Festival of Marketing 2019 | the connected home is the future of commerce

By: Lauren Smartt

22nd October 2019

At this year’s Festival of Marketing our Head of Strategic Services, David Coombs, took to the stage to demystify the concept of the connected home and explore the endless capabilities it holds for marketers and commerce. 

Futuristic visions of the connected home have long been predicted in fiction, with the likes of the Jetsons imagining a utopia of flying cars and household robots at our beck and call. David used his talk at this year’s event to remind us that while the connected home of today still remains a far cry from those in Orbit City, there are limitless opportunities for marketers and brands to leverage existing technology in the here and now. 

“The connected home is the future of commerce” claims David. He tells the audience that in the UK an estimated £10.8bn is spent on smart devices, three times more than the amount spent on dairy products. Yet, while the vast majority of us already have a connected device in the home, few devices are being used to their full ‘smart’ capabilities. 

“In the current landscape, 76% of UK consumers are aware of connected devices, but only 12% claim they know a lot about them.” While knowledge is growing, David stresses that there is still work to do to drive adoption and educate consumers. “Just 46% of connected TVs are used to their full digital capacity” and rather, David suggests that we turn our attention to the incredible growth of the smart speaker seen in the past 24 months.

David attributes the success of the smart speaker to its ability to “make life easier” and suggests that if brands and marketers wish to mimic this success, they must find unique ways to embed their brand within ‘moments’ in the home. 

Calling on recent examples, David references various Alexa Skills such as those created by Tide, where consumers can ask their device how to remove certain stains; by Diageo, where consumers can ask their device to recommend cocktail recipes when hosting dinner parties; and by Dominos, where consumers can automatically order their favourite pizza by asking Alexa to ‘feed them’. By finding a way to seamlessly insert themselves into moments in the home, these brands have been able to grow brand love and loyalty. 

David closed his presentation by explaining that the opportunities of the connected home are endless, should brands embrace technology and think creatively about the way they can be integrated into the home.