As crazy as it might seem to so many mobile marketers who have keenly watched the rise of data over the past several years, voice is tipped to be the big trend of 2019. Voice…? Yes, it seems it’s “Back to the Future” for mobile next year but should this surprise us? Not really. Wasn’t the cost of data the thing that was holding back us playing mobile’s “B Side”? Data’s not cheap but it has gotten a lot cheaper and the consumer’s consumption of this cellular staple has, consequently, rocketed. As we move towards the last days of 2018, it’s similarly clear that the cost of communicating over mobile networks using our own voices has dropped dramatically. In fact, with over-the-top services like WhatsApp’s voice notes, for instance, that cost is for all intents and purposes, free. So with the dark days of R2.75 per minute GSM voice calls now firmly in the past, why wouldn’t voice be all set for its cellular rebirth? My own feeling is that voice-based communication was always the number one preferred way for humans to get their message across to each other. We’re social animals – we may love the convenience of email and SMS, but we do want that pinnacle of personal contact that is the human voice. Cost killed it for voice in the early days and all the subsequent text-based communication that followed was simply a way of getting around the high cost of cellular. SMS was the band-aid. So it’s nice that voice is back and it’s back in a big way. That’s going to open up a whole plethora of opportunities for clever mobile marketers who are able to capitalize on the consumer’s new-found love affair with voice. Let’s go beyond those automated voice calls selling funeral cover. Let’s make 2019 the year of voice-based innovation in mobile marketing!
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