Technology

Voice Search: Digital Assistants Changing the Internet

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According to one U.S.-based online analytics company, half of all searches will be verbal requests by 2020. Voice search is not something people only use on mobile phones and tablets. Windows 10 users can speak to Cortana rather than opening a web browser. Amazon’s Echo sits in the room and listens to everything you say. Voice search is no longer just mobile-based.

How Voice Search Is Changing the Internet

Even Google had to react to voice searches. The fact is, we word things differently when speaking, as opposed to typing in a search bar. Search has to be able to respond to complete sentences and fully formed questions. No one types, “What is the best Italian restaurant near me?” but that’s exactly how we ask Siri or Google.

On the plus side, voice search gives us a glimpse into the mind of the searcher. Is this simple research, or is the person who’s speaking ready to make a purchase right now? The type of question gives away the answer. Questions that begin with what, who, or how are usually informational. For example:

  • Who is the Executive Chef at The Forge?
  • How much horsepower does the 2016 Nissan Maxima have?

These individuals are still trying to make a decision. But what if someone asks:

  • When does The Forge open for dinner?
  • Where can I buy a 2016 Nissan Maxima near me?

When and where questions generally indicate that someone is ready to make a purchase. Armed with this knowledge, how can you successfully market to voice searchers?

  • Natural Content – Voice searches are spoken naturally, so naturally written content is more likely to rank higher in a search engine. “Where is the best donut shop in town?” is not only easier to fit into your content—it is probably not the most contested search term.
  • Discern Intent – Send who, what, and how searches to your authoritative content to build confidence in your brand. Send when and where searches to your sales copy to close the deal.
  • Website Structure – Make sure it easy for searches to crawl and understand your website. The easier it is for Google to look at what you have, the more likely you are to appear as a top result for a long-tail keyword like an entire spoken sentence or question.

The Tech Industry Is Still Struggling With Gender Roles

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Sexism is still rampant in the workplace, and it may show up in the tech industry even more dramatically than in some other fields of work. Why is the tech industry such a boys club? What role do gender stereotypes play? Do women even want these jobs? It is clear that a substantial distinction still exists between men and women in the workplace when it comes to jobs involving technology.

Gender Perception

The lack of women in the tech workplace probably goes back to childhood. Just like you don’t hand Barbie dolls to your boys, few parents encourage young girls to become computer programmers or to work in technology in general. The fact is that most people perceive the industry as being better suited to how the male mind works (more logical than emotional).

What Do Researchers Say?

A UK periodical conducted a survey of individuals who work in the tech industry. More than half were convinced that women will get paid less than men for the same job. Of course, you may argue that this occurs in other industries as well. The survey also determined that nearly three-quarters of both women and men perceive the tech industry as being sexist.

How Do Women Feel About Tech Jobs?

An interesting study followed the career path of university students who got jobs in the tech industry after graduation. Surprisingly, nearly a third of the men in the study eventually left their tech jobs to find other kinds of work. However, more than half of women left tech-heavy work to seek out other professions. Is it possible that this study is reporting an interesting truth – that most women don’t want to be in the tech industry anyway?

Regardless of the whys or wherefores, the fact is that the tech industry is still struggling with gender roles because it is seriously slanted in the direction of males, at least for the time being. Time will determine if women care enough to seek out better positions in the industry for future generations or if the stereotypes will prevail.

How Will Wearable Technology Alter the Digital Marketing Arena?

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Wearables, or wearable technology, are being heralded as the future of technology. No one wants to be without his or her smart devices, so why not make them part of our wardrobe? It is an elegant solution, and one that will change the world of digital marketing for certain. What should we expect, as wearable devices become more commonplace? Here are four effects to watch out for over the next couple of years.

Mobile Applications. Wearables need apps to connect them to other devices which allow us to access the data. Some devices can run the apps themselves such as the Apple Watch. Either way, you can expect a glut of them to hit the market once such wearable products price drop enough to become mainstream.

Metrics. We love analyzing data. At first we developed metrics for our websites, email campaigns, and PPC marketing. Then metrics went mobile. You can bet there will be plenty of ways to track usage of wearable devices and gather data on your customers.

Geo-Tagged Advertising. We love to use mobile devices to send a coupon to consumers as they pass our brick and mortar stores. Now we can see when they approach even more easily when they are wearing a smart device on their person at all times. Tracking location and buying habits will be a great tool for drawing consumers in rather than letting them walk on by.

Social Media Implications. Every time a new device is developed, people use it to connect to their social networking accounts. You can bet people will expect the same from wearable devices. Whether it is the ability to check your Twitter from a watch or a shirt that automatically updates your Facebook status when you break a record on your morning jog, expect social media to be impacted heavily by wearable devices.

Commercial Drone Industry

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Commercial Drone Industry: Will The Skies Be Filled With Drones?

Drones are probably most associated in people’s minds with military craft. Recently, the United States military spent approximately $3 billion on drones, in a single year. One military drone can be put together by hand and launched in under a minute and a half. It’s a booming industry and not only because of the military. The commercial drone industry is making serious strides, as manufacturers continue to make drones lighter and easier to launch.

Manufacturers are envisioning and developing far more applications than the obvious military uses. Drones are expected to be used in agriculture, in order to get an aerial view of crops. They have also been recommended for search and rescue operations, such as trying to spot the exact location of a lost hiker or capsized boat.

Early predictions expect drones to be a huge boon to the US economy. Over the next ten years, the industry may create 100,000 new jobs, more than a third of which would be for blue collar workers. The main problem is that the FAA hasn’t yet legalized drone usage for commercial purposes. A hobbyist can fly a remote control plane in his backyard and the military can use one to scope out a domestic situation. However, the US is falling behind other nations in the commercial drone sector, and it could be costing the country as much as $10 billion per year.

That’s not stopping manufacturers from getting prepped. As soon as the FAA creates some regulations and says ‘Go!’ the race will be on. There is even work begin done on precision flying drones that can maneuver around the inside of a home.

The commercial drone industry is flying high. It won’t be long now before unmanned flying vehicles are just a part of everyday life.

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