NEW YORK: It appears that parents and families are the keenest early adopters of smart speakers and voice technology, according to a new study specifically aimed at helping marketers get to grips with the emerging trend.

That’s because voice platforms create shared experiences and make daily routines more manageable and enjoyable, reported Adweek, which discussed the Publicis Media research with the agency’s director of analytics and insight.

“When it comes to smart speakers, it’s families and parents who are driving early adoption and influencing the tech,” said Vanessa Evans.

“Our research has pointed to the importance of leveraging voice to create new family glue, find moments of togetherness and supercharge their routines,” she added.

For its “Rise of the Voice” study, Publicis Media spent four months working with 70 highly engaged voice assistant users in the US and UK, conducted biometric tests on 152 US participants, and also analysed more than 20,000 online reviews of smart speakers.

That led the researchers to conclude that voice experiences extend “a parent’s potential and reach by streamlining the problem-solving process, enabling them to be more responsive and effective in answering the complex demands of children”.

They cited Amazon’s Alexa as the device that is supplanting TV, smartphones and radio as a main source for news, weather, traffic information and calendar updates.

But while users find voice platforms fit well into their daily routines, the research also revealed that they seem uninterested in discovering smart speaker capabilities that they don’t currently use.

As a result, Publicis Media recommended that marketers make discovery options easier and prioritise experiences that easily integrate into or enhance users’ daily routines.

Another challenge for marketers is the finding that users want highly customised experiences from voice technology, yet at the same time they are “reluctant to share information that would enable deeper personalisation”.

“There’s an interesting parallel behind our research where smart speakers have the potential to provide a powerful uplift in brand recall…and thus a massive opportunity for brands,” Evans said.

But, she added, users are “bracing for a brand invasion and are sceptical about how brands might insert themselves in what has become a very personal and intimate device”.

Sourced from Adweek; additional content by WARC staff