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The opportunity certainly exists for the smart-home market in Germany. Players looking to unleash this potential must take into account consumers’ expectations of smart-home devices.
Based on June 2015 polling by Deloitte, convenience and safety are the biggest drivers of smart-home interest in Germany. When asked about the reasons they found smart-home devices appealing, internet users in the country were most likely to cite additional convenience (47%) and security (43%). More than three in 10 liked the idea of decreasing heating and electricity costs, while fewer respondents were interested for enjoyment or entertainment purposes.
Still, an alarming 29% of internet users didn’t know why they found smart-home devices interesting, emphasizing the need for more education among the population, Deloitte noted.
Due to safety’s big draw, it makes sense that alarm systems ranked as the top smart-home device that respondents were interested in purchasing in the coming year, cited by 38%. Heating and thermostat devices as well as lighting were each cited by around one-third of respondents, while about three in 10 planned to buy speaker systems; assistance systems for seniors; home media servers; blinds, switches or outlets; or connected TVs.
Smart-home devices aren’t exactly an easy sell, though, and further responses indicated that high costs were the leading factor holding back interest, cited by 44%; similarly, nearly a quarter of respondents said they couldn’t recognize the value of such devices. Data protection and security also emerged as an issue, as well as the opinion that such devices were complicated and limited knowledge about the services.
Rising connectedness among consumers, whether through smart homes or other smart connected devices, will reshape marketers’ roles. In May 2015 research from the Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by Marketo, 41% of marketing executives in Germany cited the internet of things as one of the trends that would have the biggest effect on marketers by 2020.
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