Voice technology part I: Building emotional connections with customers

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Voice technology build emotional connection

Related tags: Brand, Brand management

The Speak Easy study, managed by media and marketing firm, Mindshare, and creative think tank, J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group, have released its report outlining how brands should incorporate voice activation and tech into their propositions to build loyal connections.  

Vocal impact

"We are on the cusp of a new era in technology where voice is set to become mainstream,” ​said Elizabeth Cherian, UK Director, J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group.

"This study is the first of its kind as it delves deep into consumers' cognitive response to voice technology. Intriguingly, it shows that voice promises a richer and deeper engagement with consumers because of its ability to trigger an emotional response,” ​emphasised Jeremy Pounder, Futures Director, Mindshare.

Loyal relationships

As part of their findings, the two intelligence providers established that consumers are seeking more intimate relationships with their voice assistants.

This consequently presents brands with the opportunity to create enhanced relationships with their customer bases focusing on engagement and personalisation.  

The study identified that consumers have a stronger emotional connection to brands when using voice technology.

Traditional typing

Speak Easy, which included a neuroscience study conducted by neuroscience research agency, Neuro Insight, showed that emotional activity was twice as high when consumers voiced a brand question rather than type it.

In addition, it identified 50% less brain activity in participant when they understood an answer delivered by voice, indicating how consumers find it much easier to process.

The term 'digital butlers’ — referring to the proactive nature of technology that consumers desire — is increasing within brand strategies as users increasingly want to give over control to voice assistants.

Sophisticated simplification

Of those surveyed in the study, 87% of voice users said that 'when voice technology works properly it simplifies their life'. As a result, this added element of convenience is a key message that brands should utilise in marketing materials to emphasise the everyday, practical benefits of voice technology.

Voice assistants are set to become “powerful gatekeepers to the consumer and algorithm optimisation becomes the new SEO”​, the team announced in a recent press release, indicating the changes that brands must make to content and service provision to understand the way video is used and its impact.

Market research indicates that voice technology’s roots in digital will help raise its platform: “Our research shows that 88% of UK smartphone users have used voice technology or would consider doing so in the future,”​ added Cherian.

J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group and Mindshare revealed, as part of its research, that utilising voice “will free users from mobile dependency, liberating them from the screen and allowing them to better interact with the world around them”​, the press release stated.

Transformative technology

“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.”

Cherian continued by emphasising the importance of technology that has a purpose: “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.”

“Voice technology will literally give brands a voice for the first time and they will need to craft the sound of their own voice to maximise the impact,”​ elaborated Pounder.

The second instalment of this article exploring the important voice technology discovery and how this can contribute to generating brand engagement will be published on Wednesday 12th April 2017.

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