February 7, 2017

By: Alice Youna Oh – Georgia State University ’17

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a hot topic across all businesses and industries alike.  IoT refers to the connectivity between the Internet and everyday objects that impact our daily lives and includes any internet-connected device that can be controlled from a remote location.  The increasing connectivity of people and technology paves the way for the growth of IoT.

When it comes to promoting products and services while regarding the potential of IoT, it’s ultimately the marketer’s responsibility to spread knowledge of their products so consumers can understand their full capabilities. It’s important that digital marketers use the rise of IoT as an opportunity to reinvent marketing strategies.

While the implementation of IoT is on a significant rise, the capacity of IoT technology is hard for some to fully understand. Consumers have heard of this concept before but many are skeptical of investing in IoT products and services due to various factors such as high cost and a lack of need. This is where valuable marketing comes into play.

The Internet of Things Today and How It Affects Marketing

“More connectivity leads to more data, leads to smarter data, leads to more relevant campaigns, leads to more customer engagement” (Marketo).

According to Neil Patel, we don’t just “access” the Internet anymore – it’s ingrained in almost every part of our daily lives.

So how does IoT affect marketing? “It operates as an automated entity that can carry out functions that reflect and affect the physical world. We conduct business, live our lives, and dictate our affairs in its presence and based on its rules.”

It’s predicted that there will be more than 13 billion IoT devices by 2020 – that’s more than today’s world population! The essence of IoT is data and as data continues to grow, the relationship between consumer and brand deepens. The amount of information through IoT is limitless! The surge of information overload has led to more sophisticated marketing methods, such as sending out personalized e-mails or retargeting a customer after abandoning their cart.

Marketers need to utilize the power of data and information to better uncover consumer preferences and serve their needs. By doing so successfully, businesses can drive efficiency and other measurable metrics. It’s important for marketers to realize how IoT poses great opportunities for brands to market their products and services in an innovative way.

Using IoT to Propel Your Marketing Efforts

Now that you know what IoT entails and how it’s changing the world of marketing, here are a few steps you can take to approach your marketing strategy with it in mind.

  1. Spread the knowledge

First things first. It’s essential to understand how IoT works and its full capabilities before crafting your marketing strategy. Learn everything there is about IoT and how it empowers your brand’s products and services. Spread your knowledge to educate your team and consumers!

  1. Tailor your marketing

Ensure that you’re directing your marketing strategy toward a specific target market by tailoring your campaign to fit your target consumer. Use customer data to reach your intended consumer at the right time and through the right channel.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning software crawl the web to learn and discover patterns. Browsing behavior is like a digital footprint and can be used to tailor search results and suggestions that appeal to users and their specific needs. Utilize this type of data to identify your intended target market and to effectively push your goods and services.

  1. Deliver value

The transformation of digital and the rise of IoT lead to the increase in consumer expectations. Today, every brand has to be on their toes and stay agile to keep up with their consumers’ ever- changing needs.

Let’s face it – humans (at least most) are lazy. If they can take a short cut to get something, they certainly will. Customers know they can place an order at a restaurant in the comfort of their own home and have it ready for pick at their convenience. If your brand isn’t able to deliver value and meet on-demand expectations, you’re falling behind.

Takeaway

“When the devices around our person – including our smart watches, smart homes, and smart cars – begin to transmit data to and from one another, we will have entered into what the Marketing Journal heralds as ‘the Fourth Industrial Revolution’” (IoT Revolution).

IoT affects the scope of marketing in many ways such as driving consumer expectations, driving engagement, and introducing channels through which brands can market their product. These all in turn affect important measurable KPIs such as conversion rate and SEO.

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