Brands Call For Voice Powered Engagement: Now, Next, Future


Brands Call For Voice Powered Engagement: Now, Next, Future

Major technology inflection points in history show humans slowly being replaced by machines. Now, the age of artificial intelligence has the potential to replace the human mind in many business decision making  contexts, and the impact on the creative industry will be huge.

The powerful combination of AI-driven Voice and Visual Content is set to transform businesses and brands ability to create, connect with the consumer, and convert sales. Brands will win by creating authentic experiences that provide value and utility to people.  

In a Voice panel at the Dentsu Aegis Beach House, which was hosted by Joanna Catalano, CEO, APAC, iProspect, and featured Matt Gee, Head of Digital Transformation, Isobar, UK, Peri Antoniou, New Technology & Media Innovation, Europe, Diageo and Anthony Reeves, Global Executive Director, Amazon, the panellists explored the potential of AI-enabled Voice, Creativity & Commerce and the changes marketers must make today to win the consumers of tomorrow. 

Joanna Catalano of iProspect kicked off the panel with the notion of ‘connected commerce’ as the role of the platform  and ‘conversational commerce’ as the opportunity for a brand to create an dialogue and deepen a relationship with the consumer. Voice is mainstream and happening now, with 41% of adults in the US using voice today and that connected commerce is at the nexus of the next wave of performance marketing.

Matt Gee of Isobar introduced Alexa and demonstrated The Diageo Gin bar - a voice enabled bar experience, which is a voice test and learn initiative to help brands to discover the potential of voice technology enhancing the human experience at the Dentsu Aegis Beach House. As the panel received their specially crafted mocktails, ordered via Alexa and delivered by human (!), they continued the discussion on the intersection of voice and human experience.   

The true potential for Voice lies in creating an fully integrated ecosystem, that interfaces with our natural behaviour. Matt commented, that at Isobar we were interested in taking Alexa out of the home and into the bar environment to see how voice can make the experience better. Voice interaction is built on our human and natural behaviour and test and learn situations such as these investigate where does a human’s acceptance of AI start and stop and that we are just discovering the tipping point.

Peri Antoniou, from Diageo discussed how we are at the inception of an AI explosion and for brands it's important that we understand the role they can play in this space with voice, as it is such an innate way for us to communicate as humans. 

Matt continued, that consumers don't see the difference between commerce & conversation. They care about their relationship with a brand and not the internal infrastructure.The rise of voice has led to an interesting evolution in the craft of writing, from copy to conversation. As an agency we are used to to designing experiences and this is now evolving and we are now having to think about the role of voice in all of our experience design and the merging of the physical and digital space. As our understanding of the role of digital within a human context changes, this is evolving the skill of experience design.  

The panelists discussed if AI is daunting for brands. Peri from Diageo advised that people should not be afraid to fail. Because if you fail you learn what not to do and then you can move onto find the right way, for Diageo, it‘s about how quickly can they can test, how quickly can they can fail and how quickly they can scale. It’s about creating a reason for your consumers to have a repeat service with your brand that is a direct relationship you can build with your consumer. Voice can play a critical role in that relationship.

Matt, continued that as agencies we need to defend the purity of the customer experience and that voice is not siloed. As an interface the role of voice will become integral to the experiences we build. The test and learn this week had shown, that the human behaviour is to try and trip up the technology, because we are trying to understand what is our relationship with AI and machines.

By launching this voice test and learn initiative the goal is help brands to discover the potential of voice technology enhancing the human experience, and ultimately connect search, discovery, brand experience and communication, CRM and operations. Voice as an interface will enable new experiences to generate greater value for both consumers and business. Stay posted for the outputs from the test-and-learn that ran over the week of Cannes!

London, United Kingdom

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