February 22, 2021
Submitted by Sreeraman Thiagarajan, Co-founder and CEO, Agrahyah Technologies
There are now apps and desktop widgets that remind us to drink water periodically. Our smart watches help us breathe well and breathe right. These are telling tales about how busy we are and how technology comes to help us live a better life.
Every technology advancement has held true of the first principle, that it must make our life easy and better. AI enabled voice technology checks all the right boxes when it comes to helping us lead a better life.
For those who are busy, voice assistants like Alexa and Google help get things done, make multi-tasking less stressful, aid them in moments when their eyes or hands are engaged (say, while driving a car or cooking). From giving directions to destinations to directing to your favourite podcast – voice assistants let you access everything the most simple way.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have millions of first time internet users who may lack proficiency in using technology. For them too, voice plays the profound role of creating better access and inclusion due to their usage of NLP (natural language processing) that decodes the spoken word and the intent behind it.
As humans, speaking is a trait we develop even before we start walking. Voice, thus, is a natural way for us to interact with devices.
Although primitive voice-based products existed as far back as the 90s, the AI enablement in them makes it revolutionary. More importantly, they are an evolution in computing and not a passing fad.
While all the AI and tech comes to make voice assistants as an easy-to-use interface, it is still an input mechanism like a mouse or touch screens. The insight hidden in plain sight is that, when people interact with voice assistants such as Alexa, they are primarily getting some form of audio content – be it weather, news, music, jokes, education, spiritual teachings or anything else.
Brands can utilise this simple, human attribute to connect with people. All they need is a robust, coherent content strategy for voice – just what they devised and unveiled to leverage the internet ecosystem with websites or the mobile one with apps.
“When we win a Golden Globe, it helps us sell more shoes” – this was a quote from Jeff Bezos on how Prime Video helps Amazon upsell to its customers on their e-commerce platform. The beauty of content is that it delights people; if conceptualised and executed well, it helps engage & retain users with the brand in a more evocative way that can build long-lasting customer relationship.
Many brands have a starting trouble on answering two fundamental questions: “what needs to be done?” and “why now?”
Firstly, imagine your brand if there were no logo, typeface or colour associated with it. What does your brand sound like? Fun? Young? Wise? - the archetype that you have built over years for your brand now simply needs to be morphed to a sonic avatar.
The second question is related to the time context. Well, there are just over 300 million reasons for brands to start investing in voice today. India is a strong Android-first market and Google Assistant comes as embedded in all of them – a cherry on top if you consider another 100 million Jio phones that have no touch, but voice.
If you know, the first-ever TVC was actually just one static slide displayed on a TV screen for 10 seconds; today commercials have evolved on the medium and TV continues to command a lion’s share of media spends. So, it is absolutely fine if you start with something simple and elementary for your brand today and then formulate a sustained way to grow your voice play.
Marketers go where their audiences are, and voice is a sphere customers are fast gravitating to. Are you there to welcome your audiences?