As technology continues to innovate rapidly, digital marketing can sometimes be a moving target. Just as you start feeling versed in smartphone strategies, along come smart homes. Consequently, getting out in front of these new trends might seem challenging.
In this article, we’ll attempt to make your job a little easier by taking a look at the smart home trends on the horizon. We’ll also discuss some relevant security concerns and highlight what this technology might mean for your marketing strategies. Let’s get started!
Why Smart Home Trends Matter to Your Marketing Strategy
If you remember shows like The Jetsons, smart home devices might have you feeling like ‘the future is now.’ Whether you grew up dreaming about them or living with them, the latest technological innovations have become big business for developers and consumers alike.
In fact, Gartner research estimates that there will be 20.4 billion ‘connected things’ worldwide by 2020. Homes packed with smart devices have become a trillion-dollar industry. As the market for smart devices continues to grow, marketers will need to be agile and adopt new approaches to not only market these products, but also find ways to use them strategically.
In the U.S., household penetration of smart home devices has reached 33.2%, and is projected to reach 53.9% by 2023. If we look just at smart speaker adoption rates, we see a trend that has outpaced even the rapidity of smartphone adoption rates. In other words, this is a market you’ll definitely want to keep an eye on.
Smart Home Innovations to Watch (3 Key Trends)
The Amazon Alexa smart speaker and similar devices have been a part of our lives now for about five years. However, these and other simple smart home devices, such as thermostats, are just the tip of the iceberg when we look at the ever-growing Internet of Things.
More innovations are on the way, and with them will likely come changes in how we think about marketing and security. Let’s explore a few of the more influential trends on the horizon.
1. Kitchens and Bathrooms Will Get Smarter and More Efficient
Imagine that you come home from a long day at the office, and you’re tired and kind of grouchy. You open the fridge to find that what you wanted to eat has already spoiled, which doesn’t improve your mood. However, a combination of some upcoming smart home trends might offer just what you need in this situation.
Smart kitchens and bathrooms offer up devices that can prepare a hot bath, assist with aromatherapy, and prepare a spa-like experience for you before you even get home from work. As for smart refrigerators, they’ll notify you when something is about to expire.
All of this offers a lot of potential. However, it also means that consumers are allowing businesses into their homes in new and personal ways. With that in mind, one challenge for marketers will be to manage these devices’ security, interconnectivity and dependence on other things (like smartphones and wifi) to keep working.
Targeting an audience with fewer applications and interdependencies for new smart devices will likely be a key differentiator. Not only is this appealing to the customer, but it can help reduce security risks as well.
2. Expect 5G Speeds to Increase Smart Device Usability
Major mobile network providers are rebuilding their systems to accommodate for faster 5G connections. This shift holds a lot of potential for smart homes that are currently experiencing a clog up over wifi, or barriers to getting new devices connected at all.
5G connection technology brings with it not just speed but also bandwidth. This means marketers will be able to deliver critical information at just the right moment. This trend will also improve already-existing geolocation technologies, and up the ante with on-demand information and highly-personalized ads.
What’s more, content will be able to stream extremely fast and in high definition. Plus, upgrading to 5G should make it easier to bring high-end technology, such as more advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) devices, to the house party.
With all of these advancements, however, does come some security concerns. One such risk relates to user privacy. It might be hard to imagine, but 5G speeds open up the gates for even more sophisticated data collection applications than we have currently. This means data that was previously difficult to collect digitally might now be easy game.
3. Smart Furniture Innovations May Seem Like a Dream Come True
As with most technology, smart home innovations often work to solve long-standing problems, such as a snoring spouse or partner. Tempur Sealy has already released a snore-sensing bed that uses biological sensors to determine when someone might snore, and adjusts the head of the bed to aid in breathing.
There are other products in development, using the same technology principles, that achieve similarly futuristic goals. Some, for example, aim to notify you if your child is sick.
With all this convenience comes a continued acceptance of devices and companies collecting personal data. When you think about how easily joined these devices are, the possibilities only get broader. The snore sensing bed can also connect to Amazon’s Alexa, so you can adjust it with a voice command or get a ‘snore report.’
Understanding your customers’ sleep patterns may seem like a marketing dream come true, but it’s not that far-fetched when you consider all the interconnectivity these devices afford. As more detailed personal data becomes available, creating and using personas to enhance your personalized marketing strategies becomes an even more valuable tool.
While fully-equipped smart homes are not likely to arrive overnight, the market is growing rapidly. An already flexible marketing strategy may require even more agility and research, if you want to stay competitive in the smart home marketplace. We’ve come a long way from ‘the Clapper,’ and the upcoming trends we’ve looked at offer both potential and challenges.
What do you think is the most intriguing upcoming trend in smart home devices? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!