Voice search makes more sense to people who do not like technology -- so much so that 25%, or one in four searches on the Windows 10 taskbar using Bing are voice queries.
It takes people out of the box and allows them to interface with the machine in a more conversational way. Melting away the interface makes people feel more comfortable conversing with technology.
These innovative modes of search make more sense to those who are not early adopters, as Steve Smith, editorial director of events at MediaPost, said during his opening remarks Thursday at the Search Insider Summit in Key Largo, Fla. Smith told attendees about recently purchasing Amazon Echo and how his non-techie wife interacts with the virtual assistant Alexa, which can typically find answers to most questions.
When Alexa cannot find the answer on its own, Amazon's voice assistant turns to searches powered by Bing to find the answer. The one-quarter of voice searches on Bing have become longer. Text searches are between one to three words, compared with voice searches that have grown to between six and 10 words, said Rob Wilk, VP North America, search sales at Microsoft Search Advertising. He said queries are beginning to elongate.
Linguistics and inflections in the voice will play a more important role in the future. Keywords are keywords whether typed or voiced. "Keywords are like diamonds," a sentence from the opening keynote from Karthik Viswanathan, director of search marketing at Macys.com.
Keywords may not be the final word for everything, although Macys.com runs about 35 million keywords at any given time. Search is bigger than keywords, he said. Understanding the keywords is only a stepping stone. It's no longer about the traffic it drives, but how marketers interpret the interaction through data.
It may not make sense to connect every touchpoint because consumers continually change, but not knowing where the traffic comes from is a huge mistake, Viswanathan said.
A few years ago Macy's ran the data in silos, but has since integrated the systems across the organization, which provides consistency of messages across the organization -- not only online, but in stores. It provides information about how consumers interact with the Web site and the physical stores.
It's important to view the customer journey as a series of interconnected touchpoints and be sure to not only accumulate technology but to use it to empower and monetize.
Viswanathan also suggests marketers should master attribution to the best of their ability to understand the interactions. He said it will be more important to stand out as signals become more complicated because it's no longer a one-way communication. Products like Google, Facebook M, Siri, Amazon Echo, and Bing Cortana have changed that perception. The conversational tone also changed the keyword length of the query.