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Woman holding a tablet in front of a smart TV: voice-activated TV

How Voice-Activated TV Talks Back to Advertisers

April 5th, 2017   ||    by Callie Wheeler   ||    No Comments

What does voice-activated TV mean for advertisers? At first thought, your answer might be “nothing.” But, not so fast! Haven’t you been paying attention to the news? Audio is a hot topic: Kellyanne Conway said microwaves can be used to spy on politicians, as the Los Angeles Times reported, while AdAge is clearing up the issue of just how marketers actually use audio recorded from televisions and phones.

Voice-activated devices are part of everyday life for most consumers in 2017. In fact, Campaign reports that one percent of digital integrations today are voice activated, with that number expected to jump to 30 percent by the year 2020. But back to the point: What does this mean for advertisers? It means the “voice” in voice-activated TV is another data point you can use to boost efficiency and personalization—which are key goals of many of the most promising new ad technologies, including automated TV buying platforms.

Personalization Speaks Volumes

Voice data does more than just identify the owner of the voice. A viewer using their Amazon Echo to turn on the TV, choose an app, and load a favorite movie or TV show is probably doing so in a conversational manner. That’s even more likely to happen if the viewer’s not sure what they want to watch but is looking for suggestions.

What if you could partner with Amazon to deliver an ad related to the TV show the viewer chooses? Or a funny ad to someone browsing comedies? Better yet, what if the delivered ad used the viewer’s name? The same concept goes for any account-based voice app, whether it’s tied to the viewer’s phone, media provider, or television.

Similarly, ads can be delivered based on purchase history. The Amazon Echo is tied to the viewer’s Amazon account, where brands could use past purchase data to position their products as content sponsors before programs are shown. A recent AdExchanger article sees future company consolidation and partnerships as a route to a more complete idea of a viewer.

Efficiency: Get to the Point

What else do consumers love? Efficiency. This means advertisers should be thinking about using voice data to make their ads shorter and more effective. Personalization certainly allows for more effective advertising—ads that pack a punch should leave brands more comfortable with shorter run times. But there’s another way to make ads efficient and effective: interaction.

Voice-activated TV means viewers are engaged and eager to get to their programs. They’ve given the command and are clearly present. What if brands played on that engagement and ran ads that allowed viewers to respond vocally? Similar to ads that shorten in length when clicked on or interacted with online, these ads could ensure viewers are engaged while also delivering an effictive experience. And, as with any successful new technology, that means less wasted effort and more enjoyment.

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