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Think With Google: Why Voice Assistants Are Resonating With Baby Boomers

Even brands that cater to older demographics can benefit from developing a voice strategy.

If you think voice-activated speakers are the province of the young, think again: Over a third of consumers (37 percent) of consumers 50 or older say they use a voice-assistant — and the technology is resonating with Baby Boomers in notable ways, according to new research from Think With Google.

Part of the appeal? Once its set up, a voice-activated speaker like Amazon Echo or Google Home isn’t something that requires daily touch screen interaction like a smart watch — an interface that older demographics may still find challenging. Instead, users can issue commands and ask questions via voice — proven to be cognitively simpler than text/swipe — and do so only when they actually need something.

Per a blog post from TWG, “it becomes a device that isn’t a device anymore,” one Boomer surveyed said. “It’s an entity in your life that’s always behind the scenes for things you need.”

Baby Boomers are also asking an increasing number of questions related to health and safety — and “51 percent of those 55 years old and over said a top reason for using their voice-activated speaker is ‘it empowers me to instantly get answers and information.'”

Every Brand Needs A Voice Strategy

What does growing voice-activated assistant usage in this demographic mean for marketers? First, that even brands who may think that the voice-first revolution isn’t directly impacting them because they cater to older customers need to think about a voice strategy now.

Second, across demographic lines, the trend towards an increased willingness to make both searches and purchases via voice means that marketers need to prioritize ranking in the kind of queries users most commonly make — as well as thinking about how to become a voice assistant’s preferred answer.

Essentially, marketers need to make sure they know exactly what their customers are asking for — knowing the intent behind it, and then making sure they have content on their site that specifically addresses and answers it in order to rank in these search results.

How can marketers do this? Read more here: Geo 101: What Are Intelligent Assistants?

Hilton’s Melissa Walner: To Rank In Voice Search Results, Craft Content That Answers Specific Questions