270% increase in voice search in India: GroupM India’s Voicebox

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GroupM India on Tuesday launched Voicebox, a comprehensive report highlighting emerging marketing trends in voice tech insights and strategies for brands to find their voice. The report also recommends tactics that brands should follow for better results.

The report states that consumers are shifting focus towards voice with each passing day, influencing consumer behavior to a very large extent. Voice technology has emerged to be the consumer’s go-to preference for almost all mobile activities, be it to order food, get directions, make reservations, book travel, among others.

Rise in voice searches, rapid embracing of virtual assistants and the integration of bots to drive conversational commerce, will change the dynamics in which brands would connect with consumers. In the basic industry landscape, Smart Speaker adoption is growing at a faster rate than any other technology before it. While urban India was an early adopter of voice technology, voice is transforming the way marketing is done in rural India.

According to the report, there are 574 million active mobile internet users and 500 million smartphone users in India. Due to this rapid growth, there has been a 270% increase in voice search in the country. Voice is the next big trend in the digital world.

A user can type close to 40 words but can speak up to 150 words. Voice technology combined with Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Augmented Reality is all set to bring about a makeover to many industries. New trends are focused on customer engagement and delight and use a feedback approach to derive better performance.

Prasanth Kumar, CEO - GroupM South AsiaPrasanth Kumar, CEO – GroupM South Asia, said. “Indian marketers and media planners consider this as a huge and scalable market to tap with the ample opportunities present in this sector. Not only in Urban, but voice is foraying into the rural markets as well. Rural India is progressively turning to voice to get tasks done.

“Marketers must understand various facets of voice. Times are changing and we want to empower marketers with the knowledge that can help them in a long run,” Kumar added.

Voice technology in India has developed along two paths – On one hand, voice technology is reaching every household in urban areas through smart speakers and voice assistants’ ad on the other hand, in the media dark areas i.e., rural regions, voice is reaching consumers through feature phones. While voice technology is used in Urban India for convenience, it is a utility in rural areas.

Tushar Vyas, president – growth and transformation, GroupM South Asia, said, “With the expansion of the digital ecosystem, voice has started portraying its strong position at the forefront of the market. Voice is soon going to be further focused upon, especially in a market ecosystem like India, since the next big chunk of consumers might opt for typing as well as voice.

“With increased rural awareness on voice, consumer companies are focusing their spends on rural markets because of the clear rise in demand. The voice ecosystem has a larger role to play in marketing communications as smart speakers, connected devices ecosystem and AI-driven assistance adoption grows,” Vyas said.