Voice technology is fast becoming a part of our everyday lives. What was once only imaginable in movies like Her, Iron Man and Star Wars is fast becoming reality. In fact, according to Google, 20% of mobile searches on Android are done through voice and Comscore forecasts 50% of all searches will be done through voice by 2020.

This trend has been perpetuated by players like Amazon and Google who have launched devices dedicated specifically to voice. So how do marketers take advantage of this technology and make sure that the experience elevates brand affiliation?

Burger King is an example of a brand that has tried to jump on the voice bandwagon and failed as it did not assess all the possible implications. Instead of being commended for being one of the first brands to do something with new technology, it’s now associated with words such as “rat meat” and “toenail clippings” as users amended the brand’s Wikipedia entry that was used as an information source for the campaign. This is where algorithms play an vital part as they can sometimes present some rather sensationalist facts, thanks to input from the general public.

A recent study conducted by Mindshare and JWT shows that voice assistants are set to become more intelligent and they expect there to be more opportunity for “100%” voice interactions. In future, they have predicted that booking a holiday, as an example, could be achieved through a series of back-and-forth questions. An early example of this comes via the Johnnie Walker Skill for Alexa, which poses questions about flavour preferences and price to deliver the perfect whisky recommendation for users.

This is why algorithm optimisation will become key to the successful deployment of voice applications, as voice assistants become powerful gatekeepers to the consumer. Much like SEO, algorithm optimisation will enable marketers to affect the likelihood of the voice assistant recommending their brand. Understanding the criteria through which assistants will surface recommendations will be vital to avoid a similar situation as Burger King.

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