Once upon a time the most publicity someone or something could get was by word of mouth — narrative advertising in its embryonic stage. The most powerful tool ancient ‘marketers’ had at their disposal were words. Centuries later tech and digital-savvy advertisers stepped up their game. Now there are ads wherever you go and whatever you do: watching TV, driving home from work, checking your social media, going through emails, searching something in Google or playing games.
The question is — do these ads actually work and do we really buy into a brand’s story it’s trying to convey? Or do we on some intuitive level feel disconnected from the things that are being promoted?
Now imagine this: it’s snowing outside, you are stuck in a traffic jam on your way home from work, listening to your favourite radio station when suddenly you hear an ad. You hear a soft crackling of a fireplace in the background and a soothing voice telling you: “Hey, it’s almost Christmas, imagine the smile on the faces of your kids when they see the presents they’ve always dreamt of — newest Lego kits with 10% discount”. How does it make you feel?
You suddenly remember being a child yourself. This joyous feeling of carelessness, the smell of turkey roasting in an oven and counting hours and minutes till you see presents under the Christmas tree. Then your mind takes you to an early morning when still in your pyjamas you run to the Christmas tree and see a pile of presents underneath. Unwrapping the one with your name on it with the speed of light you find the present of your dreams (whatever that may be).
Coming back to reality but still deeply in nostalgia, you open your phone, go to the Lego website and order one of the newest Lego kits at a discount. The ad did actually work, you are happy, your kids are happy, the brand is happy as well.
Our brains are wired to process any information best through storytelling. People have an eons old background of passing on almost everything aurally — be that a cautionary tale, a myth or simply a recipe. People figured out over thousands of years that to get something better and faster it should be brought together in a story.
Brands exist in the minds and hearts of their customers, and the best way to strike the right cord is, as history teaches us, through communication.
Therefore, the story of your brand (i.e. commercial ad) if presented well (i.e. with the perfect word building and enough emotions) will encourage your customer to take action — to buy your product online or sign up for subscription or put your brand of ice-cream in the shopping cart next time they buy groceries.
But maybe your customer doesn’t have kids or their kids don’t like Lego or they can’t afford Lego even at a discounted price. There is no way you would know. Nor is there a way to make such an ad that would be relevant to all your customers.
What if there was a way out? What if there was a tool that could make audio marketing highly measurable and targeted? What if in addition to applying basic criteria like location, demographics and device, marketers could be confident in the contextual relevance of their ads?
That’s when voice-enabled ads come to play. These ads allow customers to have a real-time emotional dialogue with an ad. What is more, a customer can react to a brand’s call-to-action in various ways: by placing an online order, asking for more information or just ignoring the ad entirely. (see example here: Demo Ads)
No matter how great this technology sounds, for brands to get their story and message across they still need to figure out how their audience engages with the content and what would be more relevant and valuable to them. Hence, marketers need to perform such time-consuming tasks as collecting and analysing data, identifying content opportunities and measuring the success of their ad campaign.
That’s exactly the reason why voice-enabled ads are integrated with artificial intelligence and machine learning which helps to streamline personalisation and optimisation.
The data that direct conversation with a customer provides is indispensable for marketers who are seeking as much context as possible to reach the right audience, tell their brand’s story and enhance brand recognition and loyalty, increase engagement rates and achieve the highest ROI. By understanding consumer needs, expectations and concerns, brands can communicate in relevant and authentic ways. Without such communication, the consumer switches off from a brand — sometimes permanently.
Now let’s get back to that Lego ad our hard-worker heard on the radio. No kids? Not a problem. The next ad he or she would hear would say “Hey, we know you aren’t interested in the Lego kits for kids. What about our new Bugatti Lego kit? We bet you’ve always dreamt about a car like this!” Kids don’t like Lego? No big deal. The ad could say “Hi, have you heard there are seasonal Harry Potter backpacks and watches? Check out Lego online stores to find out more”. And last but not least, if Lego sounds like quite an expensive gift, the offer may sound like this “Hey, only till December 25-th you can purchase new Lego kits in instalments. How does it sound?” No matter what a customer says, the next ad he or she receives will make sense to them.
Voice-enabled ads aren’t nascent — the future is now. Brands exist in the minds and hearts of their customers, and the best way to strike the right cord is, as history teaches us, through communication. The true power of voice-enabled ads lies not in their ability to deliver valuable analytics, but in using these analytics to upgrade a brand’s storytelling game and establish meaningful relations with its customers.