Voice: When Is It Okay To Hear An Ad?

Voice is the new user interface and search tool, but it's also a source of revenue for brands. But the software that makes these hardware assistants function does not always work. Eighty-five percent of respondents to a survey released by Invoca on Thursday said they would turn to typing keywords into an online search if the voice assistant could not produce adequate answers when buying a product or contacting a business.

Invoca surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults that own living room-based voice assistants to better understand customer use and what that means for businesses and marketers. The study found that people use their voice devices often, with some 24% using them two to three times daily, 28% using them four to five times daily, and 33% using them more than five times daily.

During the study, Invoca asked participants what circumstances would be acceptable for hearing an advertisement. Some 30% responded that it would be acceptable if they were asked whether they want to hear the ad before it plays, while 28% said it would be acceptable when they choose the brands they hear ads from; 23%, when ads are connected to brands they like on social networks; 25%, when ads are personalized based on questions they ask often; and 18%, when ads are embedded into answers from the assistant.

People are doing more than turning on and off lights or asking for directions. They are searching for information on health care, booking airline flights, and buying things. Some 73% of consumers with voice assistants have made purchases directly through their device using their voice. About 39% of people said an interaction with a voice assistant influenced a purchase decision in the past month. Of those who have voice assistants, 61% are willing to hear ads on their device in certain circumstances.  

It makes sense that as people become more familiar with using voice assistants, they begin to use them more frequently. The study suggests that 24% make more phone calls to businesses, 35% make more phone calls to family and friends, 40% talk more, 44% use their phone-based voice assistant more, and 58% said they use the assistant to accomplish tasks they once did by typing or swiping.

Voice commands are not the same as voice conversations. Some 82% of people said the context of the conversation is important during communication with businesses, and in-person experiences remain important to cultivate and maintain relationships.


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