Normalization of Digital Assistance
Google reports that voice searches comprise 20% of its mobile queries. And that number is rising. For the 2017 holiday season, Amazon’s best-selling item was its Alexa digital assistant device. As consumers move towards using intelligent digital assistants (IDAs) like Alexa, Siri, and other smart devices, B2B companies need to rethink their digital marketing strategies to incorporate voice search. Forbes magazine portends that, “Marketers need to prepare by creating content that captures these types of searches, and advertising in non-traditional places.”
IDAs can use multi-channel avenues and handle many user touch points. With advancements in technology, high speed internet, cloud computing, and more, IDAs are becoming more cost-effective and affordable. More importantly, they will change the way your customers interact with you online. As IDAs evolve, it is imperative that your company’s online presence adapt to new business models, including re-imagined user management. Here is a look at how the normalization of digital assistance will impact your business going forward.
Rather than require your users to know which keywords to search for and in a particular language, IDAs offer you a way to use natural language patterns from a multi-lingual standpoint. Technology allows you to support voice-enabled applications through voice-to-text and text-to-voice converters. This will provide a user interface allowing your customers to interact with your brand through human-to-machine interaction.
According to comScore, expect 50% of all searches to be voice-activated by 2020. You need to optimize your content in a more conversational tone to tap into these searches. SEO will change from a primary focus on keywords to a conversation between your brand and your users.
Finally, you will need to harness data across touch point such as the user experience, vendor management, and more. Data across the value chain will uncover patterns that allow you to change strategies when needed. This is where machine learning and artificial intelligence using algorithms will make it easier than ever to access data. For example, an IDA could provide customer care through automated answers, offering an always-on customer service response and resulting in better customer experiences at a lower cost.
As your customers use IDAs to interact with your brand, the line between users and IDA will blur. IDAs can use thousands of data points across the internet to make decisions and offer recommendations to your customers. This means the boundaries between you and your competitors will also blur. Your competition will come from other platforms and non-partner IDAs. You might want to forge relationships with all the major IDAs to cover your bases.
You also must create strategic partnerships with stakeholders like vendors/resellers and suppliers. These partnerships must be transparent if your IDA strategy is to work. Focus on building a strong ecosystem with your partners, including a supply side ecosystem that works to everyone’s advantage. You want all of your relationships built on a foundation of transparency, trust, and quality of service to make sure IDAs find your product or service.
With the exchange of information compounded by several IDAs, you need strong security and governing mechanisms in place to protect your customers’ privacy and their data. You must make your interactions with other platforms via IDAs risk-free. By monitoring the data you’re consuming and storing, you can more easily detect misuse of information. Second, develop strong policies governing what data IDAs can store and what needs to come through APIs as needed. Third, create and publish policies on who has access to the data and how they will use it. Make sure your policies are available to all key stakeholders.
You also need to secure all code and create a process for continuous monitoring. All information being exchanged between your brand, IDAs, and your partners would need encryption to secure it. At the minimum, you want capture fraudulent activities as they happen, but you must work to prevent fraud from occurring.
Partnering with the Right Agency
The time to act is now before voice searches become widespread. There is a coming explosion of wider reach and access to multiple devices connected to the Internet of Things, such as smart wearables, smart appliances, and smart homes. IDAs will become more comprehensive for daily use, increasing the likelihood of adoption.
Re-evaluate your strategy to include IDAs and voice search functionality to help meet your customers where and when they want to find you. Consider how you need to accommodate the requirements of both your customers and the IDAs when creating searchable content. Those companies not at the forefront of IDA technology face the risk of becoming less favored in the eyes of IDAs. You could eventually lose customers and market share to platforms with an excellent IDA user experience.
KEO Marketing employs techniques for both inbound and outbound marketing that are at the forefront of the B2B marketing industry. Talk to a member of the KEO team to see how optimizing your marketing for voice search and other new trends can help grow your sales pipeline.
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With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.