Blog Post – The Rise of Voice Search

January 24, 2018

ll the 2018 predictions posts published over the past few months, there are a number of key trends which have emerged. Deloitte’s TMT team have predicted that we’ll all be switching off our TVs in favour of digital subscription models, The Drum is positing the end of the Duopoly, and AdAge reckons blockchain will ‘change everything’.

However, there’s one sneaky buzzword which has made a few appearances, which we’d like to take a closer look into today, and that buzzword is ‘voice search’.

Voice was huge in 2017, with Amazon’s Alexa able to order dog food and turn your lights down for you, and Google’s speech recognition of English words reaching a staggering 95%. Of Google’s 10 announcements at I/O 2017, 4 of them were about Home and Assistant.

What’s more, voice is only going to get bigger in 2018. ComScore is predicting that over 50% of searches will be voice-based by 2020, and with the integration of technologies such as Alexa and Google Home into our daily lives, it’s easy to see how that figure will become a reality: who will be picking up their mobile or tablet to search the name of that actor that once did a cameo on Casualty when they could simply ask the little machine in the corner?

So, what should agencies be doing about it? Answer: optimising now. It’s worth building voice search optimisation into campaigns from the get-go, to take full advantage of consumers across all platforms.

This is particularly applicable for international markets – according to recent global research, China are way ahead of the curve when it comes to voice assistant usage, with a 64% adoption rate.

There is a slight spanner in the works, though, in the form of Amazon’s restrictive policy on 3rd party ads on Alexa’s voice applications. This will make advertisers lives harder, of course, but they will undoubtedly find ways to overcome that challenge – and when this happens, there will be a huge rush to be at the front of the queue.

This brings us to our area of expertise: finding the team to fulfil the industry need. Working on voice requires an innovative mindset; candidates that are quick to adapt to new technologies and find new ways to integrate them will thrive as voice rises in popularity. Given the infancy of voice, there’s little ‘best-practice’ out there right now, so for anyone seeking a role in this sector, the ability to develop and implement a code of practice will be highly desirable.

A number of our clients are currently exploring options for voice teams – if you’d like to be part of one, get in touch via our website.

Check out the Silverdrum video to find out more about what we do.