Big Voice is Here: The Contact.io Dispatch

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In a digital age, voice calls continue to be an under-recognized form of business lead. And as we examined in a recent report, this area of call commerce is advancing quickly and in parallel with the rise of AI.

All of this was evident at this week’s Contact.io conference. Not only does call commerce have its own conference, but it attracts a cross-section of the voice tech, marketing and enterprise software worlds.

This trifecta is represented by Invoca, whose recently minted CEO Gregg Johnson comes from Salesforce. As his former employer moves into areas like marketing (Marketing Cloud), call analytics becomes a key component.

This includes the ability for marketers to optimize ad campaigns to drive incoming phone leads. And for call centers to take a data-informed approach to route calls and train reps in ways that boost close rates.

Invoca is also placing chips in social media, such as Facebook’s offline attribution. It’s now Facebook’s call analytics partner to measure offline activity — in this case calls — resulting from Facebook ads and pages.

Speaking of social, a panel I moderated focused on where calls come from. Once ruled by search, it’s now a varied set of channels driven by shifting tech and millennial behavior, including social and messaging apps.

But the macro takeaway goes back to AI. As Marchex continues to show through tools like Call DNA, “big data” is colliding with voice. The result is Big voice: the deep contextual analysis of voice content.

And it won’t stop with phone calls. VoiceBase’s Jay Blazensky asserts that the opportunity reaches into any media that has an audio track. That’s everything from YouTube videos to podcasts to academic lectures.

And of course all of this is accelerated by the advancements in speech processing elsewhere. As the “personal assistant app wars” rage on, AI advancements will spin off and benefit call commerce and big voice.

The 180 year-old technology that is the phone call is sexy once again.

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