Nearly half of small business marketers think Amazon Alexa has the most marketing potential over its competitors, according to a survey from Uberall. While 48% of the survey’s respondents chose Alexa as the voice assistant with the most marketing potential, Google Assistant came in at 29%.
The plurality of the SMB marketers surveyed don’t do anything with voice channels currently, although more than three-quarters of them believe that voice marketing is valuable. When asked what would make them invest in voice marketing, 53% of the survey’s respondents said they would need “better insight into campaign success and ROI“, with “more data for campaign targeting and personalization” coming in second at 47%.
“Understanding the ROI for interactive voice continues to be a challenge for marketers. In order for investments in voice to rise, the demand for and clarity of performance data will need to rise, as well. Once voice channels put accountability around those numbers, and SMBs can see that it works, we would expect rapid growth in this area,”
said Florian Huebner, co-founder of Uberall. If they were to invest in voice technology, 40% of SMB markets would want to develop their own content rather than outsource it to a creative agency or other third party business. “Developing interactive voice content in-house could allow SMBs to establish a level of close control that they might not have with third-party vendors,” the survey said. Once SMBs have become confident in interactive voice marketing, they are more likely to outsource content development.
Already, larger businesses have invested significantly in smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa with varying results. Last fall, Amazon announced a partnership with e-commerce company ShippingEasy to add Alexa into their supply chain operations in an effort to accelerate shipping times. With Alexa, workers can print labels, purchase postage, and confirm balances hands-free.
Not all businesses have seen initial success with Alexa. WeWork, a co-working space company, had plans to integrate Amazon Alexa into 500 of its conference rooms. However, the pilot program ended after only two months. Many IT leaders have bigger priorities and fear cybersecurity breaches, explains Irwin Lazar, an analyst at Nemertes Research. Similarly to WeWork, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Mitsui & Co have both dropped their partnerships with Alexa. While Amazon Alexa has great potential for businesses, it is unclear what that effect will be.