Voice Activated Personal Assistant to flavour 2012 internet marketing trends

Internet marketing will take another swift turn this year, with the rise in popularity of voice activated Apple app Siri.

Siri, which is a new app on the iPhone 4S, is set to quickly gain momentum this year as users discover the convenience of an app that acts entirely on voice command.

The great thing about Siri is you talk to it just like you would a normal person. So, you might say ‘please phone John and tell him I am running late’, or ‘where is the nearest petrol station?’  The phone then answers the request the way a personal assistant would.

Because Siri searches the web using location services to give users information and the best options based on the request and location, I feel that an app like Siri rising in popularity has the potential to remould internet marketing and the way businesses use it today.

My instinct is that businesses will need to ensure they are correctly listed on location services and on review sites such as Yelp, as these are the sources that Siri will be searching for the responses to user commands.

Siri also utilises online ‘answer-engine’ Wolfram Alpha that answers factual queries directly by computing the answer from structured data, rather than providing a list of documents or web pages that might contain the answer as a search engine might.

This indicates to me that businesses who have been putting a lot of energy into SEO and Google AdWords over the past few years may need to look at these other sources that Siri uses so they don’t miss out on potential clients who may find them in this manner. 

 2012 is also likely to be the year that mobile websites become standard.

Most businesses don’t have one because they don’t realise that mobile websites may well be their most important marketing tool, due to their extremely high conversion rate. When people search for information on a business on their mobile, they are likely to be out of their home or office and in a position to do business immediately, rather than just browsing.

Mobile websites are simplified versions of a website that contain the necessary information in a format suitable for a mobile phone, eliminating the need for scrolling to get a complete page view.

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