In a recent thought leadership article written by our very own SVP of Innovation, Duncan Arbour, Gartner Predicted that by 2020 the average person would be having more conversations with virtual bots and assistants that with their spouse. This rise in communicating with robots isn’t surprising by any means. We all have smartphones with this technology built in as well as many people now touting an Amazon Echo or Google Home device in their life.

But as Duncan so nicely lays out the different opportunities for pharma to get more involved and sets us up to follow this emerging trend in 2018, should pharma brands think beyond the traditional voice options and add personality and even choices based on each individuals preference?

Looking outside our group, Emily Tan of MM&M recently reported on this very topic and it provides great insight into what pharma brands can consider in their planning for the opportunity to not only give consumers choices as they jump on the voice bandwagon but also a greater understanding of what the end user (patient, caregiver. Etc.) prefers.

Here are a few highlights from Emily’s article that I found interesting:

·     The least popular type of voice? Alpha Male.

·     There is a strong tendency towards conversational peer type voices

·     We need to be planning for options as the study shows varying preferences from person to person.

Why This Matters:

As we followed this trend in 2017 (Talk To Me), we will continue to watch this trend evolve in 2018. These (what seem like) subtle nuances need to be considered as brand teams move forward in developing tactics using this technology. Many of the consumer brands we use today (think Waze) already allow us to tailor the voice to our liking – why should pharma be any different? What will be interesting to understand is what people within healthcare (caregivers, patients etc.) will prefer and what ultimately helps move the needle. 

About the Author:

As Strategist of Innovation, Drew is charged daily with championing innovative thinking and doing. Drew is part of a global team that leads new innovative ideas that attract different advocates among existing and potential brands that are shared across all agency partners. Drew is backed by over 16 years of brand, sales and marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies such as Progressive and Nationwide Insurance as well as Founder & President of his own healthcare insurance agency for 6 years. Most recently Drew was part of the agency team that launched Briviact for UCB, Foundation Medicine as well as key roles with Eli Lilly Oncology and Johnson & Johnson.