“Who run the world? Girls!”
Is there something Beyonce knows that marketers don’t? It seems so, particularly when it comes to home automation and smart homes.
While it’s understood that the home is no longer solely the domain of the female gender (hello, stay-at-home dads!), women still play a large part in maintaining the home and taking care of their families.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, women make 91 percent of the decisions regarding the purchase of a new home. So, why do so many commercials and ads featuring smart products and home automation relate to men? Do we still believe that tools and tech don’t interest women?
When it comes to smart home tech and home automation, convenience and safety are top reasons to purchase these types of products. Guess what? When it comes to women and their homes, they want to easily maintain it and be assured that their families are safe. A recent survey from Better Homes and Gardens found that U.S. women, especially those under 35, see smart tech as something that can improve their home’s safety, health and connections with families.
In fact, when we polled panelists of the New Home Source Insights panel about smart home technology, 100 percent of female respondents said they were interested in having smart home tech in their homes. When asked if they planned to purchase any smart home tech in 2016, 65 percent of female respondents said yes. The market is there – smart home tech and home automation makers just need to make a concerted effort to reach out to the ladies.
Here are just a few ways to make the connection between women and smart home tech:
Whether she is living alone or has a family, safety is a top concern. From being sure her home is secure from intruders to making sure her home doesn’t present hazards to her children and spouse, women want a safe home. According to our Insights Panel, female homebuyers believe that smart home tech can most improve their lives in the areas of safety, temperature or security.
While there are concerns about hacking of smart products, there is still an interest in using this tech in their home among female panelists. “I would love to have a web camera to check the status of my house when I am not home,” said panelist Karen. “I think it would make me feel safer about my home. I would be willing to invest in a smart security system for a sense of security.”
Smart home products like the Nest Protect fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector are ideal to market to women. In fact, Nest does a great job of showing how this product can help protect one’s family.
A room with a bed for kids with a blue doll lying on it. The side table has another toy and a headphone.There’s a reason this child’s room appears on the product’s website; women want to know they can protect their children when they are at home — Nest is showing how it can help women protect their family, particularly their little ones, easily and conveniently. Nest wants women to think that they have their children’s best interests in mind.
If you want women to purchase your smart home product, show them how the product will keep them and their families safe. As Vivint says in its Vivint Sky ads, “It’s not about technology; it’s about people.”
Parents are busy; single parents are doubly so. Beyond traditional couples, single moms make up 31 percent of all unmarried female homebuyers. What better way to help them — and all parents — than to make their homes easier and more convenient to maintain? Sure, smart tech and home automation products might not cook meals or clean the house for them — unless it’s a Roomba — but they can show women how these products aren’t just worth their money, but their time.
At first, smart home tech was seen as kitschy and fun — and didn’t necessarily make maintaining the home easier. Then, those who created smart home tech understood that simply being able to turn on your lights from a smart phone wasn’t just cool, it served a purpose by allowing folks to come home to a not-so-dark-and-spooky place. It also allowed them to keep intruders away by making them think someone was home.
By appealing to the needs of women, smart home tech makers can capture a market that is overlooked by manufacturers.
Because smart home products are intended to make life easier, it’s easy to see why these products are attractive to women. Convenience might be just a small part of a certain product’s purpose, but to a busy mother or single woman, every tool that helps her maintain their home is a huge part of her tool kit.
Melissa Morman is a founder of Builders Digital Experience (BDX) and its parent company, Builder Homesite, Inc. (BHI). As Chief Client Experience Officer, Melissa leads a national sales, marketing and CRM team that serves the entire homebuilding vertical.