We’re all talking about it. In fact, we’re all talking to it. But what must brands keep in mind when enter the voice technology space? Kay Taylor, Publicis Media, gives her top tips for those creating a voice app for the first time.
1. It’s not all about the money, money, money
Ok, it’s a bit about the money but sales shouldn’t be the overt function of a voice app. Voice commerce is a growing market, expected to be worth £3.5bn within four years, but in these early days first timers in the voice tech space should see it primarily as a test and learn opportunity. Making sure the voice app works and is what the users want will set your brand up for voice commerce when the time’s right.
2. Create real value
Creating a voice app that drives real value for the user, whether that’s an emotional need or functional need, will put your brand in the best position for active engagement. HBO, for example, created a gaming skill for Westworld. Users are guided through ‘choose-you-own-adventure’ levels with over 60 storylines and 400 unique game choices. A more functional example comes from Virgin Trains which was the first travel operator to allow users to book their tickets through voice on a smart assistant.
3. It’s not what you said, but how you said it
It’s important to ensure the voice app fits in with the brand’s tone of voice. If your brand has a long loved character, use their voice and language to create consistency across different platforms. Existing jingles and background music can also help form and develop a sonic identity.
4. Don’t create a standalone channel
Voice apps shouldn’t be created in silo and shouldn’t replace another touchpoint. Instead, they should work alongside other media channels. This will help brands to create a omnichannel approach, allowing customers to access content and information in the right way at the right time.
5. Education is key
As the technology is so new, it’s difficult for customers to stumble upon branded voice apps. Therefore, it’s essential that brands create a landing page or a website extension that educates the user on how to find and use the voice app. Check out Channel 4’s Humans and Capital One.
6. Say what’s on your mind
The user journey for voice should be created with speech in mind, remembering that this is a new way of interacting with technology and very different to the typical user experience. Think about the ways people may ask different variants of the same request, and design the conversation so that there are no dead ends.
7. Never use technology for technology’s sake
Ensure voice is the right strategy. If there isn’t an obvious or creative way to use voice that customers will engage with, don’t shoehorn in the technology. Instead think whether other technologies, such as chatbots, might be better suited at this point in time.
(Kay was one of the industry experts involved in the future casting session for the 'Find Your Voice' research. Find the full report here)