Borrell Data Shows Local SMBs 'Bewildered' By Expanding Marketing Channels

Most local marketers from small and medium-size businesses do not use marketing opportunities such as smart speakers and voice, according to preliminary findings from a study.

The Borrell Associates annual survey of local advertisers is scheduled for release in September. Preliminary findings show an interesting theme, wrote Gordon Borrell, CEO at Borrell Associates, in an email to Search Marketing Daily.

“Remember the saying ‘100 channels and nothing on TV?” he wrote. “It's pretty clear local advertisers feel the same about expanding marketing channels. They are more bewildered than ever.”

In Borrell’s preliminary findings, a whopping 62% of the 2,086 local marketers who responded said they do not optimize for voice search, and 87% acknowledge that they do not optimize for voice-activated content. Some 93% do not market on Alexa or Google Home.

eMarketer estimates about 111.8 million people in the U.S. this year will use a voice assistant at least monthly, up 9.5% from last year. This is equivalent to 39.4% of internet users and 33.8% of the total population.



While smartphones and smart speakers are the most popular choices for using voice assistants, cars, wearables, smart TVs, appliances and other connected gadgets are gaining in popularity.

The majority of users ask their devices basic questions about weather and directions, or they search and listen to specific music.

Despite all the hype, not much will change in the way of adoption in the next few years. Today about 33.8% of the U.S. population use voice assistants -- a figure that will grow to 35.4% in 2020, and 36.6% in 2021.

A survey from of 329 marketers published in July found that 88.5% believe voice assistants will be at least a somewhat significant marketing channel during the next three to five years. One-quarter believe voice assistants will become extremely important, and another 37.6% say they will be significantly important. The data was collected online during May and June of 2019.

Some 87% of marketers say they also have a voice app to supplement the smart speaker. About half of marketers have voice apps that answer questions, 41% provide services associated with their product, and 35% distribute content in audio and or text formats. Some 21% help consumers choose a product, and 12% offer a call to action. Only 9% facilitate the buying process all the way to purchase.


Next story loading loading..