Let’s start this post by getting out of the way the obvious: AI is changing the experience of digital and user. Whether it’s automation that supports business processes, flexibility that knows who you are and what you want, or chatbots that take care of your users when you can’t, AI is a game changer. That’s exactly what we’re going to talk about, as it happens. Well, we’re not going to talk about automation, customization, or chatbots. Instead, we’re going to focus on another facet of AI that makes a big splash as well. If you haven’t already figured it out by reading the very title of this post (which you’re probably doing right now), today’s discussion revolves around Alexa and Siri’s likes and how virtual assistants affect the customer experience.
The Rise of Intelligent Digital Assistants: Marketing in the Age of Alexa and Siri Many of us were introduced to the wonder of the digital assistant when the world went mobile. The truth is, back then we didn’t really see them as utilitarian. No, most of the time we played with them and had our fun. Then things were changing. We realized that we could do more with them than ask for jokes; we realized that as digital assistants we could use them literally. That was then; their usefulness has only increased in the years since. We can do so much with them today that there are literally endless possibilities. And a myriad of predictions about what the world will be with them come from these possibilities. More specifically, what will look like the marketing world.
And so for today we come to our main topic: top 5 digital assistant predictions and their effect on marketing.
1. Nearly 8 trillion digital voice assistants will be in use by 2023
Yes, you read that right? an incredible 8 billion digital assistants are predicted to be in use by 2023, reflecting an annual compound growth rate of over 25%. It’s not hard to imagine why this is with the amount of help we get from these AI-backed assistants. After all, if, thanks to these digital assistants, we can control our appliances, search and do A LOT more with our voices, it makes sense that more and more of us will start using them each year.
This indicates, as today’s marketers (hopefully) already realize, that big changes are coming to almost all marketing efforts. Whether you’re putting ads or trying to raise your online ratings, the rise of digital assistants leads to things like optimizing voice search, which is already a must-have tool for top digital marketing companies that have been smart enough to change over time and add it to their arsenal.
2. By 2020, 30% of Web browsing sessions will be completed without a screen
Leading off the previous forecast is this one, which states that by 2020, nearly a third of online browsing sessions will take place without a computer. Wait a second, it doesn’t seem okay, do you? How can we browse without a screen on the internet? Simple ? because searching doesn’t mean looking at anything; it’s more like being perused. That’s why we’re surfing the internet every time we ask Siri to guide us to the nearest coffee shop, or Alexa what the latest movies are.
As it happens, one of the biggest impacts brought by digital assistants is right there. By eliminating the need to use our hands or eyes to browse, we are opening the door to vocal interactions that can do the same even when the former is inadvisable, such as driving or crossing a busy street. As far as advertising is concerned, it means getting into the mind of your client to find out how they will use this software in their daily lives, which you can use to maintain your tactics.
3. By 2020, the average person will have more talks with Bots than with their spouse
As the technology behind smart digital assistants is improving, it makes sense that as it does, we will use them more. And if we begin using them often, it makes sense to talk to them more often than our spouses at some point. For some, it might not be a happy thought, but it is the truth. Look at it this way, realistically, today’s average worker spends most of his time without his spouse (sleeping doesn’t count). Maybe it’s because they’re working or doing who knows what, more people than their partner are spending more time on their mobile. And as we’ve just seen from the forecasts above, they’re going to use more digital assistants as they do that. It’s your job as a marketer to figure out how to capitalize on it and get the most out of it.
4. Voice shopping will increase by 2022 to $40 trillion
Jumping to $40 billion in voice shopping by 2022? Now that’s a forecast that most marketers and business owners can back up, especially considering that today’s leap will be $2 billion. It’s really beautiful, isn’t it? Back in the early 2010s, we had digital assistants like Siri, but we weren’t shopping with them. Today, things are very different. With the proliferation of other personalities such as Alexa and the Google Assistant coming with their own “skills” and “actions,” we’re seeing a GREAT jump in their abilities, which just happens to include buying this or that. In other words, digital assistants, as a definite big disruptive force in retail, make it easier to do almost everything, including shop.
5. By 2021, 25% of Digital Employees will be using Virtual Employee Assistants (VEAs) everyday.
Finally, the last estimate arising from the growth of smart virtual assistants is that by 2021, 25% of digital staff are projected to hire them weekly, up from a measly 2% today. As Gartner’s Senior Director Annette Jump had to say, “we expect VEAs to be used by a growing number of organizations over the next three years… Companies such as insurance and financial services show a strong interest in internally piloting VEAs. We have also witnessed the use of VAs in IT, customer service and queries of information.