What Voice-Powered Search Means for Consumers and Brands

Mimics human thinking

Whether we realize it or not, search is embedded in our daily activities—it’s on mobile, cloud-connected game consoles and, increasingly, on the smart devices that power our homes. Unlimited access to information is transforming not just our lives but also the search experience, which is becoming an intelligence platform powering devices and technology.

Marketers are being increasingly tasked with harnessing the potential of the massive amounts of data generated by an interconnected web of devices, including future technologies like virtual reality headsets. The search industry, with its billions of human interactions per day, is uniquely qualified to help marketers provide personalized experiences to consumers. One of the ways we’re achieving this is through voice search and experiences that mimic human thinking and conversational language.

Our changing relationship with search
Unlike keyword-based searches, voice search lets us express ourselves naturally, using phrasing that matches human speech patterns. Spoken language connects people to what they’re searching for with an immediacy and convenience that text-only search just can’t provide. Because of this, voice-powered search can discern what information the user is seeking with far greater precision. We call this “the humanization of search.”

Here at Microsoft, we’ve found that consumers search consistently—all day and well into the night. And increasingly, those search results are being delivered through a synthetic-but-friendly voice or as a short list within a phone app.

To learn more, check out the full text of “The Humanization of Search”

Search gets smarter and friendlier

With search becoming more embedded into our lives, an unprecedented amount of information about the people who are searching adds up. This accumulated knowledge helps move the search experience from one that provides straightforward answers to one that mimics human thinking—delivering better results based on actual intent and preferences.

Not only does search know more about users—location, past search activity, purchasing habits, likes and dislikes—but it also has access to data sources that provide facts about people, places and entities the user may be searching for. Tapping into this treasure trove of information provides greater detail on what the consumer is likely to be seeking when performing a search. This, in turn, helps give the consumer what he or she wants without explicitly asking.

For marketers, this means there’s higher value experience that gets the searcher that much closer to taking an action.

As search evolves, marketers must evolve, too

The ability to target highly personalized brand messages and content wherever the consumer might be requires harnessing the conversational language of search and evaluating marketing strategies across the board—from keyword targeting to content creation to investment allocation.

In this new era of marketing, it’s possible to see where users are interacting with offline messaging, when and where they are at in a retail store, which device they’re using and whether they’re even in front of a traditional screen. Most importantly, marketers will be able to tie that information back to online user behavior and respond accordingly.

For brands, opportunities to reach consumers with personalized messaging and content are more possible than ever before. The combination of a more human search experience, more places and ways that search is integrated into technology and better data insights will help marketers find the most efficient methods for bringing consumers closer to taking action.

Ultimately, it’s not just about gaining more business or even creating new audiences—it’s about harnessing the promise of the future.

To learn more, download “The Humanization of Search”