Smart Home devices are a $54B industry. What does that mean for mobile marketing?

 The smart home world has been growing rapidly in recent years. To wit:


Abundant growth in the tech industry for home-related smart products, which are linked to the Internet of Things, is predicted to excel this year. Overall, expenditures for devices that create smart homes are expected to reach $44.1 billion, according to the International Data Corp.


That’s a lot of Nest thermostats, right? (Some claim it’s closer to a $54B industry, as an aside.) But before you start making assumptions about the smart home ecosystem, consider this. It’s basically akin to early-stage Apple in terms of product linking and purchase patterns. In fact, from the same article above:


“Absolutely this is a growth industry and people are still learning the power of IoT devices,” says Mark Spates, product lead for Google Home + Nest. “Typically, someone will purchase a smart speaker like Google Home, then they’ll add a Chromecast followed by a smart light bulb and then you really see their imaginations take off.”


Buy one thing --- > buy six more things. And look at how many areas of the home these devices are in right now:


The home is being transformed. So what exactly does that mean for mobile marketing?


Think about how people are using these devices

It’s best to begin your thinking in small terms, actually. When consumers think about “smart home” additions, they commonly begin in these areas:


  • Thermostats
  • Lights
  • Plugs
  • Detectors


Some basic executions here: think about how awful it is when you’re making steak and the damn fire alarm goes off and you need to find a ladder/step-stool to get up there and shut off that infernal beeping? Smart homes fix that. You basically grab your phone, open an app, and turn it off. Annoyance averted (largely).


Or imagine having a coffee maker that gets rolling right as you do, or a curling iron that does the same. That’s the power of a smart home: the promise of efficiency, which is the same as the power of tech overall.

Mobile marketers can find ways to incorporate themselves into this world. And it all begins, as does everything in the modern age, with …


Data is the play

Smart, connected homes and better Internet of Things tech means more data spinning around everywhere. This is where brands can capitalize. Think of some of the possibilities:


Kitchen: If you use a smart fridge, consumer packaged goods brands can see what you use, when you’re low, and push you discount offers and recipes.


Living Room: Want flexibility over your lighting in terms of eating vs. playing with kids vs. Netflix vs. “the mood” being set? GE already has an app-driven experience for that.


Outside: What if you could virtually unlock the door for your kids when they finish school and you’re not yet done with work? There is an entire “smart doorbell” industry, perhaps punctuated by Amazon acquiring Ring, but it also might be an innovation that saves late-stage Sears.


The equation goes something like this:


More data + On mobile + App-controlled {even more data) --- > Motherlode for mobile marketers


And the industry is headed this way: Google and Amazon, for example, are expanding their smart home data gathering efforts. This may shift somewhat in an era driven by privacy concerns of consumers, but smart, connected homes are increasingly going to give marketers access to family-level data. If they can use that wisely -- and remember, many familial decisions are made by the female, so market smart there -- they can be successful.


The bottom line on the next phase of mobile marketing

Mobile has become omnipresent. Smart home devices are growing rapidly. Most smart home devices are managed through mobile (logically). The great promise of mobile is individual-level user data. If you add all this together, you can see where mobile marketing is truly headed in the next 3-5 years: within the context of protecting privacy and making sure they were “invited in” to the home, brands will continually get more granular familial data they can use to market their associated products, be that lighting, yogurt, mattresses, or car batteries. This is the next wave of mobile.


What are your thoughts on the smart home app market? Comment below.


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