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BizReport : Search Marketing : April 10, 2017

Voice technology simplifies consumers' lives, boosts emotional connection to brands

It takes less brain-power to use, can be fun, simplifies consumers' lives, drives greater emotional connections with brands, and 88% of Brits are using it. New research provides insight into the rising popularity and usage of voice technology.

by Helen Leggatt

Media agency Mindshare and communications agency J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group teamed up with neuroscience research outfit Neuro Insight to create a new report focusing on voice technology - Speak Easy. The report is based on a survey of 1,002 UK smartphone users, as well as in-depth interviews and a brain-imaging technology test of over 100 participants.

Of those surveyed, 88% had used voice technology of which 87% said "when voice technology works properly it simplifies their lives. In fact, the top three reasons for using intelligent assistants (IAs) are based on practicality - convenience, simple and quicker than typing. The fourth reason - that IAs are fun - suggests that, despite Siri having been around since 2011, there remains an element of novelty in their use.

jwt report.png

Current voice users are significantly more likely to be young, male and affluent, found the research - 50% of 18-34-year-olds, 43% of men and 48% of people with a household income of more than £50,000 (US$62,000) use voice monthly or more versus the population average of 37%.

For brands, it is interesting to note that consumers using voice technology develop a stronger emotional connection to a brand. Emotional activity was twice as high among consumers who voiced a brand question rather than type it. Furthermore, using voice technology required 50% less brain activity when processing an answer versus reading an answer which led to consumers finding it easier to use.

"To successfully integrate voice into their offerings, brands need to understand how the technology can simplify everyday tasks by adding value and removing friction from their experience," said Elizabeth Cherian, UK director at JWT Innovation Group.

"This is not about tech for tech's sake. Thoughtful and helpful interactions which genuinely enhance the experience will drive engagement and deeper relationships between consumers and brands."

Tags: martech, search marketing, voice technology

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