this AI mix the functionality of voice. Voice Assistants are becoming smarter with a lot more AI being used. This makes it easy for you to capture your thoughts wherever you are, with simple voice interaction, that can take action on your behalf. Fixing appointments or reordering things, and more, the simple things that you tend to forget, your Voice AI will connect all the data from your devices and do it for you. Machine learning and big data is helping those smart devices to quickly learn the needs and wants of humans making search faster and more intuitive in its response.

According to TechCrunch, the smart voice AI market reached a critical stage in 2018, with around 41% of U.S. consumers owning a voice-activated speaker, an increase of 21.5% from 2017. AI-powered chatbots have also become popular in recent times and are deployed by businesses for many functions, the most popular being used to improving customer service. Gartner reports that more than 30% of searches will be voice-based. While currently consumers are using Google home and Alexa to order food, rides, and other search related items online, the integration is going to be embracing conversational audio AI in addition to the visual and text media integrations.

In a new voice-dominated ecosystem, businesses will have to work double time in order to make it easier for customers to search and shop. Providing voice content to every query should be more informative than salesy. Since we speak in full sentences, it is essential for businesses to use long-tailed keywords and mimic natural speech patterns. Some futurists are suggesting that text and typing searches will disappear within the next decade and all search will be voice driven. Think about the behavioural changes this will mean to your customers and the context in which they engage with your brand.

Voice and AI while heading on a clear trajectory to dominate is still early stage. Small business owners are getting a view of things to come, and this is the time for brands to begin to think about how they can strategically include voice in their digital tools and what that will mean for how they create their content when the voice revolution takes over.

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