Research company Kantar is partnering with Pulse Labs, which provides measurement, analytics, and testing tools for marketers, to better understand the “what” and “why” of consumer smart speaker usage and the evolution of smart home technology.
Kantar’s data and insights products include social media monitoring, advertising spending and effectiveness, consumer and shopper behavior and public opinion. Pulse Labs maintains an opt-in panel of voice activated assistant users from which it gathers usage data to help improve speech recognition technology.
The alliance will combine Kantar’s research and analytics capabilities with Pulse Labs’ voice behavioral data to improve the utility of voice skills and apps, while making it possible for brands to see where they should play on the new platforms.
The two companies say they will integrate Kantar’s research into user consumption and media habits along with its ad expenditure and effectiveness data, with Pulse Labs’ voice behavioral, voice app effectiveness, platform adoption and trial data. The goal is to provide platforms, hardware makers, and brands with a more granular look into how consumers are using voice so that products can better match up with consumer needs, while helping brands understand how to better engage with users of smart speakers.
The initiative comes as smart speaker adoption is growing rapidly, up 78% between 2017 and 2019, with adoption expected to double over the next four years. Ad spend on smart speakers is forecast to reach $483 Million by 2021.
Beyond just helping improve voice assistant technology through better speech recognition, Pulse Labs CEO Abhishek Suthan says the goal is to better understand how consumers want to use these platforms. “Kantar’s expertise in the motivation behind the behavior our panel reports, will enable insights into usage that can ensure voice-activated assistants continue to evolve into the tool that consumers want,” he said.
“Conversational AI is already being adopted by people on their phones and in their homes, and this is changing how consumers interact with companies and their products,” Kantar Chief Digital Officer Nick Nyhan said. “Our partnership with Pulse Labs will enable us to answer important timely questions on not just what consumers are doing on the platforms, but also why or why not.”