Smart home technology marketing – how to win over consumers

06th June 2016

Smart home technology manufacturers and retailers are facing an increasingly challenge in the UK in getting their message across and winning consumers over. According to a recent survey by PwC 78% of consumers are not interested in buying smart home tech such as smart heating systems, renewable energy devices or automated cleaning appliances over the next two to five years.

Could tech videos be the answer to show how these new products can help the target markets live smarter? Read on to find out how tech marketing can benefit from video content

What do consumers think about smart technology?

Let’s start by looking at what consumers think about smart tech. The survey above also showed that the majority of consumers see positive benefits in owning a smart device. So why were people most likely to adopt smart tech? 35% would be encouraged if there were paybacks through a reduction in energy bills and 37% would be swayed by free installation. Interestingly keeping up with the “techie Joneses” was less of a motivator with only 6% saying that would encourage them.

Steve Jennings of PwC, said: “It is clear from our survey that if suppliers and new market entrants are to win over consumers, they will need to develop propositions that not only cut through what appears to be a perceived complex technology challenge but address the reluctance of consumers to fund the introduction of many of these smart energy tech products into their homes.”

So, clearer propositions about how the tech will affect consumers practically such as enabling them to save money, are necessary. For us, video can step in here to help make the complexities of the tech and the resultant benefits easy to understand and share using both emotional and fact-based drivers.

Tech videos aim at the target

Hydrao, the smart shower, is a tech product which aims to cut down the amount of water used with the benefit of saving consumers money and wasting less water; hence helping to save the planet.

As a tech startup, this company will have a limited budget to make a video. However, there are simple, yet effective ways to tighten this film and make the proposition clearer. The video makes a common mistake (which we urge our clients not to do) by combining multiple films in one and cramming too many messages in. Here we have the CEO business pitch, the tech explainer, video animation, and product video all in one 4 minute film, which arguably is too long a video length in this instance.

We would advise creating a shorter explainer using animation in order to show the key benefit which is saving money as well as reducing environmental impact. Then we could shoot a separate interview with the CEO, where we get to know the personality of the brand and inspiration for the product. Additionally testimonials showing how the product has worked to save money with the secondary messages about protecting the environment and teaching responsibility to children. These messages can be reinforced depending on the context, for instance, if the CEO was writing a guest blog on an environmental site, then it’s a good chance to push the green credentials.

By breaking the content up into chunks to use at different stages in the buying cycle, the tech marketing is much more effective. (For more information on how your video can aim at the target more effectively, check out our content marketing e-book – “How to get out of the content soup”.)

Integrated smart home tech marketing campaign       

Now let’s turn to an established consumer tech brand, Samsung and their latest integrated marketing campaign for the Family Hub Fridge which uses smart tech to make life easier aimed at the affluent family market. When you’re out shopping you can use the app to see what’s in your fridge so you don’t forget that vital item.

This campaign has much bigger budgets than the example above, and Hollywood stars are pulled in. But no matter your budget, the takeaways are to show your target market how the product will help them in their daily lives and integrate consistent messaging across all owned channels as well as reaching out to earned media and potentially paid media.

The ad below centres around a child’s birthday party which draws well on two of our tenets of video marketing – the facts (the practicalities and stress of organising an event) and the emotions (the resonance of these special moments with your kids).

A further layer of content comes from a behind the scenes video with the actors, as they share what they love about the products in an informal way. A takeaway here would be to use a live-streaming app such as Periscope and share insider content to build brand personality and develop trust. The campaign is also integrated well on the tech brand’s social media channels through embedding native video with the hashtag #familyhub.

The brand has also combined live action with motion graphics in the video below showing life #insidethefridge inviting viewers to think differently about their everyday home tech which just got smarter.

Third party reviews and testimonials are one of the most valuable ways to build trust in your product and reassure consumers, and video gives extra authenticity. Below is a review from a mummy blogger.

With tech marketing, it can be useful to reach out to relevant influencers to test and review your products using video.

Humanise the smart tech

In this technology marketing ad campaign to promote Phillips Hue, a smart home lighting system, the brand tells the day-in-the-life-of-a-family story, from feeling energised in the morning to relaxing before bed. Rather than concentrating on the tech, it focuses on how smart applications can help the family to live a better, healthier life.

The video below helps to put the Philips brand and smart tech into context by showing how lighting has changed over the brand’s history, which could help people feel more comfortable with embracing the new technologies.

A suite of tech video content on YouTube

Google-owned Nest, the smart home technology brand, has created an effective mix of content on its YouTube channel for it various products. If we just take a quick look at their channel, we can see that the banner image humansies the brand from the start; it’s not high tech, but a child’s bedroom, reinforcing that the brand is about building a nest that works for all the family.

They have broken their YouTube channel into relevant sections of content to feature their range of products and content for different stages of the buying cycle from TV ads to reviews and support. One thing we would suggest is to set up separate YouTube channels for their international audiences (currently this page is aimed at the US market with a section for international markets).

Let’s take a look at some of Nest’s content.

This is a clear animated explainer video for Nest’s home thermostat product, which outlines how the tech works, why it’s needed and its differentiating benefits. For another product Nest Cam which allows consumers to monitor their homes via smartphones, they have drawn on user generated content such as this timelapse video below. This is an effective counterpoint to their TV adverts for the product.

Connected world

To conclude, it is important to remember to focus on the end-benefits of the tech helping consumers feel comfortable with introducing smart technology to their homes. For instance, we created this tech promotional video for our client, GSMA, who briefed us to make a film about connected living for their global mobile tech conference, where we had to condense such a diverse topic into a compelling narrative. We put ourselves into the viewers’ heads and created a world of technology for them, allowing them to see how a connected world will impact their lives for the better.

If you need advice on creating a promotional video or marketing campaign for your technology brand, get in touch.

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