The Internet of Things, or IoT for short, has been a stirring up quite a buzz lately. As a digital marketing agency, we are often asked "what exactly is this Internet of Things we’ve been hearing about?"
Simply put, the Internet of Things is the connection of any device to the internet which allows for seamless sharing of data. These devices that are effortlessly sharing data include fitness wearables, cars, lamps, smartphones and many others.
As the internet becomes more widely available throughout the world, costs associated with technology are decreasing and, as a result, more devices are being built with Wi-Fi and sensor technology. Recent studies suggest that by 2020, there will be more than 50 billion connected devices in the world.
This means that the future is bright and filled with lots of data. What exactly does that mean for digital marketing?
How IoT Affects Marketers
The ultimate goal of all marketing efforts is to get awareness to the right people, in the right place and at the right time. The emergence of the IoT will continue to make all three of those steps easier than ever before.
The data that is being so effortlessly shared will allow digital marketers to effectively and efficiently find their target audience, identify where they are and determine the best time to reach them. In many cases, the device that is providing all of this valuable data can also provide the perfect channel for delivering that awareness.
The perfect illustration of this digital marketing potential can be seen with the AtYourService technology unveiled at the recent 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). This new technology will be imbedded in select GM car models and allow communication through GPS, Wi-Fi and other security features to deliver driver real-time promotional offers. The goal is to provide drivers relevant promotions based on where they are traveling. So far, GM has partnered with several large brands, including Dunkin Donuts and the popular coupon site RetailMeNot.com.
This smarter marketing that the IoT facilitates will benefit both the digital marketer and the consumer. For the marketer, this data will allow them to use their budgets much more efficiently. For the consumer, it will save them a significant amount to time by only showing them relevant ads.
The User Experience
As technology continues to evolve, so does the consumer. Marketing strategies need to be reassessed frequently to ensure that consumer expectations are being met.
To maximize these opportunities, digital marketing efforts need to focus on:
- Privacy conscious personalization
- Predictive analytics
- Intimate brand/product engagement
When it comes down to it, the brands that come out on top will be the ones that use this data in creative and rewarding ways to target their customers. Whether this is done by emotional connection or entertainment, the IoT provides an incredible opportunity to effectively give both sides a much more useful experience.
As everyday objects with digital capabilities continue to integrate into consumers’ lives, the concept of interconnectedness within humans and the environment becomes a reality. Welcome to the future!