Friday, 28 December 2007

Audio tours

We were looking (sorry listening) to Foxtons audio tours with a computer generated speech tour the other day. The initial comments were that the computer generated voice was too monotonous and didn’t really ‘sell’ any of the features of the property. If this was a tour then the guide was missing and if it was a sales pitch, which ultimately is what it ought to be, then how does hearing a list of features help the punter? It also sounded remarkably like Stephen Hawkins. Has he secured these rights by any chance?

So is this just a gimmick or does it have a real place in the marketing mix? The office straw poll was that perhaps the text fed to the computer was too bland in the first place, but the lack of tone variance (we said lack of passion) was a huge hindrance. Naturally this is extremely difficult for a computer to reproduce, but it led to the conclusion that whilst this could be a useful gimmick, the computer voice didn’t do it any favours. Indeed, we could see punters being put off buying after hearing such a drab sales pitch. Perhaps a more genuine and sultry voice would appeal?!

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