Voice search just became even more ubiquitous — voice interfaces now come as car cigarette lighter plugs. This means billboards and other terrestrial ads need to be ready for increased voice searches from drivers.
So this adds to Google’s optimization for mobile device voice searches, as well as its move toward mobile-first search results. Devices in the home already have consumers making search queries while walking around. Now, they’ll be doing them while driving around. While plug-and-drive voice interfaces pre-date the Roav Bolt, that “affordable aftermarket device by Anker Innovations” landed on The Keyword blog from Google on April 17. By Sunday, the plug-in Roav Bolt was featured in Forbes.
Googler Tomer Amarilio — Product Manager, Google Assistant — writes in the Keyword post “With the Roav Bolt, Use Your Google Assistant Safely When Driving”:
“I spend so much time on the road every day, whether I’m hustling to the office or picking up the kids at school. While I’m driving, it can be very tempting to pull out my phone to check text messages, make phone calls or fumble around to find my favorite podcast.”
Amarilio says the device allows drivers to safely search for directions, be entertained, communicate hands-free and “get things done,” like turning off the lights at home.
What it also does is mean out-of-home advertisers have another avenue of converting their ads, and another marketing method to optimize — voice search. And the results might be best-suited to complete in the car.
Here are a few ideas:
- Apps that allow consumers to order food ahead can highlight which restaurants are coming up and suggest users place orders when they see the signs.
- OOH ads for larger purchases can riff off of the knowledge that drivers are using voice interfaces to activate IoT devices in their homes. For instance, fine furniture retailers can ask, “Do you like what you see when you turn on the lights?”
- Remind them who they’re going home to and ask for donations to pet shelters.
- Sync a doctor’s appointment with their calendars.
You get the idea.
In January, when electronics geeks had checked out new products at CES, a writer at droid-life.com wrote that the advantage of Roav Bolt and its competitors is that they fit into old cars and make them smart devices. They don’t have to be Android compatible, for instance. (But I was surprised to see the Forbes writer from Sunday has a Tesla Model 3. So some owners of newer cars may be interested, too.)
“Here Comes Tesla’s ‘Android Moment’ — and That’s Not a Good Thing” TheStreet wrote in January:
“Alexa has been popping up in all kinds of products, as the consumer electronics industry has fallen in love with it. And, for the first time this year, so have the automakers, as well as their parts suppliers such as Bosch, and the after-market tech vendors like Boss and Alpine.”
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.