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Wise Up on Smart Speakers

According to a new survey from Adobe, people who owned smart speakers have been using them a lot more during 2020: the Year of Quarantine (at least, that’s what we’re calling it) - about 46% more than the same time last year to be precise. Of the 46%, a slight majority of 51% heard ads on their smart speakers, and 85% of them said they heard them on a weekly basis.

In light of this new data, we thought it was high time we learned how consumers have been engaging with this new technology - and more importantly, the ads. After all, when it comes to smart speakers, knowledge is power.

How Do Listeners Feel About Smart Speaker Ads?

Perhaps this will come as a bit of a surprise, but people don’t actually mind the ads they hear on smart speakers, at least compared to other types of ads. Adobe’s survey found that 58% of respondents deem smart speaker ads to be less intrusive than other media formats such as TV, print or social. This is up 43% from 2019.

What may be even more fascinating, though, is that 52% of listeners reported that they found smart speaker ads to be more engaging, an increase of 10% from last year. Relevancy may have something to do with this, as 57% feel they’re hearing ads more relevant to them.

Increased relevance and engagement are both great news for brands advertising on smart speakers. 51% of respondents said they find it easier to recall the brands in smart speaker ads, and 53% said a smart speaker ad has encouraged them to make a purchase. That’s up from 39% in 2019.

What do They Like to Hear?

Smart speaker users reported their activities to Adobe, and it’s basically what you’d expect. 60% said they use their smart speaker to listen to music, 55% ask for the weather, 46% like to ask it fun questions (whatever that means), and an equal number (39%) said they use it to “confirm information” and set alarms. If you think about it, smart speakers are fulfilling a lot of the things people have used traditional radio for in the past, just in a more interactive format.

In that regard, there’s a lot of opportunity to leverage familiar voices in your smart speaker ads. Delivering ads through the voices of podcast hosts, for instance, can be a great strategy to encourage listener engagement and also harken back to smart speakers’ predecessor, radio. These ads can feel more like their favorite hosts are telling a story or sharing a funny joke instead of an ad that interrupts their content.

One thing to keep in mind with smart speaker ads is that because this is such a new, modern medium, people are expecting a lot from the ads they hear. Many brands are even playing around with the ability to have two-way dialogue with listeners, but this is still new technology.

Make Your Media Smart With The Ward Group

We’ve been buying and selling audio ads since before it was cool (just kidding, it’s always been cool). Now, thanks to the internet, the audio landscape has grown beyond terrestrial radio, offering a multitude of streaming options as well as new formats like smart speakers and other voice-enabled technology.

Our holistic approach to media buying considers the entire media landscape, so if audio turns out to be a valuable asset to your media plan, we will negotiate the best rates for you, ensuring your ad dollars are invested responsibly to drive great results. Contact The Ward Group today to start getting your brand in the ears of consumers in the smartest way possible.

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