Apple's Acquisition Of PullString Might Change SMBs' View On Voice Tech

Marketers supporting small and medium-size businesses (SMB) think Alexa has more potential than Siri when it comes to building voice campaigns and strategies that attract consumers.

A survey of 300 SMBs by Uberall found that 48% think Alexa has the greatest potential for marketers -- beating Google Assistant by 29% and Siri by 17%. Microsoft Cortana followed with 3%, and the category of Other took 3%.

The location marketing platform commissioned the poll to determine where SMBs stand on interactive voice tech long before Apple acquired PullString for an undisclosed amount. The startup was founded by ex-Pixar employees, including former Pixar CTO Oren Jacob.

Uberall’s findings reveal that voice still is not a major part of the SMB budgets, but 35% say they plan to increase the amount spent in 2019. Still, 38% have yet to invest any amount.

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Among those who said they would invest, only 9% said budget was “significantly increasing” while one-quarter (26%) said it was “slightly increasing.”

More than three-quarters of SMBs see the value in interactive voice marketing, but 53% said better data to show a return on investment would convince them to invest more. About 11% find no value in interactive voice media.

In addition to those who want better ROI metrics, marketers pointed to more data for campaign targeting and personalization, a lower barrier to entry for the technology, better alignment with their performance campaigns, and deeper and wider integration into overall products such as smart fridges, smart speakers, smart TVs, and phones.

And when they do invest more, 40% said voice campaigns should be developed in-house, followed by creative agencies with 28%; other/I’m not sure at 13%; media-buying agency at 9%, SEO agency with 7%, and publisher partners at 3%.

It’s not unusual for SMBs to lag behind enterprise brands like Nike or P&G when it comes to adopting technology.

For starters, it takes more convincing to get consumers to adopt apps and features offered by SMBs.

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