Managing Director

Will Kaye

10 Ways the Future of Voice Technology will Change Business in 2019

The future of voice technology is bright. We’re already seeing voice-activated digital assistants like Google’s Home, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri transforming the way we communicate and there is so much more to come. From the way brands develop their SEO strategy to the way companies communicate with their teams, voice technology will have a massive impact on the future of business.

Brands wishing to prepare for the future of corporate communications need to also prepare for digital transformation driving the future of voice technology. The sooner businesses realise that the digital landscape is drastically changing because of voice-enabled smart assistants, the sooner they can develop a digital strategy to capitalise on this new reality.

If you want a sneak peek into tomorrow’s business communications, these 10 truths are what your team need to know and take on board.

1) Payment technology is radically changing thanks to voice technology.

While many companies are wrestling with the concept of whether or not to accept cryptocurrency payments, the real explosive payments trend in 2019 will be voice-enabled payments. According to PYMNTS.com’s ‘How We Will Pay‘ 2018 study, 27% of consumers already own a set of voice-activated speakers, and a growing number of those users stated their desire to use contactless payments. With growing demand, don’t wait until 2019; now is the time to start working on your updated payments strategy.

2) Artificial intelligence and bot technology is also being influenced by the advent of voice-activated technology.

Expect brand bots to be smarter in 2019, with growing opportunities for companies to utilise voice-activated bots. Think voice-enabled social media bots, interactive voice bots on websites, and even voice-enabled APIs.

3) Rapid adoption of voice enabled search engine queries.

Gartner Research’s ‘Voice as a UI on Consumer Devices‘ study indicated that 30% of consumers’ interactions with smart-technology devices would be voice-enabled by 2018. One significant way these person-to-machine conversations are already taking place is through the use of microphone-enabled queries on smartphones. Consumers are speaking their search questions to their smartphones instead of typing their queries into a search engine like Google. The increasing use of voice as a method of searching online databases is altering the future of SEO. Brands developing a voice SEO strategy now are likely to reap the rewards of improved search engine rankings as compared to companies failing to realise the huge role voice queries will play in the future of SEO.

4) Voice technology will revolutionise the future of advertising for brands.

When consumers can interact with ads via their voices, an entirely new medium of advertising communication opens up for forward-thinking brands. While conversations are already happening between brands on devices like Amazon’s Echo, the future of voice technology will enable consumers to speak to digital displays on bus shelters, in-store billboards, or even digital signage atop merchandise displays. The voice-enabled advertising future is especially exciting; business owners would be smart to start contemplating a voice-enabled advertising strategy now.

5) The big tech companies are investing heavily in voice enabled technology.

With Amazon already having over 10,000 employees working on Alexa-enabled technology, expect to see explosive growth in voice commerce in 2019. It is likely voice search will be integrated directly into Amazon.com, with consumers gaining the ability to search, select, and purchase with their voice. Brands wanting to be at the cutting edge of e-commerce should already be developing a voice commerce strategy to beat competitors, as early entrants will capture the lion’s share of consumers’ attention.

6) Banking will also be influenced by voice technology.

Imagine a future where the majority of your business’ transactions are completed by voice. Log into your bank’s secure website, speak your instructions to your smartphone or laptop computer, and watch as your banking transactions are magically completed with your voice. Can you say productivity hack?

7) Digital marketing will be impacted by voice-enabled technology.

Voice-activated digital assistants are already being used to offer education material to students. This push into voice-first education is likely to make its way to content marketing as brands realise the potential of offering blog posts and articles via voice-enabled devices. Get ready for a digital marketing future where the preferred method of content delivery is to the ears and not to the eyes. Companies are already directing their software teams to develop Alexa skills for basic question-and-answer conversations. As voice technology becomes even more advanced, there is sure to be growing interest in digital assistants delivering voice-based content marketing posts. If your brand wants to capitalise on voice-based content marketing, it’s time to start considering a future where a large portion of your digital marketing efforts are audio-based.

8) Analytics will change in a voice-enabled technological future.

Emotion analytics are the next hottest analytics sector. If you’re having a tough time wrapping your head around voice emotion analytics, listen to this podcast to learn about the future of analytics. Applying artificial intelligence to voice-enabled emotion analytics seems like the stuff futuristic dreams are made of, but the future is already happening.

9) Customer service will experience significant changes as voice technology gains mainstream popularity.

Google’s Assistant is already able to call businesses like restaurants to make meal reservations. Expect to see more growth in this sector as developers create technology for voice conversations between consumers and companies. Your business’ next hire may not be an employee, but a voice-enabled bot which communicates company information over the phone.

10) Automatic conversation recording is one the rise.

Smart-thinking developers are creating voice-activated smartphone shortcuts to automatically record interactions with law enforcement, but this technology could soon be available to businesses and brands wishing to instantly record office meetings, employee interviews, or even shareholder / Board of Director gatherings. With nothing more than a simple voice command, automatic conversation recording could create audio meeting minutes that are instantly transcribed into text-based minutes.

These are just 10 of the many truths businesses and brands should be aware of as voice-enabled technology becomes more popular. How businesses communicate with customers, market their companies, and interact with suppliers and vendors is about to change. Brands prepared for a voice-first future will be the ones to reap the rewards.

Is your company ready to step into a voice-enabled future in 2019? Get in touch with our team today to make sure your brand is ready.