Digital Marketing News: Voice Assistant Use Rising

We’re collecting a host of links, videos, and assorted analysis on the ever-changing world of digital marketing. We invite you to skim, share, analyze, argue, and refute – just so long as you don’t get embarrassed at the water cooler again. Here are the latest digital marketing news and trends for the week of August 16, 2019.


Voice Assistants Still on the Rise

Voice assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant are maintaining momentum, according to a recent study from eMarketer. In fact, more than a third of the U.S. population is using a voice assistant on at least a monthly basis.

Voice assistant use is up 9.5 percent from 2018 and shows growth across a variety of demographics with women using them slightly more than men. The most common tasks associated with voice assistants are getting directions, listening to music, and finding nearby stores, according to a Social Lens Research study.

Voice assistant use is projected to rise in the coming years with 122.7 million estimated users in 2021 — an increase of more than 10 million. This is just another reminder that voice search is no longer a fun toy and should be incorporated into your SEO strategy.


Consumers Lacking Trust in Native Ads

Native advertising, or sponsored content, was regarded with skepticism by a whopping 78 percent of survey respondents in a study from Outbrain. Facebook suffers from the same lack of trust with only 17 percent of respondents saying they trusted content from the social media giant.

Sponsored content is a type of ad that’s usually presented in what is considered its natural environment. The public’s lack of trust in sponsored content might have more to do with a mistrust of online content and ad environments in general.

Perhaps more relevant to advertisers is that just 40 percent of consumers “always find interesting and engaging content and value in recommendations.” And while younger generations are more likely to welcome native ads compared to boomers, just 30 percent of millennials use them to make a purchase. The bottom line is that brands and advertisers have to improve their sponsored content and audience targeting if they want to break through the public’s defenses.


Facebook Trying to Target Without Personal Data

Facebook’s privacy practices have led to a number of PR hits, but that hasn’t stopped it from advancing ideas for improved targeting. A recent development seems to address both issues, as the social network is telling advertisers that it can build accurate consumer profiles without personal data, including age, gender, zip code, and other personal characteristics.

The tool is called Special Ad Audience, and it comes after Facebook settled a civil rights dispute that accused the social network’s ad platform of discriminating against specific groups of people. Advertisers are skeptical of the tool’s efficacy, but Facebook remains confident that casting a wider net doesn’t mean a drop in ad performance.

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