Google Home now allows free calls and the announcement is making Target Marketing Editor-in-Chief Thorin McGee’s fortune-telling turban appropriate officewear. McGee predicted a post-text Web, with AI, voice and photo searches leading the way, when Amazon launched Spark in July, a shoppable photo feed.
In other words, consumers typing in queries in search engine boxes is so passé, it’s Vanilla Ice. And under pressure from consumers, Google accurately predicted in March 2016 we would use voice searches and it would need real speech answers to our questions. So now, the search giant is moving toward allowing hands-free searches and subsequent free calls, reports TechCrunch’s Greg Kumparak on Wednesday.
In the article “You Can Now Make Free Phone Calls With Your Google Home,” he writes:
“Say something like, ‘OK, Google: Call the nearest sandwich shop,’ and it’ll connect the dots and help you get your grub.”
As wonderful as this new option is for consumers and how possibly beneficial to marketers it may become, one vendor contacted Target Marketing to say brands need to optimize for this new reality in a way they may not have been considering. The Web offers cookies, right? Those are trackable, right? But how about a post-text Web, huh?
That’s where Mark Sullivan, director of demand generation at call-tracking and analytics provider CallRail says services like his come to marketers’ rescue. If marketers aren’t tracking these inbound calls, they lose insight on what’s working and what’s not in terms of SEO, PPC and even offline marketing efforts, his company’s comment to Target Marketing said.
“With every new device category, from mobile devices to the newer voice assistants, we see the persisting importance of human-to-human voice interactions. During the shift from desktop to mobile devices, we saw the adoption of click-to-call technology and the corresponding explosion of phone calls — which continues to this day. With this recent confirmation of what we predicted, we’re beginning to get a glimpse of how the new voice-based world of Google Home and Amazon’s Echo will drive even more phone calls. The bottom line for businesses that rely on inbound phone calls for new business is that voice interactions aren't going away — just the way we make them is changing. Tracking and attributing these human-to-human interactions is as important as ever for marketers, regardless of what device they come from.”
In a similar big-picture look at the marketing world, the article “The Most Important CMO Trait” that Target Marketing published on Aug. 15 says:
Chris Lyons — President/CRO of Target Marketing Group, publishers of Target Marketing, Total Retail and NonProfitPRO at NAPCO Media — shares his thoughts on the reality the research reflects.
“The fact is that technology and big data are the driving factors in the market today, and are the required skillset for this crop of execs,” he says. “My contention is that once these baseline skills are acquired and part of the basic skillset of marketers for the future there will be a return to great content (copy/offers/etc.) driven by the right message on the right platform at the right time (JIT). Some of that will come from people, but most of it will come from a programmatic approach based on personal and persona-based copy, using AI.”
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
Related story: Google SEO Becoming ‘Real’ Speech