Siri, tell me about “Voice-Controlled Search Engines and SEO”

It was fun playing around with Siri. As an experiment, Siri_Screenshot.pngI tweaked my question on finding activities around Atlanta that are good for kids and here are the findings.

Note how the search results are different for the same question asked but the way it has been structured is slightly different. The moment I did a voice search with “around Atlanta” the search result was more generic and the first four results didn’t even have Atlanta in its result. This is probably because of the way the voice – search results content has been developed, which is probably more optimized for “in Atlanta” than “around Atlanta”. Atlanta has metro- Atlanta area and suburbs and thus it is not uncommon for residents to search for things and events around Atlanta. The take away from this experiment was that brands need to adopt and implement very strategically planned Voice- Search optimized content that would rank high in voice- search results – relevant to the searches conducted by a consumer.

Voice Search Engine Marketing is as critical today as the traditional SEM. Many companies launched their voice-search  assistants almost simultaneously, and the adoption rate of these assistants were pretty fast. A 2015 study by MindMeld found that Siri had the highest number of users as the primary voice assistant followed by OK Google.However, I still remember when Siri landed up with search results which had no relevance to the original search made. There was an urgent need of accuracy fix in voice search results. According to an article in C-Net (2014), Google Now had an accuracy of 86% for all questions answered that it heard correctly, while Siri scored an 84%  – which was a big improvement since most of these assistants had an accuracy that was hovering around 70% around 2010. And today Siri enjoys an accuracy of 95% (the highest among its competitors), while Google Now an impactful improvement in search result accuracy that stood at 92%.

Source : Search Engine Land.

Voice- Search engine has come a long way in a very short period of time and for marketers -there is no choice other than adopting it at the earliest.If a marketer hopes to draw traffic based on information that’s within the public domain there is  a need for a very focused and sustained strategy. In a study conducted by Stone Temple Consulting, it was found that of the 850,000 search queries Google supplied direct answers to 42,160 of them using “public domain information,”. With the increased “direct answers” expectation in the search result, a marketer has the daunting task of continuous optimization of their content for voice- search to receive the desired effects.


How Social Media could kill Consumer Relationship.

Yes. There is no denying that social media is building a level of consumer relationship that would have been unimaginable. Relationships are real time, personable, and in most cases extremely engaging.

Source: Adweek

Social media is transforming CRM, with increasing expectation from brands to be more involved and responsive. One in four Facebook and Twitter users feel brands should respond to their complaints in social media in an hour! With this level of engagement, it is not impossible for social media to actually kill a brand’s relationship with its consumer. Here’s how –

Lack of synchronized social media presence : Consider this. You have one brand under one parent company but have multiple social accounts in multiple social networks. There are high chances you will miss conversations. Thus it is important to synchronize teams with social media presence, with proper assignment of teams to handle the different categories of customer relationship and customer service.

Enhanced Social Media Management Process : There will be different levels of consumer involvement or complaints. An organization should have a structure and process that does not delay the responses. Teams that are assigned to manage different categories should also have a seamless response management approval process.

Integrating CRM system with Social Media : Imagine if a customer who has a complaint on social media, and the social media team doesn’t have a system to track if this customer is one-time or a regular customer? 66% of social media users expect same day response to their inquiries, thus integrating social media platform with CRM system is almost unavoidable if you want to be able to be able to link consumer social profile with consumer information, to continue to build that relationship with the loyal customer who is also on social media and is engaging with you.

Lack of Real-time engagement during a crisis : This one can be the ultimate suicide for any brand when it comes to customer relationship management. The Home Depot’s “closed-door crisis management” during its security breach did not help the brand. There was no engagement on social media in real – time which could have been a huge opportunity for The Home Depot to address its customers directly.

A Hootsuite report states that only 36% of consumer who sent an inquiry through social media reported having their issue resolved quickly. Deloitte maps the customer journey very interestingly where (for most consumer product category) the following are the key milestones in their journey, and where social media engagement could thus play a huge role in the final decision.

  • Finding Inspiration
  • Browsing and Research
  • Selection and Validation


Thus there is no way a brand could afford to miss any possible gaps that have the potential to kill the brand just because of  lack of a proper social media management strategy.

Privacy and Security in IoT environment. How can marketers address and respect consumer concerns?

While discussing IoT and its possibilities of adding value to businesses, one major concern that was highlighted was consumer privacy and concern. Almost 44% of all Americans are concerned about their personal information getting stolen from their smart homes that would lead them to be hesitant to buy smart devices. It estimated that that less than 10, 000 household can generate 150 million discrete data points every day according to a Federal Trade Commission report – “Internet of Things: Privacy & Security in a Connected World”. An AT&T’s Cybersecurity Insights Report that surveyed 5000 enterprises found that only 10% of the 85% enterprises who are in the process of deploying IoT devices are confident that they could provide security against hackers.

With such alarming scenarios, it becomes extremely critical for marketers to respect privacy and security concerns of consumers while using data to develop strategies, as well as address the concerns in those strategies. While there is no way a company can prevent 100% prevention from a security or privacy breach in IoT environments, but what companies can do is to educate and prepare customers as much as possible to mitigate risk.

Source : TRUSTe


A responsible marketer could include this as a crucial part of their IMC strategy by including various initiatives to reach out to consumers –

  • Determine Objectives of Data Collection : While marketers can be super motivated and excited about data, it is almost mandatory to ensure that data be collected with an objective in mind. Let’s face it – we do not need all the data. If a marketer has clarity on the marketing objective, followed by identifying specific requirements of data, and avoid data collection that has no relevance to the objective, there is a high possibility, the marketer is contributing in safeguarding a consumer’s personal data. 87% of consumers (Source :TRUSTe) are concerned about the type of information collected through their smart device – thus making it important to keep data collection relevant.
  • Content Marketing Initiatives: Develop and share detailed tips and guidelines, from experts (hackers, programmers, developers) to prevent security and privacy breaches. These content may be disseminated through various channels regularly irrespective of whether a breach has occurred or not.88% of consumers want to control the data being collected from their device thus educating consumers about the existence, and the importance of opt-in culture is also very valuable.
  • Social Media Engagement : Engaging consumers on social media, and educating them on security and privacy breaches, and actions to be taken on real time can provide a sense of trust and confidence about the brand among consumers.With 85% of consumers wanting to understand more about data being collected, their brand trust and loyalty would me more towards the company that takes initiatives to educate them.
  • Paid messaging on IoT environment concerns : Nothing works like educating consumers – existing and potential. Not only they value the brand as an expert, but there is a sense of confidence and trust built as well. Billboards, advertisements, sponsorships in areas of IoT environment privacy and security are some of the great ways marketers can educate consumers about the brand.

The more a marketer goes to the root of the IoT threats and concerns and understands consumer anxiety about IoT adoption through devices and solutions, the better equipped they would get to address them.