Voice Marketing Trends to Consider in 2020

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The results of several recent studies have given advocates of voice marketing something to be thankful for.

For example, researchers found out that there is an increased usage of voice assistants this year. Furthermore, one particular study uncovered the fact that people currently feel that smart speaker ads are less intrusive than other ad formats.

This post will highlight these and other findings.

However, before we begin, we need a working definition of voice marketing.

According to Emily Binder, founder of Beetle Moment Marketing, “Voice Marketing is the strategies and tactics used to reach your target audience through voice-enabled devices powered by AI assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri.”

Voice Assistant Usage Continues to Rise

As we are finding in many areas of life, the pandemic has influenced the usage of voice assistants.

The executive summary of eMarketer’s Voice Assistant and Smart Speaker Users 2020 report states, “The pandemic has accelerated the uptake of home-based, voice-controlled devices and changed audio listening patterns on all devices.”

According to this eMarketer report, 38.5% of the people in the United States use voice assistants at least once a month on any device, up 11.1% in the last year.

Furthermore, eMarketer projects that 135.6 million people, or 40.2% of the U.S. population, will use voice assistants by the year 2022.

Note: Republished from “Voice Assistant and Smart Speaker Users 2020”, by Petrock, V. 2020, November 16.

Research published earlier this year by NPR and Edison Research uncovered similar trends. This includes the fact that “usage of voice commands in general has increased slightly since the COVID-19 outbreak, with 52% of voice-assistant users saying they use voice tech several times a day or nearly every day, compared to 46% before the outbreak.”

However, it is research conducted by Adobe that uncovered one of the more interesting stats that businesses should consider.

Smart Speaker Advertising Can Be Effective

A recent Adweek article highlighted some key findings from a survey conducted by Adobe in July of 2020. (The study was based on a survey of 1,043 U.S. consumers age 18 or older.)

As the Adweek article pointed out, about half of consumers who own smart speakers heard ads on them, up from about 25% just one year earlier.

However, the real interesting thing is that consumers are okay with the ads they are hearing on their smart speakers.

“In fact, 58% said they find smart speaker ads to be less intrusive than other formats (TV, print, online and social), which is up from 43% last year,” the author of the Adweek article writes. “Another 52% said they actually find smart speaker ads to be more engaging, which is up from 42% in 2019—and 57% said the ads are more relevant.”

Furthermore, the Adweek article pointed out that, “51% find it easier to recall the brands in smart speaker ads, and 53% said a smart speaker ad has spurred them to make a purchase, which is up from 39% last year.”

The Adweek article goes on to explain why smart speaker ads might be effective. It also offers some other suggestions that businesses might want to consider.

Key Takeaways

The pandemic has had an effect all aspects of life, including the usage of voice-enabled devices.

As we found out, more people in the United States are using voice assistants. And, among these people, more people are saying they use voice tech “several times a day or nearly every day.”

What might be the most interesting finding, though, is that people seem to be receptive to advertising on voice-enabled devices.

As with everything, you will need to monitor these statistics as time goes on.

Remember, when examining the usage of voice assistants, we are still at a fairly early stage on the technology adoption lifecycle. That is, the people who currently use voice assistants at least once a month would be considered innovators, early adopters, or people in the early majority.

As more people start to use the technology, the findings mentioned earlier might change.

Furthermore, as more businesses start to advertise on these devices, the attitudes towards advertising on voice-enabled devices might begin to sour.

For now, though, your business might want to consider adding voice marketing to its marketing mix. It probably shouldn’t replace your more tried and true marketing tactics, but it could be worth a try.

To find out more, I’d also suggest you check out the three studies mentioned earlier in this post.

Bonus Trend to Watch

While this might not necessarily fall into the category of voice marketing as it is defined above, Robert Scoble has been tweeting about spatial audio a lot recently.

If Robert Scoble is tweeting about it, it’s something you might want to watch.

Chad Thiele

Chad Thiele

I am a marketing analyst and strategist. I earned my master's degree from West Virginia University in Integrated Marketing Communications in 2023. I also hold a bachelor's degree from UW-Madison in Sociology with a Concentration in Analysis and Research, and I completed the Mobile Marketing Professional Certificate Program from Auburn University in 2015.