The Internet of Things (IoT) in Marketing
Let’s look at the ways the IoT might change marketing including using data collected by sensors, more data that leads to more development, better data that leads to better customer service.
The Internet of Things (IoT) helps connect brands and consumers in new and exciting ways. Smart refrigerators will order groceries for you when supplies run low. A smart doorbell can let in deliverymen to leave packages inside your home.
But what about the link between IoT and marketing? 51% of global marketers think IoT will change marketing by 2020. Gartner predicts 20.4 billion “things” will be in use by then. Those “things” offer a lot of potential to marketers.
Let’s look at the ways the IoT might change marketing.
Using the Data Collected by Sensors
A key component of IoT is its use of sensors. Devices collect data so they can function, but that data is also valuable to marketers.
It teaches marketers how consumers use their devices. But it also reveals how they behave throughout the day. We’ve talked before about the newest generation of the Roomba. Its mapping technology offers a goldmine of information about what users already own. It also shows marketers how Roomba owners interact with their home.
Marketing’s success relies on customers receiving the right message at the right time. The level of data available through IoT lets marketers provide such tailored messages.
Without IoT devices, marketers can only collect data after a sale. That gives a marginal insight into customer buying behavior. With IoT data, marketers get real-time insights into how customers interact with brands. It also gives a better insight into where the customer is on the buying spectrum.
On a traditional level, such data means marketers can build accurate audience profiles. They know their audience’s exact habits instead of making assumptions. That leads to you seeing fewer, or no, irrelevant ads.
More Data Also Leads to More Development
Marketers target social media ads based on criteria such as age, gender, or location.
With the IoT, they now know how you interact with your devices. That gives them more precise information to help them design ads. If you’re not a fan of advertising, that might cause alarm.
But it also helps them to send that information to their research and development team. That leads to better-designed products that suit your needs. It’s self-serving because it gives marketers the chance to sell more useful products. But it provides you with products that solve problems in a better way for you.
Better Data Leads to Better Customer Service
You might wonder why customer service appears in a post about marketing. Successful marketing isn’t only about sending messages to potential customers. It also means giving customers a first-rate experience so they come back to buy again.
The sensors used by IoT help companies control their assets. That improves supply chains, so customers aren’t disappointed by items being out of stock.
It also means brick-and-mortar stores can track how customers behave in their stores. Analyzing data lets stores create a customer “journey”, making it easier to find products. Improving in-store experiences helps build positive feelings towards the brand, which is the point of marketing.
Using the data from IoT devices also lets companies resolve issues much faster. By adding artificial intelligence, brands can spot patterns in the data. They can make predictions, pre-empting a customer’s need for a particular solution.
A basic example is that of smart lighting. It can alert you to problems with the bulb, so you can replace it before it blows. On a bigger scale, a connected car might direct you to the nearest mechanic if it senses a misfiring spark plug.
Pre-empting these problems helps marketers create positive associations between you and the brand. It also removes problems from your day-to-day life. You can focus on the things you enjoy doing instead.
We solve one of your IoT problems with the SURE Universal Remote app. Don’t download multiple apps for each of your devices. Instead, you can control them all from a single interface.
Knowing Brands are Watching Sounds Scary…But it Isn’t
All this sounds like something out of Minority Report. You might worry that advertising panels will read your phone’s browsing history as you walk past. Then they’ll display targeted ads based on your preferences.
We’re still a long way off from that yet. But if the IoT creates marketing that provides relevant messages and solves problems, that’s not such bad thing, is it?
Over to you – do you think the IoT will change marketing?