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“Okay Google” – are you ready to tell us everything?

Tuesday 8th May

Now that smartphones incorporate artificial intelligence, which uses a range of inputs to customise applications to the user, voice commands are becoming much more frequent in daily life. This has already started to transform search behaviour that is slowly but steadily migrating from typing in keywords to asking questions to virtual assistants.

Google research shows that our state of mind has an impact on the perceived speed of search – a quarter of respondents felt search was too slow when sitting down and this figure almost doubled when they were on the move. Voice search has been proven to be faster than text search in surfacing solutions, so brands working with voice already have a competitive advantage in delivering a positive customer experience.

According to Deloitte research, 54% of 16-75 year olds who use a virtual assistant do so to search for general information. Google’s latest consumer research shows that people who started using voice in the last six months are the most frequent voice adopters, with 42% using it daily. Some 45% of those quizzed for the research say they perceive voice search as the future search tool, and 75% are searching more often now that they can use mobile voice search.

This shows that people will be adopting more and more voice assistants as they will be faster at processing your questions, as well as AI developing to become more efficient.


There are a lot of unanswered questions for marketers. I have summed up three that I wonder most about:


1. How voice search data vs. typed search data will be reflected in AdWords?

Currently Google AdWords doesn’t provide an opportunity to differentiate between this data, meaning that marketers can’t make conclusive decisions of how Paid Search landscape is changing. What type of questions are people asking? Are they long or short searches? How different are these questions?


2. How do you serve an ad to someone who isn’t looking at a screen?

Without human mediated searches on Google there is no pay – per – click. There are no desktop or mobile devices where we can glance at banners or ad headlines to make decisions. What will be the new ways of monetising the content? Will we ever see the time when traditional on screen PPC dies off?

It’s hard to imagine that whilst we’re speaking to our home assistant, suddenly a voice ad will interrupt to sell something.  Google will have to find a more organic part of the voice search experience. For example, Amazon launched a restrictive ad policy that bans third party ads from Alexa voice apps. This means that ad networks will need to adapt to tech giant policies.


3. What will be the new measurement KPIs to work?

The whole new advertising era is coming (actually, it is happening now) and whilst clearly more devices will be voice-enabled, marketers will need to find new KPIs and ways of measuring the success of their campaigns to make informed decisions about marketing efforts.


I think interesting times are coming and even now we’re experiencing a new wave of revolution where new marketing disciplines will emerge and brand advertising will be taken to a whole new level of existence that is beyond screen and touch interaction.

New senses will be activated and for brands it will be a live or die situation as tech capabilities and adaptability will define brand success. It won’t be survival of the fittest as Herbert Spencer said in in Principles of Sociology, but rather brands that can adapt to tech advancements and know how to apply advertising to the new behaviours that will become successful.

Article Written by

Elena Septelica

Biddable Director, Total Media

Elena is Biddable Director at Total Media. She is passionate about human behaviour and development of digital marketing strategies that can influence it.

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