Smart Homes 2020

The End of Interruptive Marketing as We Know It (Part 1 of a 2-Part IoT Series)

Executive Summary

Thanks to internet of things (IoT) devices, voice assistants and high-speed networking, smart homes are on the cusp of mainstream adoption. As sophisticated networks of door locks, vacuum cleaners and baby monitors become more common, brands see a gold mine of user data. But the rules of marketing engagement are changing. Privacy-conscious consumers don’t want interruptive advertising in their personal spaces. They’ll be more likely to roll out the welcome mat for brands that ask permission and help them solve their problems.

What are the most popular smart-home products, and why are people buying them?

Connected TVs, smart speakers, security systems and cameras, door locks, lighting and thermostats are among the top smart-home products. Consumers purchase these products—and related services—to make their lives easier, save time and money, improve energy efficiency and stay healthy and safe.

Who are the major players in the smart-home ecosystem?

Amazon, Google, Apple and Samsung have created some of the largest IoT and smart-home platforms in the West, while Baidu, Alibaba and Xiaomi are among top providers in China. Other players—including hardware manufacturers, security and telecom providers, utilities, software firms and startups—are also jockeying for position. The market is consolidating and more products are becoming cross-compatible.

Why should marketers be excited about smart homes?

Smart homes, cars and other interconnected IoT environments present new paradigms for human-computer interaction and opportunities for marketers to gain deeper insights about their audiences. They will enable responsible marketers to engage with consumers in more immediate, meaningful and personalized ways.

What will marketing within smart homes look like?

There is no blueprint for marketing or advertising on smart-home devices and no major ecosystems that support it. While some advertisers are serving ads on addressable TVs and within audio streams on voice-controlled devices, this interruptive messaging will give way to permission-based engagements that fit seamlessly into daily routines.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report provides an overview of the state of smart homes. It also explains four forces that are guiding this market and how they will change traditional marketing models.

KEY STAT: Smart-home adoption is growing quickly. Connected TVs and entertainment components, home monitoring/security systems and smart speakers are among the most popular devices worldwide, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Smart-Home Devices Headed for Mass Adoption
  3. Guiding Force No. 1: The Virtuous Circle of Voice
  4. Guiding Force No. 2: AI Is Making Everything Smarter
  1. Guiding Force No. 3: The Promise of Ambient Computing
  2. Guiding Force No. 4: Security and Privacy Finally Get Attention
  3. Key Takeaways
  4. eMarketer Interviews
  1. Read Next
  2. Sources
  3. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report

Interviewed for This Report

Bryan Clark
Wunderman Thompson Mobile
Technical Architect
Interviewed November 5, 2019
Thomas Ellingson
Executive Director
Interviewed October 22, 2019
Adam Fingerman
Chief Experience Officer
Interviewed October 24, 2019
Robert Frederick
Founder, CEO and President
Interviewed October 31, 2019
Emiliano Galvan
Wunderman Thompson, Buenos Aires
Vice President
Interviewed November 6, 2019
Roger Gregory
Ezlo Innovation
Head of Product
Interviewed November 6, 2019
Steven Hummel
Consumer Technology Association (CTA)
Senior Research Analyst
Interviewed November 11, 2019
Ben McInnis
Senior Manager for Smart Home
Interviewed November 12, 2019
Aleks Niestroj
Executive Director, Experience Strategy and Insights
Interviewed November 8, 2019
Ravi N. Raj
Passage AI
Co-Founder, CEO
Interviewed October 14, 2019
Vivek Sharma
Movable Ink
Interviewed October 29, 2019
Mark Spates
Product Lead, Smart Speakers
Interviewed October 31, 2019
Rishad Tobaccowala
Publicis Groupe
Chief Growth Officer
Interviewed November 6, 2019
Raymond Wu
Co-Founder, CEO
Interviewed October 24, 2019
Alexander Wyglinski
Senior Member and President, IEEE Vehicular Technology Society
Interviewed November 7, 2019

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Victoria Petrock


Mark Dolliver
Principal Analyst
Blake Droesch
Junior Analyst
Chris Keating
Research Director
Andrew Lipsman
Principal Analyst