Starcom helps marketers understand connected homes’ impact

By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 12 April 2019
Toby Barbour

Starcom is partnering with Visa and Seven West Media to research how smart technology will change consumer behaviour, and the commercial opportunity for brands.

As part of the project, The Future of Connected Living, the agency is taking over four Sydney households for a year, particularly looking at the rise of voice technology.

Starcom CEO Toby Barbour said it’s expected a fundamental shift in connectivity as consumers embrace new technologies.

“When it comes to the use of voice technology in homes, we’re already seeing significant changes in human behaviour with the arrival of smart speakers and voice assistants in over one million Australian households,” Barbour says.

“But so far businesses have largely focused on the technology, which only tells part of the story. To fully realise the opportunity, our thinking needs to be human centred.

The project is being led by Starcom’s national head of futures and product Graeme Wood, along with research agency partner The Practice Insights.

Visa and Seven West Media have joined the project as collaborating brand partners, with Samsung also participating.

According to Wood, 43% of Australian homes will be smart-technology enabled by 2023, and UK/US voice commerce is expected to grow from $2bn to $40bn by 2022.

Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) CEO John Broome says marketing are always interested in changing consumer behaviour.

“As new behaviours emerge, they will present new opportunities and challenges, particularly as existing behaviours potentially disappear,” Broom says.

“Savvy marketers will want to be in front of these changes before they happen.”

The initial findings from the project will be released in June.

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