WPP’s Secrets and Lies of Language series reveals how voice-tech is the way of the future for brands

Language can reveal truth, tell a lie and keep a secret.

Its application is broad. Its power, unlimited. The craft of language is familiar to all business and marketing professionals.

The latest series from WPP, The Secrets & Lies of Languages: The New Rules of the Game released in Sydney on Tuesday explored the new rules of language and how crucial it is for brands to use voice as part of their marketing strategy.

As voice-controlled personal assistants become a key fixture in homes across Australia and around the world, how consumers search for brands, products and services is changing.

Voice is more natural than using a keyboard, takes less brain power, and creates more opportunity for tech to improve experiences while blending quietly into the background.

The industry is approaching a place where invisible tech can connect platforms and devices with a voice assistant that gets to know behaviours, preferences and desires.

While it is easy to dismiss voice as something to think about in the future, WPP is urging marketers to invest now, not later.

Rose  Herceg at the event

“61% of Australians believe that speaking into a voice-activated machine will mean that how we speak and what we call things will matter far more than ever before,” WPP’s chief strategy officer, Rose Herceg said at the launch event.

According to research from WPP Global Voice Centre of Excellence, almost 30% of users ask a question daily via voice-tech as 28% search for product information monthly.

A recent Roy Morgan study also showed that these numbers are on the rise.

“8.7 million people in Australia have access to a smart phone. Almost 40% of Google’s mobile search queries will be voice this year,” it read.

While Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple dominate this area using high-tech voice-assistants, businesses such as Samsung and Facebook are looking at ways they can incorporate voice into their customer experience.

The study showed: “47% of consumers in Australia rely heavily on voice-assisted devices to make better buying decision, 32% to compare product prices, and 43% to add items to their shopping cart.”

Furthermore, ‘Voice shopping’ is predicted to be worth over $40 billion by the year 2022 and very soon, voice-tech will become the entire search game.

Global brands including Nestle, Johnnie Walker and Dominos are just some of the few which are already looking to integrate voice technology into upcoming marketing strategies to better connect with customers.

It’s believed that voice-tech will soon become the entire search game for consumers.

“As voice outside the home gains traction around the world, anything that has a touchpad will become voice-activated. It will become second-nature to talk to a device rather than type into one,” Herceg said.

In Australia, GroupM conducted an audit for a healthcare insurer and found that, “35% of brands queries triggered responses to other sites and 46% couldn’t be answered by [Amazon] Alexa”.

Now, more than ever, there’s a new level of trust that comes with voice because there are no other options but the one that the voice assistant serves up.

Unlike traditional search, you cannot see a range of options from which to choose.

US Bank is one brand focusing on the role of the spoken word. It has embedded a smart assistant into the mobile app, allowing users to carry out banking requests using conversational language.

Ankit Bhatt, senior vice president and chief digital officer for consumer at US Bank, told Voicebot: “The goal was to create a voice-first experience. I believe voice is a more effective medium than touch.

“It’s certainly faster. People can type 40 words per minute, but they can speak at about 130 words per minute. We identified early on that we wanted to create value by simplifying the experience and making it engaging. It’s more intuitive, and we really believe in its efficiency,” Bhatt concluded.


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