A BabyCenter Insights study comes on the heels of a broader market report from IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau), which revealed that IoT owners are likely to be parents ages 18-34 with college educations and household incomes above the national average of $50,000. Ther research shows that the top devices owned by today's parents include:
• Smart TVs
• Internet-connected TV devices (e.g., Apple TV, Roku)
• Health/fitness tracking devices (e.g., FitBit)
• Smart baby/children's toys
Fifty-seven percent said they purchased their IoT device to make their life easier. Other top reasons for purchase included:
• Saving time (36 percent)
• Having more control (29 percent)
• Having the newest technology (26 percent)
• Safety/security (23 percent)
Virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google Assistant have also struck a chord with today's parents—whether leveraged through smartphones or smart speaker devices—with 26 percent of those who have tapped into them saying they would not want to go back to life without one. Perhaps blurring the line between AI and human interaction, 42 percent of device owners say that they speak to their virtual assistants like an actual person with 53 percent of them remarking that they say "thank you" when talking to them, and 43 percent state that they have assigned a gender to their virtual assistant, calling it either "he" or "she." While a smaller percentage of parents currently access these virtual assistants through a smart speaker—such as Amazon Echo or Google Home—moms' ownership of these devices has doubled in just the past six months.
Looking at one of the most expensive IoT items available, over a third of parents—whether smart/IoT device owners or not—say that having a connected car is an important consideration in their next auto purchase. More than half of dads stated that in-car internet connectivity is key in their decision-making.
The research also showed that there is an opportunity for brands to participate in parents' newfound interest in IoT. Many moms and dads with these gadgets said they would welcome personalized experiences—such as product recommendations (26 percent) and tailored content from marketers (25 percent)—based on data they track or content they access through their smart/IoT devices. Moreover, 54 percent of IoT-owning parents stated that they have greater confidence in content accessed on these gadgets, if it is identified as being from an already trusted source or brand.