3 Ways to Use MarTech to Win in the Home Revolution
A revolution is taking place in virtually every corner of the home. Martech is taking over. Gone are the days when home-goods brands could succeed by wooing consumers with safe, reassuring, and often nostalgic messages.
With a revived economy, intensifying competition from new and nimble smart-home brands, and the continually evolving digital landscape, marketers are having to take bolder approaches to connecting with today’s fickle consumers in an effort to tap into their increasing desire to customize their homes and pursue their best life.
So how can you best leverage martech to make sure your brand succeeds at a time when consumer expectations for their homes, and the products they bring into them, are changing so rapidly?
We can look at the “connected” home space for inspiration. Though these products represent a small (but growing) percentage of the overall home-goods category, they have reached penetration levels (33% of U.S. households in 2019 will have a connected device) where homeowner’s interactions with these products are dramatically impacting what they expect from ALL home-goods brands.
Smart locks offer the promise of easier home access, by replacing the need for a key with a fingerprint. Smart speaker systems remove ugly wires, as well as the need for that big, bulky (and expensive) receiver, and guide you effortlessly through setup via easy-to-follow onboarding content. Smart lighting systems allow homeowners to customize specific colors for each room, for any occasion, all without having to step foot on a ladder.
Looking across the connected-product landscape, it’s clear that they have heightened homeowner expectations in three key areas: greater personalization; simple, intuitive experiences; and helpfulness.
We stress to our home goods-clients that these expectations are NOT limited to the product or service itself. They should be used to evaluate every single experience along the journey to purchase and use martech to ensure that they are consistently exceeding expectations with every brand interaction. This applies equally to start-up “smart” brands, established brands experimenting with “smart” products, or brands with products that never will be connected.
For the purposes of illustrating how martech can help, let’s break the journey to purchase into three stages: connect, convert, and continuously engage.
- ‘Connect’ is activity designed to engage homeowners either after they have done a search or by aligning your brand with relevant lifestyle/behavioral triggers.
- ‘Convert’ is activity intended to turn homeowners who have shown interest in your brand into buyers.
- ‘Continuously Engage’ is activity happening post-purchase, designed to ensure product satisfaction, encourage social sharing, and drive future upsell.
Integrating the right martech technologies and platforms across all three phases makes it possible to deliver increasingly personalized, simple, and helpful experiences that motivate homeowners to move from one phase of the journey to the next.
The right martech stack gives marketers the ability to collect individual information at each phase of the journey, helping to create a single view of your (potential) customers.
The need for this level of customer understanding is what is driving many companies to pursue a DMP (data management platform) as part of their stack. The collected information then can be used in real-time to inform personalized brand experiences across multiple channels. For example, if someone arrives at your website from a paid search campaign, you can prioritize content on your site based on that topic. Similarly, capturing consumer information on your website can be used to customize future advertising with the help of dynamic creative optimization technology.
Creative enhancements based on external triggers, such as weather, time of day, and location, can elevate your marketing messages to drive more relevant connection. A dynamic creative optimization technology can help enable your creative minds to build endless options.
Simple, Intuitive Experiences
Reducing the number of required consumer clicks, anticipating consumer needs based on previous online behavior, and quickly responding to consumer questions are just a few ways that marketers can use martech to simplify things for the consumer. Whether it is adding functionality directly into your pre-roll advertising content or leveraging a chat bot within social environments or on a website to answer consumer questions immediately, taking steps out of the process or quickly resolving an issue can go a long way in creating a positive perception of your product or service.
Once a product or service is purchased and in the home, martech gives marketers the ability to maintain a greater visibility with homeowners, ensuring that their brand continues to bring value to their day-to-day lives. Automated time-triggered emails that offer everything from tips for the ongoing care and product utilization data to relevant upsell opportunities based on that data give marketers a chance to remain helpful to consumers and top-of-mind between purchases. Done successfully, these efforts can minimize the potential for negative online reviews and maximize the lifetime value of your customers.
There never has been a more exciting time to be in the home-goods category. Home-improvement television continues to be popular, and renovation budgets and smart-home adoption are both projected to increase in the coming years. Having an end-to-end martech stack can help ensure that your brand shows up in the right places and in the right ways. Plus, it can lead to an understanding of who is buying and using your products or services and reveal new ways to become meaningful in their lives. Over time, it can help to improve your conversion efficiencies, which is especially important for products with longer purchase cycles.