In the (not so distant) Future….
Your smart watch starts to ring and it looks like the company that installed your new dishwasher is calling:
“Hello Mr./Ms. [insert your name here], we received a service request from your dishwashing unit today. We’re calling to let you know we resolved the issue and ran the current load. For any inconvenience, we’ve emailed you a coupon for Cascade Platinum detergent.”
The aforementioned situation takes place in a not so distant future and illustrates a potential tactic that will be possible for marketers through the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT).
Simply put, IoT is the interconnectivity between things using wireless communication technology (each with their own unique identifiers) to connect objects, locations, animals, or people to the internet, thus allowing for the direct transmission of and seamless sharing of data.
Current consumer-facing examples of IoT technologies include the Apple Watch, Nike Fuelband, Google Glass and Fitbit. These products share the data of consenting consumers with companies that use that data to help identify their target market with greater detail than ever before.
So what does the rise of the IoT mean for marketers? A physically interconnected world translates into endless marketing possibilities, however we’ll just key in on a few here.
Instant Consumer Feedback
So you finally launched that product your CEO has been grinding your team over and within a few, short days, he or she is already asking how consumers are reacting to it.
Thankfully, your product was integrated with IoT technology allowing you to receive real time feedback from customers as soon as they begin to use it. Having access to this type of data will allow you to know early on whether or not a product is performing well with consumers almost instantly.
This immediate knowledge can make the difference between holding onto a fledgling product for too long and losing your ROI or seeing the start of a success and shifting resources to help support the product’s growth.
It’s Saturday morning and you hop in your car so you can go and take care of the litany of errands you have on your to-do list. Within minutes, black smoke erupts out of the hood of your car and you find yourself stuck on the side of the road, the whole day shot.
With the help of smart-enabled devices, products that require maintenance, like a car, would be able to self-diagnose themselves with lightning speed and take proactive steps to help remedy any technical issues before breaking down down. For instance, if a part is broken, an IoT connected device could send a signal that orders a replacement from a local vendor and have it shipped to a consumer before even noticing the product was broken, similar to the dishwasher example earlier.
Preventing this downtime would help increase customer satisfaction and allow marketers to gain insights about the problems that may plague their consumers.
Make Irrelevant Advertising, Irrelevant
With over 4.9 billion connected things this year alone (with some predicting that by 2020, the number of Internet-connected things will reach or even exceed 50 billion), it shouldn’t be surprising that everyday items in your home will soon be outfitted with sensors and network accessibility.
Undoubtedly, this type of intimate data collection will lead to personalized and relevant advertising served in very untraditional ways. Similar to the dishwasher scenario outlined in the “not so distant future,” your home will be able to track when an appliance or feature needs repair and only serve you ads relevant to that need. Or say your light bulb goes out all of a sudden; you might receive a digital coupon straight to your smartphone.
IoT will allow marketers to spend thousands of dollars less on irrelevant commercials and banner ads and instead use in depth consumer data to gain a detailed understanding about consumer interests and behaviors in order to serve up efficient and relevant advertising.
With the future upon us, how will you incorporate the Internet of Things in your marketing strategies?