With the more intuitive, endless way consumers utilise devices 24/7, the real advertiser opportunity isn’t on a smart toaster. It’s understanding the type of consumer who may be investing in those smart devices. Tom Rolph, VP EMEA at Tapad, looks at how the proliferation of smart devices in consumers homes will impact brand experiences and what opportunities this brings for marketers.
Globally, the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to be a hot topic, with no signs of going away in 2020. This year, global spending on IoT is forecast to total $195bn and the number of IoT devices is set to rise to 20.4 billion worldwide. IoT devices have the potential to transform many areas of our everyday lives, from healthcare and automotive, to retail and entertainment. But the most prominent and successful area to date is IoT in the home.
In the UK, the number of smart devices in homes has grown exponentially, and the market is expected to be worth £5.82m by 2024, with a household penetration of 44.8% by this point. It’s a lucrative market, with brands seeing the technology as a way to better understand the type of consumer investing in smart devices and how to adapt to the user experience these devices are radically optimising.
The UK smart home
Consumers are driving this change and the average UK household has more than ten internet-enabled devices. A recent smart home survey of British households showed a third of adults already have a smart doorbell, 33% own app-controlled exterior cameras and 17% have app-controlled locks. according to the same study, there is every intention of making homes even smarter – more than a fifth of adults will be looking to update their homes with smart lights, thermostats, and security cameras, one in 10 want a robot vacuum cleaner, and 24% intend to buy a smart speaker in the next 12 months.
As device numbers grow the technology becomes smarter, and the breadth and depth of insights available will grow as well, presenting greater opportunities for marketers.
With the increased use of smart devices in the home consumer preferences, behaviours and purchase patterns become valuable first-party data. But that doesn’t mean marketers should be advertising on a smart toaster. Rather, it’s about how to creatively and strategically unlock these insights into how consumers are using smart devices in more intuitive ways. What is their propensity to spend and which devices are being utilised that enable marketers to be more efficient in reaching them?
Challenges for marketers
Despite the growing size and complexity of the IoT ecosystem in the UK, there are still a number of core challenges to overcome. Gaining access to this data is an obvious first hurdle, and a big responsibility for marketers. Consumer privacy and data management has become more complex with recent legislation, therefore, consumer-safe strategies that allow marketers to leverage the scale of this opportunity while acting responsibly is critical. Ultimately they need to ensure that a consumer-first approach is at the centre of everything they do.
Creating meaningful relationships with consumers is still the Holy Grail of marketing for brands. correctly, smart devices in the home could offer the opportunity for marketers to engage with consumers in new ways, enhancing campaign performance and making communication more efficient. The marketing industry is responsible, and needs to bring the ecosystem closer to achieving an equal value exchange, with consumers benefiting from the new relationships created.
By Tom Rolph