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Smart home technology has become a fast-rising sector, predicted to be a part of daily lives for nearly half of U.S. households by 2025. After nearly two years of pandemic lockdowns that shifted communication from human to virtual, we are seeing an even greater amount of interest in the sector than many could’ve ever predicted.

Improving the Language of Smart Home Tech

The increased interest in smart home tech, partly due to the pandemic, has encouraged top electronic and smart home brands to agree on a new partnership to standardize cross-platform integration so people are able to integrate products regardless of platform compatibility. 

However, an essential demographic is being left out of not just the booming smart tech market, but the conversation surrounding it. My Code’s Intelligence Center surveyed 1,295 adults across the U.S. to understand how cultural nuances shape people’s opinions and feelings about their need for smart home tech. 

What we found is surprising: Demographic profiles suggest multicultural Americans, particularly renters, are less likely to be relevant smart home tech consumers, but they are more likely to be tech-obsessed and interested in smart home automation. That gap is a potential market blockbuster. Therefore, before getting into how to monetize it, brands need to understand why it is there in the first place.

Multicultural Households Are Not Well Represented 

Our research showed that many multicultural consumers, even those with a high interest in smart home technology, do not connect with category advertising in ways that lead to purchases. Over half of Black and Hispanic renters that were interviewed felt that the smart home tech they see advertised is not meant for them. That’s despite over 60 percent of respondents in both groups expressing interest in buying innovative products like smart locks, speakers and light switches.

“It seems like [smart home tech] is tailored to homeowners, but multicultural renters are as interested—if not more interested—than the overall U.S. renter population,” Director of Research Michael Viveiros told AdWeek when explaining how the survey findings show a potential failure to reach an interested market in the category. 

Smart Tech Needs to be More Affordable

Based on the study from Intelligence Center, the lifestyle depicted in much of smart home technology advertising has room for improvement in terms of representing multicultural communities, especially renters. Advertising for smart tech tends to feature non-diverse characters in single-family homes, inadvertently excluding people with different Wi-Fi situations and non-home-buyers.


The team also explains that more representation in advertising is not enough. Multicultural consumer audiences need to be included in smart tech’s design and marketing efforts to feel like these products are for them. Right now, smart home tech marketing displays a lifestyle that does not resonate with many within these communities.

If the industry is going to continue expanding within the U.S. market in a meaningful way, smart home tech must be available and desirable to a broader range of consumers. This means that presently, multicultural renters, who may be less wealthy than homeowners, could have smart home tech use cases but don’t know it because the advertising misses them completely.

It Will Take More Than a Shift in Messaging

The solution is more than just a matter of shifting advertising messaging, although that is important. Tech companies need to analyze smart home ownership between homebuyers and non-homebuyers

As the My Code team told People of Color in Tech recently, smart home products are often simply too expensive to be a practical reality for many communities, even if interest in the products is there. This is a missed opportunity by a market category that can tremendously benefit in growth if they take the right approach to product and advertising development in the next couple of years. 

“We see our research as a way to start these conversations to make sure everyone has access to the technology,” Intelligence Center went on to explain. The survey magnifies bigger issues as well. Not only does it show that multicultural renters are being neglected, but it also shines a light on systemic problems. 

Future smart home advertising needs to reach and connect diverse consumers to entice them to participate in what is predicted to be an integral part of modern life. Innovative home technology is expected to be an essential part of contemporary day-to-day experiences for most of the developed world. Addressing lack of diversity issues and implementing authentic multicultural representation practices in advertisements is the best way to bridge this gap.

Smart Tech Must Serve All Communities

Smart home tech companies can expand the category by making products designed to serve multicultural communities. Changing this will require including people of color in the design of products and packages and an active change of direction in advertising. The use of smart home tech should be represented by more than one or two demographics. The multicultural renter needs smart home tech, but they don’t necessarily feel like it’s an option, let alone an option meant for them.

Utilize My Code’s Intelligence Center to best implement diverse practices in this industry’s ads so your changes bring smart tech to your target consumers.