Voice assistants, the new marketing medium

Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana have opened new opportunities for marketing managers. The voice has this unique strength that creates a new channel of communication to reach the consumer.

In 2018, the identity of a company will no longer be portrayed exclusively through visual or written means. It will have to develop an identity through sound. It will have to distinguish itself from competition and engage users of voice assistants. It will be necessary to stand out from the competition created by this new marketing approach.

New digital marketing

A new communication medium is always exciting, but it is important to approach the matter with reason and critical thinking. First, the (digital) marketing world is known for its extremely specific and personalized distribution methods. The voice targets larger audiences than normal. Because several goals can be reached at the same time by voice advertisement, a wide array of interests and emotions must be considered. Second, it must be understood that voice search queries are different than their written counterparts. The SEO approach must succeed in targeting the real intent of a user. The user does not structure the voice requests in the same way it would in a Google search.

It is undeniable that the voice assistant market is expanding. This is primarily due to the convergence of digital tools. More and more platforms are adopting artificial intelligence related skills such as chatbots. The objects around us are growing increasingly connected. Another lesser-known aspect of marketing services is the very nature of the public and its potential buyers. In fact, it is estimated that about 25% of users would be over 55 years old. This segment of the population seems to be particularly good at adopting voice search, which often seems more natural than web search engines. In addition to this, today’s voice and AI technology make possible a more personal and human relationship. The commitment generated by this progress only increases the quality and confidence in voice assistants.

A question of trust

The trust aspect is a key point. It must be understood that the user does not have the same intimacy with a search engine or a voice assistant. Typically, the assistant will be placed in a shared space of the house, such as the kitchen or bedroom. The user will not necessarily want to communicate the same information in the presence of others. This also applies to my reverse communication. The Call To Actions generated by the voice assistant will have to respect more criteria so as not to appear too intrusive.


User confidence will be heavily based on intrusion. A vocal CTA that comes out of nowhere can quickly feel boring or embarrassing. It is important to successfully integrate a CTA to the interaction between the machine and the human. The sale of a product or a service must fit the user’s intent as accurately as possible. Voice advertising must only occur when the user has a real intention to purchase. Evaluating this desire remains one of the biggest challenges for marketers.

Memorization = conversion

The apparent disadvantage of audio is its inability to enter users’ memory. At first sight, a poster, a video or a web page will be more effective at presenting precise information that users can remember. Unfortunately, audio seems to be lacking this kind of accurate presentation and long-term memory absorption. For example, when booking a concert ticket, the user will prefer having all the relevant information at a glance, he will have to absorb it and ideally remember it until the day of the event. On the other hand, it will not be hard to memorize the information about the day’s weather with a voice assistant, even in the morning. The user knows very well that the information will not be useful to him in 24 hours.

In the end, it’s up to the creativity of the company and the marketing industry to develop a memorable and non-intrusive sound identity. If the customer succeeds in being loyal thanks to the sound, we can expect extremely interesting conversions. The key lies in the memorization of the sound and the nature of the interaction.