Back to Basics: Three Questions When Marketing Smart Technology.

Posted by Lauren Bell on April 7, 2016 at 7:59 PM


energy marketing WATCH customer video.


People are primed to unlock the next level of control within their homes.

As one customer says, "I think if we wait for a couple more years, it's going to happen. You'll be carrying your home in your iPhone."

A couple more years?? Not quite. For most of us anyway... But the point is that customers know it is happening. They're becoming more and more normalized to the idea.

So where's the hang up?

In our conversations with customers, we hear one thing time and time again on topics like smart technology, lighting, products and even just, energy efficiency:

“It’s so overwhelming. I don’t know where to begin.”

People want these things – automated convenience and a smaller footprint – but it’s so overwhelming right now that interested customers are either not taking action or they’re not aware of the solutions. (Or worse, they don't know who to trust.)

There’s a disconnect between the customer’s idea and their shopping experience. While there are several factors that weigh into this, we’re going to focus on one:

We’ve got a marketing problem, people!!!

A quote from Landon Borders (Director of Connected Devices at Big Ass Solutions):

“We live in the age of instant gratification. Now, more so than ever, consumers have a tendency to solve problems in ‘real time’… The harder it is for consumers to understand or realize the value in making an investment, the less likely they are to pull the trigger. Many energy-related products and services provide value over the periods of months or years, but consumers want gratification now. It’s our responsibility to help them actively think about comfort and the insufficient offerings – like the traditional noisy, wobbling fan – that they’ve accepted as the norm. We aim to shift that paradigm every single day.”

A worthy goal. Let’s try it.

This Harris Poll survey further proves this disconnect. Majority of adults feel it’s important that smart home technology...

  • Saves them money (91%)
  • Conserves energy (90%)
  • Helps keep them and/or their family safe (89%)

However, far fewer believe the technology actually meets these criteria. Only...

  • 50% believe the technology currently helps save money
  • Six in ten (or less) say it currently conserves energy
  • 59% believe it helps keep them and/or their family safe

When selling products or services that are highly personal (you’re talking about someone's home!) and complex, we like to go back to the basics. Don’t allow yourself or your teams to make any assumptions. For instance:

  1. What is a conceptual smart home?
  2. What is energy efficiency?
  3. WHY do people want these things?

The WHY is where things get interesting. The WHY will vary. And in today’s landscape, you have the ability to talk to customers around the WHY that matters to them.

Take one of the customers in the video. He references (twice) the idea of being able to pre-heat the oven on his way home. Does he really value the idea of connecting to his oven from his car? No. He values the idea of running late... but still having dinner on time. (The man is HUNGRY!)

Focus on the "real" benefits of these products. The things that make a difference. Every. Single. Day.

Understanding the different motivations is critical in answering the WHY.

According to Accenture, more than two-thirds of customers plan to buy connected technology for their homes by 2019.

Well, it’s 2016 and the countdown is on. And all we have left to fulfill our Jetsons fantasy is a space car... Though Elon is probably working on it right now.


Stay tuned for KSV’s 2016 E.E. Market Research on Engaging the Changing Customer. We look forward to sharing our insights with you.

Lauren Bell / Senior Engagement Strategist / 212.366.4000 /

Topics: Customer-Centric Marketing, Digital Transformation and User Experience, Research, Media Strategy and Best Practices, Smart Technology, Marketing Strategy and Best Practices