Marketers allocate only 2% of spend to voice despite consumer uptake


By John McCarthy | Media editor

April 28, 2019 | 3 min read

Despite talk of the burgeoning importance of voice tech, marketers still don't see it as a primary channel, according to research from Bing Ads,

A survey of 2,007 consumers and 150 marketers, ran between 9 November and 19 November 2018 unearthed a series of key points about the voice platform.

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Marketers still not committing spend to voice marketing

The marketers revealed they were only investing around 2% of their budgets into voice. It was ranked seventh out of eight in their list of most important channels. 17% of respondents said they expect this to increase in the next 12 months, however.

This is despite a noted uplift in the use of the technology which looks to be increasingly integrated into consumer lifestyles. More than a third of marketers claimed that voice search is a “fad” (34%), 60% agreed the advent of voice search will help strengthen the marketing mix, and a third (34%) believe voice could replace desktop search in the future.

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They've been a noted uptick in the consumer use of voice - although not to the dizzying heights suggested by some research. Brits currently use voice search 2.4 times a day, rising to 3.8 times among the 18-24-year-old demographic.

Jason Miller, head of brand marketing, Microsoft Advertising EMEA, said: “We believe the shift we are seeing to digital assistants is as fundamental as the adoption of mobile phones; marketers should ignore this transformation at their peril. In effect, search is becoming more fragmented.

"We’re seeing the rise of short, snappy searches, but also a return to longer, more conversational queries – and digital assistants or voice search are providing the answers to both.”

Miller believed that more work to be done in educating marketers on the shift to voice, the survey shows that momentum is starting to build.

Sam Holt, managing director, UK, performance marketing at Publicis Media, added: “Unlike traditional text search, voice search has the potential to be a ‘winner takes all’ environment for brands. Search rank is critical in voice, as most voice assistants will suggest the first search listing. Brands must prepare for this future."


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