Opinion: Listening to toy brands and why Voice is the next frontier for the industry

This week’s industry opinion comes from Joel Davis, the CEO of the ad tech company Might Social and a multi award-winning entrepreneur and international speaker. Davis is an expert on emerging media and marketing platforms. Here, he tells the toy industry about the benefits of having a Voice.

Like every other sector, digital has disrupted and transformed the toy industry. Today, as family viewing attention shifts from TV to multi-screen consumption dominated by videos, thriving toy brands are those who deploy engaging content via social channels.

And now we are on the cusp of further disruption as visual mediums are joined by voice to speed up how consumers search, discover, and share information.

Google claims that voice searches are 30 times more likely to be action queries than text searches. In essence, people want to buy things through their digital assistant. Standard desktop searches, on the other hand, may indicate that people are simply looking at information, while mobile searches and voice searches are more likely to be from people who are trying to do something specific.

When you think about it, Voice makes complete sense. The average human can speak 150 words per minute, but only type 40 words during that time. Voice conveys emotion, tone, and subtleties that text can’t.

From a toy marketer’s perspective, voice enables consumers to re-frame their searches, make them more granular and readily share more context around their query. So, instead of typing in ‘trending toys’, a similar voice query goes into more detail, such as; ‘What is the most popular educational toy for five year olds?’

As voice search continues to gain traction on traditional text queries, the toy sector is likely to see the boundaries between social media, entertainment, communication and marketing blur even further. Toy brands need to grab this golden opportunity to get in closer to their audiences.

Enhancing the consumer experience means being more interactive, engaging and relevant and this requires a greater understanding of what parents and gift givers are searching for. Reframing all marketing platforms to capture voice as well as visual will enable toy brands to better identify what their consumers are really looking for. This will reduce media wastage and enhance the customer experience.

While the top 10 toy companies in the world account for approximately one quarter of total toy sales, these companies are far less dominant in terms of market share compared with many other industries. This is likely due to an attachment to traditional marketing methods.It’s those brands that recognise the need to embrace new models of engagement that are most likely going to lead the way.

The toy sector is all about entertaining, educating and exploring – a perfect combination for this new era of interaction.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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