Why brands will find their voice in 2022
Consumers are now ahead of brands in their readiness to embrace the advantages of voice experiences. After decades of brands competing for consumers’ “eyeballs” as the means of capturing their attention, the simplicity of visual-free, touch-free interactions now offers a direct and increasingly preferred avenue for brand-consumer communication.
In the coming year, expect brands to recognize their need to catch up with consumer expectations and embrace the greenfield opportunities presented by voice-fueled advertising, customer service, and other differentiating strategies.
Here are four predictions on the voice adoption trends that brands will pursue in 2022.
1) Brands will increasingly introduce voice experiences to give consumers a say.
Whereas traditional one-way audio ad campaigns are often tuned out by uninterested listeners, dialogue voice ads enable consumers to both hear and be heard. As soon as listeners hear a dialogue ad call-to-action, they can respond aloud to accept or reject the offer using any words they choose. By listening to these fully measurable real-time consumer responses, brands can instantly incorporate that individualized personalization data into their campaigns, improving the relevance of future offers. In this way, even declined offers add meaningful value for the brand. Consumers gain the unprecedented ability to directly communicate their likes and dislikes with ads. In turn, brands can vastly improve ad experiences and performance by eliminating repetitive ads that hold no interest for the listener, and focusing on offers that do.
Look for brands to apply this process of truly listening to customers and adapting to fulfill their needs to areas such as customer support and brand relationship management. In 2022, the opportunities voice offers when it comes to engaging customers as individuals and earning trust and loyalty while expediting consumer journeys will be far too inviting for brands to pass up for long.
2) Voice experiences will raise expectations around the emotional impacts that brand interactions can convey.
Making a customer feel heard is no small thing. The intimate experiences invoked through voice interactions will give brands new capabilities for engaging customers and persuading them by building emotional connections. Already, voice ad metrics make this opportunity clear – the emotional impact of interactive voice campaigns enable them to drive substantially higher brand recall rates versus passive audio advertising.
The phenomenon behind the increased brand commitment associated with consumer voice interactions is well understood by enterprises and advertisers. Among seminal influence expert Robert Cialdini’s famous treatise outlining the six principles of persuasion is the principle of “Consistency,” describing the fact that individuals often make decisions based upon their past commitments. Interactive voice experiences that prompt consumers to make spoken commitments to brand offers go a long way toward inspiring ongoing loyalty, an advantage many companies will work to gain in the coming year.
3) Brands will define and adopt voice experience best practices.
Voice interactions are a medium all their own, calling for strategies and techniques particularly suited to realizing their advantages. Expect brands to improve at leveraging voice interactions to deliver core consumer benefits, and coalesce around a set of best practices as the artistry and execution around these experiences mature.
Specifically, look for brands to introduce their own uniquely distinguished personalities to hold up their ends of interactive voice conversations. Voice experiences will also improve by becoming consumer-context aware, for example, offering a different experience if the consumer is in a hands-free environment (i.e. driving or exercising). Brevity will likely be another best practice, understanding that memorable brand experiences can last just 10 seconds or less, and that consumers appreciate when brands value their time. Consumers must also feel that brands respect their data privacy: as a best practice, brands must only present voice experiences to audiences that opt-in.
4) Voice experiences will arrive upon an expansive list of new platforms.
Interactive voice advertising, customer service and support, and brand management are only a few examples out of the countless potential brand use cases for voice experiences.
In 2022, expect conversational video campaigns to emerge as another powerful experience enabling brands to connect with customers as never before. Interactive voice-powered customer surveys show high potential as well, far outshining traditional passive voice IVR systems (or fill-in-the-box customer feedback forms) in terms of delivering warm, welcoming experiences and demonstrating a clear understanding of consumers’ nuanced opinions and emotions. Brands will similarly apply voice experiences to their applications wherever they might be effective, with early adopters gaining decisive differentiation advantages in the eyes of customers.
2022 is a year of opportunities for brands to find their voice.
Consumers have proven themselves eager to engage brands in rich conversations, and share their exact wants and needs. All brands need to do is introduce solutions that enable those conversations, and then listen. Look for 2022 to become the year that brands ramp up their voice experience implementations and the year when brands that don’t come to wish they had.
Stas Tushinskiy is the CEO of Instreamatic, a Voice Marketing Platform company that helps brands engage consumers in the art of human conversations -- their solutions include ads that talk back and voice feedback. Prior to Instreamatic, Stas built a leading digital audio advertising sales...