It's time for brands to make use of voice technology - report

Tyrone Stewart
George Hopkinson IAB UK
IAB UK's senior research & projects manager George Hopkinson

37 per cent of UK smartphone owners are using voice technology at least once a month with 50 per cent of all searches expected to be conducted using voice by 2020. With that in mind, Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK linked up with Ipsos Mori to carry out qualitative research to see how brands should utilise voice technology.

The report released by IAB UK, titled ‘Find Your Voice’, suggests that brands should look at their current interactions with consumers and see how voice could play a part in supporting the needs of customers in those situations. Furthermore, companies need to consider the age, sex, nationality, and emotional state of their brand.

The research also found that experts find AI fundamental to the further development of voice technology; that human communication is complex and goes beyond voice, so brands and tech companies need to consider these things; and that ethical and privacy concerns are critical to voice technology.

Meanwhile, consumers believe voice technology can be used to support them in becoming the best versions of themselves but there are concerns over noise and overstimulation in the future.

“Voice technology is really exciting because, not only does it have the potential to disrupt the way brands speak to people, it also offers an opportunity for people to speak back to brands. We started this project thinking exclusively about smart speakers and a future world without screens however, the study demonstrates the continuing importance of screens and how many options there are for brands to consider before getting into this exciting space,” said George Hopkinson, senior research & projects manager at IAB UK.

“Looking to the future and helping businesses prepare is one of the three key pillars of the IAB mission of creating a sustainable future for digital advertising. Our members and industry look to us to provide clarity and understanding around key issues that will have a profound impact on their businesses. Voice is certainly one of those, so we are thrilled to be sharing the findings of the IAB ‘Find Your Voice’ research.”