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Search Without Screens: The Path of Voice Search

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Technology is truly amazing.

What we once perceived as the science fiction ingenuity from world-renowned authors like Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, or Philip K. Dick has slowly been entering our lives the last few decades, one phase at a time. Mobile phones, tablets, touch screen, smart TVs, self-driving cars – you name it. With everything available at the palm of your hand, it’s not surprising that media giants like Amazon and Google have unveiled a new take on the revolutionary concept of voice search.

Simply ask Amazon Echo’s intelligent personal assistant Alexa anything. Want to know what the weather is? Want her to play the song that’s stuck in your head? Running out of paper towels and need to purchase more? Alexa is your answer and she’ll take care of all the details. She’ll reply to you without technological hiccups, thanks to programming brilliance and years of testing. Why? Like us, with each request, she continues to learn and get smarter. Like us, Alexa adapts.

All We Want for Christmas is Voice Search

It’s not surprising that this past holiday season Amazon Echo and Google Home were on the top of shopper’s wish lists. An estimated 10 million Amazon Echoes are currently in people’s homes. The era of voice search is within reach for the average consumer and not just something we watch in awe during the latest high-tech film.

How Would We Review our Success Metrics?

But…how will retailers track the consumer’s path to purchase? How would retailers “show” ads on these smart devices?

As of now, Cost Per Impression (CPI) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) models don’t work well for voice search. That’s why Google and other in the space are considering new models like Pay-Per-Transaction (PPT).

When you ask your Google Assistant to order chocolate strawberries for Valentine’s Day, the company benefiting from the transaction would pay Google. Customers will be actively seeking this information, so the friction between advertisers and the online world will be eliminated. Therefore, this model will have to be more conversational than any other advertising before. This could be the biggest shift in advertising in years! (It’s important to note that right now, customers can only make purchases on Amazon Echo, not Google Home.)

Ads Without Screens

With no screen, advertisers are going to have to find a way to showcase paid ads without interrupting the user experience. This will be especially challenging since one of the main draws for voice search is that users want more direct answers and fewer search results – eliminating the need to go to a third-party website.

Think of the psychology of it. Humans are curious and (most of us) are always questioning the why of it all. You want to find out when the first Harry Potter movie came out, not all the details. You just want to know that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone came out in 2001; anything else is irksome.

The Future is Already Here

Tech giants make 90% of their revenues from online ads featured on your laptop and mobile device. That makes us wonder how Google and Amazon will monetize voice search results without ruining the user experience. As you can see, voice search is already shaking up the digital marketing industry.

In an effort to understand how consumers are using Amazon Echo, Google Home, and voice search in general, we conducted a survey targeted at owners of these products. To hear more about the results of our survey – and more our favorite voice search giants, join our webinar on February 23rd from 2:00 – 2:30 pm EST.

Save your seat!

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