With the release of the Google Home voice-activated home assistant and Amazon’s success with its Echo smart speaker, there has been lots of speculation in the marketing sector regarding new strategies for a voice-search world.
According to Manning Gottlieb, by 2020, over 200 billion searches per month will be done with voice. Queries will be based on full questions or commands and the probability of using single keywords in that form of search is relatively low. With the change in search patterns that the increased number of smart assistant technology will bring, marketers have lots to consider.
But what are the implications this technology could have on marketing and advertising? First, access to customer data can get more complicated as there are still no processes available for tracking it through smart assistants.
Rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) are also subject to change as smart assistants become more popular. Logically, if a user searches for something through Amazon’s Echo or Google Home, they will receive one main result, unless they ask for more. That can significantly harm those whose business is based on SEO optimization. In this case, everything that comes after the first position, or at least the first three, will simply matter much less. On-the-spot responses to the users' queries would also mean less interaction with the web or mobile applications. As a consequence, insights into the online activity of the users will either diminish or acquire a completely new form.
But how could smart assistant technology be leveraged by marketers and advertisers? Again, it all comes down to data. The conversational nature of the search could bring in more information about the customers. Particularly when combined with the other data a company may have. There is, however, one prerequisite: Google cannot hold that data captive and needs to make it accessible to marketers.
Pushing the integration of smart assistant technology with other devices in your home logically creates more points from which data could be collected. This, in turn, means a very high level of personalization, which raises concerns regarding privacy. Although Amazon and Google strongly advocate for their privacy protection policies, the risks are still out there.
Supporting smart assistant technology with blockchains could potentially provide a foundation for data tracking as well as increase security. Given that publishers do not have control over the usage of their content by Google through smart assistant technology, blockchains could ensure more protection from exploitation of copyrighted content. As in most cases, transparency of blockchain technology could also make those processes clearer.
Following the current marketing trends, paid advertisement could be incorporated into the search process. Following in Amazon’s footsteps, users could be potentially regaled with suggestions and offers. If the growth of smart assistant technology continues to increase, users’ needs will change as well. Marketers should bear in mind that they will have to be way ahead and anticipate these needs.
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