Businesses and digital marketing are presented with unparalleled opportunities as the Internet of Things (IoT) phenomenon continue to grow. IoT refers to any device or object that is connected to the internet and can communicate with other devices which are also connected to the internet. It has been determined by Cisco Internet Business Solution Group (IBSG) that by 2020, there will emerge over 50 billion IoT devices, creating an ecosystem of their own.
Data collection and analysis is the basis of any good marketing agenda. Through sensor driven analytics, increased contextual awareness, and live behaviour tracking, IoT has the potential to collect huge amounts of accurate data and share it live with the marketers.
On the user end, this extensive data collection results in a better experience through personalization. For instance, the P2P transportation network of Uber collaborated with the digital music platform Spotify through their respective apps that enable users to stream music directly from their phones to their Uber rides. In this example, the Uber and Spotify apps are communicating with each other and with the vehicle too.
IoT also presents great opportunities to create elaborate marketing campaigns that feels personal. Heineken, the beer brand leveraged the marketing potentials of IoT by placing a few GPS enabled beer bottles around Amsterdam. Once any of these bottles were picked up, the accelerometer attached to it would activate the inbuilt GPS tracker and the cap would light up, presenting a compass. The chosen customer would then be guided through various prominent sites around the city by the compass and ultimately end up at the Heineken brewery.
The 5 most impactful influences of IoT on the digital marketing terrain are detailed below.
- Enhanced customer experience
IoT closely analyzes the customer’s routines and needs and adjusts its functionality. Since various devices are connected with each other, they can send data to each other and get insights into the customer’s lifestyle. For example, Big Ass fans had created the world’s first smart ceiling fan with light and temperature sensors along with its own phone app. The fan monitors your behavior and speed preferences and then automatically adjusts according to the data collected about your daily routines and schedules.
- Direct sales will be possible
Considering the fact that IoT devices require just an internet connection, the trend will move way past smartphones or tablets. Amazon, for example, had introduced the “Amazon Tide”. This is a dash button that allows the customers to purchase the product, in this case, Tide, by simply pushing the button. The button is linked with wi-fi and the Amazon app. Here customers are not swayed by multiple choices usually seen at supermarkets or online stores.
- Analytics and purchase decisions
An astronomical amount of data will be created through devices in the IoT spectrum. It is necessary to accurately harness this data to analyze the customers and to create responsive campaigns in order to impact their purchase decisions. Each interaction a user makes with a designated device can be converted into insight through appropriate AI integration to make the work simpler.
- Real-time engagements with individual customers will be possible
Sales can be boosted by engaging in live conversations and exchanges with customers and prospects. For example, a wearable such as a smartwatch used during exercise can provide information about the nearest gym to hit based on location and routine activities.
- Data management responsibilities are at an all-time high
With mammoth sized data pouring in every instant, marketers are now being increasingly responsible to prevent misuse of this data. Earlier, digital marketing was all about tracking online behavior and preferences. However, the scenario has changed to a lifestyle tracking method with much more intimate data at disposal. Advanced technologies capable of reinforcing authentication and encryption methodologies to prevent a breach of data needs to be developed to enjoy the positive implications of this emerging technology.
Internet of Things in digital marketing presents an integrated marketing opportunity with an emphasis on end-to-end experience optimization. Interruptive commercials will no longer find traction and will be replaced by relevant and beneficial advertisements targeted at a granular level. The advantage of IoT in marketing is that it does not ignore the traditional methods but tends to slowly render them obsolete by building upon the lessons learned from them. Integrating IoT into the marketing mix of any business is necessary to survive in the current scenario.