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Your Phone Is Listening & How It Affects Businesses

You were just having a casual chat with your friends and you guys randomly talked about hairdryers. The next day, you see hair dryers advertisement being featured as a sponsored post on your Instagram feed. Experienced something similar? You might start to wonder it’s a coincidence, but when it happens a little too often… You start questioning, is your phone actually listening to your everyday conversations?

Well, if you’re late to the party, it is actually not old news that Google is listening to your daily conversations. While Google Assistant only responds when you say ‘Okay, Google’, the microphone actually functions 24/7, hence it records your conversation all day long.

With growing consumerism of products with the use of Alexa and Google Assistant, such as Google Home and Sonos One, you know it’s not just your phone that’s listening. These devices, though it may bring convenience to your life, you need to be aware that they are also recording your daily interactions.

In fact, there are also other mobile applications that uses audio beacons which identifies audio signals in advertisements displayed on your favourite television show, sometimes it will match information with places people visit, thus allowing businesses to better target their ads. Furthermore, with the advancement of technology, cross-device marketing is a common sight. As such, when businesses listen to the conversation your phone records, they can identify potential consumers and first market on your phone. After which, they can progress and start marketing to other of your personal device such as your laptop or tablets. With this, it establishes top-of-mind awareness in consumers about your brand. When consumers constantly see your ad, it sparks interest and curiosity in them and they begin to research about your brand. Hence, this is undeniably a powerful marketing tool for companies.

However, this audio space is still relatively immature and consumers are expressing aversion towards the fact that their phones are constantly listening to their conversations. That’s not to say that businesses should totally ignore this audio space, but rather continue monitoring the situation as things may change especially with the rapid advancement of technology.

Otherwise, companies should continue focusing on using text or display advertisement and remarketing through other various channels to engage their consumers. You may read more about Importance of Omnichannel Marketing & Native Advertising here.