Yes, the topic is controversial. But researchers from Stanford School of Business (USA) have reached the conclusion that audio can influence the behavior of those who receive a message more than text. The survey conducted by postgraduates sought to understand whether people act in the same way to auditory and visual information.
The researchers conducted a series of studies in which the same information was presented to participants in different ways, including computer-generated audio, similar to that of a virtual assistant. The scientists found that, in general, auditory recommendations of product ads are more influential than textual ones.
Those responsible for the research reported that it is difficult to identify why this is so. They believe that the power of auditory information has to do with its ephemeral nature: “When something disappears, it creates a kind of urgency to respond.”, Chris Bechler, professor at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, to Stanford’s page.
The findings could have important implications for how companies try to reach customers. While many brands spend a lot to place their products at the top of visual Google search results, Mariadassou says, it might be worthwhile to focus on auditory search results, which can be transmitted via a Google Home or an Alexa speaker.
Yet, scientists claim that there are limitations to these findings since the messages used in the experiments were short and simple. In other words, longer and more complex speech may not carry the same weight. Furthermore, the format in which the message is sent is only one of the factors that drive decision-making.
Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business