Voice-based marketing is set to receive a major push in India as marketers hope to net new, vernacular language-speaking digital consumers, and as Amazon adds a Hindi voice model to its developer kit.

India already has about 500 million people on the internet today and in the next three to four years, another 300-400 million people will join in, which is expected to lead to a jump in digital advertising expenditure.

As a result, TechCrunch reported, Amazon has begun its push into India's voice space with the addition of Hindi to its Alexa Skills Kit. The language is spoken by just over half of the country's population. 

However, many new users won’t necessarily speak Hindi or English, so there will also be a rise in advertising in regional languages on digital.

Speaking at the recent Zee Melt conference in Mumbai, Mohit Kapoor, vice president/group alliance & advertising at mobile network operator Reliance Jio, noted how voice has developed in China and argued that India has much to learn from that country. (For more, read WARC’s report: India’s future is voice, but cracking the language code will be key.)

“India has many more languages, so the first set of people you will impact is those who need language assistance and there is scale there,” he said.

And while the pace of growth in voice technology has been slow, he stated that Reliance Jio is determined to play its part in spurring mass adoption (the company currently has more than 300 million users in India, split between feature phone and smartphone users).

“We have a voice assistant on the feature phone and are working on creating video bots for the smartphone,” he reported.

“In fact, we are going further on that and doing fibre-to-home as we believe voice will be even more important in homes and in offices,” he added.

Backing for that view of the potential for voice came from Pankaj Singh Parihar, vice president and digital marketing head at consumer goods company Godrej Consumer Products.

He believes that voice will be a game changer for both users as well as marketers – the only issue is about how much time it is going to take to happen.

“I think it is going to take a couple of years to reach a certain scale,” he said. “At Godrej we are working towards creating certain assets for a few of our product categories, we are trying to be future-ready.”

Sourced from WARC