![Why It’s Critical for Marketers to Embrace Voice in 2017](https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1505765052322-75804bb2e5f1?ixlib=rb-0.3.5&q=80&fm=jpg&crop=entropy&cs=tinysrgb&fit=max&ixid=eyJhcHBfaWQiOjExNzczfQ&s=40572c9bf24e4e93152c620d1a5b80c4&w=2000) 2017 is poised to be a turning point for voice. The use of virtual assistants is on the rise, and there’s an explosion in the ways users interact with smartphones and computers. More and more, consumers are choosing to engage with brands through a virtual assistant, voice search or via a phone call. Voice will be the next channel to gain focus in the marketing world—not as a technology, not as a phone system, but as a marketing channel and mobile communication modality: - 42% of US smartphone owners say they have used their phone’s virtual assistant over the past three months. - Within four years, 20% of phone interactions will rely on virtual assistants. - More than half of US adults said they have used Siri in the last three months, and Google Now was used by 48% of US respondents.