As we shared in last week’s Insight, the development of Voice Tech and Voice Marketing is rapidly going to disrupt businesses and change how companies connect with customers. As humans, we will experience a lot less touch and a lot more voice-enabled search and customer experience engagements. In order for your organization to avoid being left in the dust, you will need an integrated Voice Marketing Strategy. One key pillar of that strategy will be the Audio Identity for your organization.
At the Voice Summit, we had the opportunity to hear directly from Amazon’s Chief Evangelist for Alexa about how Amazon developed an Audio Identity strategy for their Echo device. Amazon carefully crafted the voice that became known as Alexa. Early in their marketing of the Amazon Echo, Amazon’s brand marketing strategy was focused on building awareness of the device name. However, they soon learned that “Alexa” became the brand, not just the voice.
Those of you old enough will remember how AOL won hearts and minds with the gentleman’s voice who said “Welcome…You’ve Got Mail” upon logging in. Branded mascots, theme songs, and design styles have been used effectively by brands for decades. Your Audio ID strategy and the voice you decide to represent your brand or business must be strategically defined and created. The voice of your Audio Identity should be used across all content, podcasts, voice-responsive customer service centers, and anywhere else your brand will be heard.
This is the future we imagine for customer engagement, which will be enabled by Voice Tech and by Artificial Intelligence – Imagine you just won the lottery and decide to buy a luxury sports car. Before you can drive it off the lot, you need insurance. So, you do a voice search for the best insurance company for luxury sports cars in New York City. Your first point of contact will be an artificial voice. You may get Flo from Progressive, or you may get an assuring, fatherly Audio ID voice of another competitive insurer responding with a message that they specialize in luxury sports cars. The bottom line? The most relevant voice and the most relevant message will win.
Developing a persona for voice marketing is not only important, it’s exciting. After all, you are essentially giving birth to a new entity: your brand’s Audio ID. What will he or she sound like? What’s their personality? What role will they play in the lives of your customers? If they were real, what would they look like? What would they do for fun? Where would they vacation?
When developing a persona for your Audio ID, it’s important that it is heavily influenced by two other personas: your brand’s persona and your customers’ personas.
If you’ve never created your brand persona or your ideal customer persona(s), there are two simple questions you need to ask yourself.
Question #1: Who are you? Do you have a corporate brand positioning and identity strategy that includes your brand personality as expressed by cultural characteristics, values, attitudes, and likeable human traits, including your points of view, voice, and tonality?
Question #2: Who is your most important customer? Do you know your most important customer segments? Not just their demographics, but their behavioral characteristics as revealed by data and tracked by engagement with your brand?
If you and your team can confidentially answer those two questions, congratulations! (If you can’t, we can help you). You can use this information to start (or refine) your brand’s and customers’ personas that will drive the development of your Audio Identity. Many will want to use the final Audio ID persona to cast for an actor’s voice, while others may mix that with computer-enhanced voice characteristics. Now is the time to explore this and to stake out your Audio ID territory. The first to market in your industry will have a huge advantage – so don’t delay or fall behind. Your company’s time is now.
August 7, 2018
Written by Chris Sullivan
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