Implications of Voice for Marketing Purposes: Market Snapshot Report

Implications of Voice for Marketing Purposes


What is interactive voice?

Two-way audio communication between a human and a device

IAB set out to explore why consumers are adopting Voice Assistants and Smart Speakers and what the implications are for marketers and the future of advertising.

This evolution of technology is unique because it’s not only introducing new devices and software, but it is also bringing on the mass adoption of a new interface for interacting with devices. For many consumers, this is the first time they are using their own voice to command a device and the first time they are hearing devices respond in a very human sounding way.

We are referring to this new engagement as “Interactive Voice”, which is the 2-way engagement that a consumer has with a Voice Assistant like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple’s Siri via a smart speaker, mobile phone, connected device in the home or their automobile, for example.

Interactive voice engagement will change the consumer’s path to purchase significantly

Perhaps the most important impact these devices will have on Marketers is the role Interactive Voice platforms will have on the consumer path to purchase. The impact is seen on the popular tasks today and in the future:

Today, many of the popular commerce related Interactive Voice actions consumers are using are simple and related to a past or future purchase: checking on the status of an order, making shopping lists and searching for products and services are top behaviors

In the future, consumers get more comfortable with these devices and their actions become more meaningful and have real revenue implications, like making purchases, providing reviews and re-ordering items seamlessly

Source: Capgemini

Is the time right for marketers to invest in an interactive voice strategy?

Interactive voice usage is causing a major consumer platform shift. Similar to many of the platform shifts we’ve seen in the past, like the consumer shift to the internet, mobile devices, social platforms, this creates a question in the mind of businesses “Is the time right for us to start developing a presence on these platforms?” For Marketers, this type of shift usually creates opportunities for those who master the platforms early to capture market share and risks for incumbent brands to defend their position.

What’s different about consumer engagement with interactive voice vs. other platforms?

Three key consumer behavior buckets could help shape the way you think about bringing your brand to these platforms. Consumers are generally using their assistants for:

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It matters to consumers because it’s convenient and saves them time

“I would prefer a voice assistant over a website or an app because:”

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Source: Capgemini Digital Transformation Institute, Conversational Commerce Survey, October-November 2017, N = 5,041 consumers in the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany.

These new platforms are taking time from other media
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Three Steps to Getting Started

Predictions, Threats and Trends to Watch

Trend: Interactive voice for business

As in-home consumer usage of Interactive Voice platforms grows, it’s logical that this behavior will extend to our work environments. Amazon is marketing the value and usage examples of Alexa for Business and enabling companies to have separate controls, like private skills for employees only, in order to separate a brand’s consumer facing presence from their internal one.

Trend: Interactive voice experience creating new retail experiences

Retailers are starting to experiment with Interactive Voice experiences embedded in physical stores. As consumers get more comfortable interacting this way, this could provide faster and more detailed access to information to augment human interaction and create brick and mortar retail experiences that are more similar, or perhaps even better, than ecommerce experiences.

Trend: 5x Growth in spending mix towards interactive voice platforms takes shopping time away from physical store experiences

Change in spending mix between physical stores, websites/apps, and voice assistants, today and three years from now

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Trend: The future of brands in an interactive voice world

As consumers continue to look for convenience and command their smart assistants to order and re-order products, questions have been raised about whether brands and brand preference will be impacted. In theory, the platforms can control the brand delivered into a shopping cart, therefore removing the classic brand selection process that exists in commerce today.

While some predict this might be the death of the brand, others believe that branding will be even more critical than ever, as you will need to encourage a consumer to ask for your brand by name.

What are the big threats to the evolution of the platforms?

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Special Thanks To:

  • Gina Garrubbo, President & CEO, National Public Media
  • Patrick Givens, VP, Head of VaynerSmart, VaynerMedia
  • Meg Goldthwaite, CMO, NPR
  • Jefferson Kohler, Brand Manager, Diageo
  • Alexandre Linares, CTO, Alpine.AI
  • Adam Marchick, CEO & Founder, Alpine.AI
  • Will Mayo, CEO, Spoken Layer
  • Bryan Moffett, COO, National Public Media
  • Mark Paul Taylor, Chief Experience Officer, Global DCX Practice, Capgemini
  • Donnie Williams, Chief Digital Officer, Horizon Media

IAB also acknowledges Patrick Albano who conducted the interviews on behalf of IAB.


IAB Mobile Center of Excellence

The Implications of Voice for Marketing Purposes Market Snapshot report was born out of discussions with IAB Mobile Center of Excellence Board members. The IAB Mobile Center is an independently funded and staffed unit inside IAB. It is charged with empowering the media and marketing industries to thrive in a “mobile-always” world and in an increasingly “direct brand economy,” where user experience and consumer relationships are at the heart of modern day marketing and a significant driver of publisher transformation. Since its launch in 2010, the Mobile Center has helped accelerate the growth of the mobile ecosystem through standard setting, best practices, consumer research and public advocacy. Mobile Center Board members actively shape the strategic direction for IAB initiatives.
– To learn more about the IAB Mobile Center of Excellence, contact Susan Borst, VP, Mobile ([email protected]).

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