What is the Internet of Things or IoT?
To put it simply, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical devices like laptop, smartphones, home appliances, vehicles etc. connected with each other and to you through the Internet.
In fact, you already know about IoT because of it among us in the form of gadgets like Google Glass, Fitbit, Apple iWatch etc.
Coming to the point, IoT is the future of technology, because according to an estimate by the end of the year 2021, there will be around 22.5 billion IoT devices in use.
What is more important for digital marketers to know is over $5 Trillion (Yes! 12 Zeros after 5) worth of investment will go into whole IoT infrastructure.
Hence for a digital marketer, it is essential to understand how IoT is going to transform the entire Digital Marketing landscape.
I’ve jotted down this transformation in 10 possible ways. Here are they.
1. A Data Goldmine for Digital Marketers
According to CISCO, by the year 2020, the total amount of data generated every year by all the IoT enabled devices will be 1 trillion GB. This humungous amount of valuable data will allow digital marketers to understand the behaviour and needs of their consumers and target them individually like never before.
Digital marketers will be inundated with the data, hence drastically improving the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. However, this wealth of data can also bring another set of challenges for digital marketers like ingesting and analysing it.
2. Real-Time Interaction with Customers
To build on my previous point, data will allow digital marketers to establish a real-time interaction with their customers. Data collected from IoT devices will enable data-driven marketing by feeding real-time consumer data to digital marketers. This will help to boost sales of a given company substantially.
For example, the moment a visitor lands on your website, you can target him/her with a right kind of ad at the right time.
3. Changing Role of Digital Marketers
I could have mentioned this point in the beginning, but I did here so that first you can appreciate the role of data in digital marketing in a better way. With this amount of data to work on a digital marketer has to be more than just a regular marketer.
IoT is altering the fundamentals of marketing by cutting the role of a traditional marketer. With IoT, technology is directly reaching out to the customers instead of marketers. Just imagine, you are running out of milk which is just kept at the top shelf of your refrigerator, now the refrigerator can automatically check the web and place an order for a few gallons of milk.
So what role does a marketer of a milk company plays? The answer is nothing! Hence after the advent of IoT, a digital marketer has to evolve himself and be just more than a marketer.
4. Taking Contextual Marketing to a Whole New Level
The IoT data will allow digital marketers to capture the consumer’s behaviour, buying patterns, location and other analytics like never before.
Previously the efficiency of contextual marketing was very limited. But now IoT devices can generate so much data like customers’ needs, behaviour, desires etc. that can help to create even more contextually relevant ads and target customers individually.
Contextual marketing gets a whole new meaning!
5. Analyze Customer’s Buying Cycle
Building upon my last point, IoT data can help you in gaining deeper insights that where a customer is in the buying cycle to make contextual marketing even more effective.
Whether the customer is in the awareness phase or consideration phase or the buying phase, IoT data will further help digital marketers exactly identify customer’s buying needs and customise products accordingly. This data serves as a baseline for the future product development by a given company.
6. Creating Personalized Campaigns
Digital marketers have now the capability to deliver personalised messages and other promotional content to customers online and offline.
Let us take an online example first. If a customer lands on a car portal to find out the price of a given car, a digital marketer can capture data stored in the browser’s cookie about the visitor, then create personalised messages according to his/her enquiry and send him over via an email.
Similarly, if a customer is offline, then beacons allow brands to deliver personalized messages to customers as they walk into a store. Beacons will assist customers in buying products according to their preferences and online/offline buying behaviour. It builds a relationship between the brand and customers.
7. Exploit Social Media like Never Before
IoT is inherently optimised for use with social media. Social media can be an excellent platform for generating new leads. Various communities and groups present on social media are potential buyers of a product shortly.
A smart digital marketer has to convert these leads into potential buyers. And IoT can help in achieving that in a much better way. Digital marketers can bombard customers with personal ads and promotional messages based on their individual preferences.
8. Excellent Career Opportunities
As IoT become widespread across several core business sectors, we can expect a boom in employment opportunities. Countries that lead the world in IT including the US, India, European Union and China are most likely to witness the largest number of IoT related jobs.
Trends indicate that e-commerce is soaring in giant Asian economies. This growth will be fueled by digital marketing. A lot of online jobs in various spheres of digital marketing are already emerging. Hence, digital marketing professionals can expect boom time for their careers.
9. The Emergence of New Digital Devices and Platforms
IoT data is so useful that digital marketers would love to collect it from not just traditional tough points like laptops, smartphones, and tablets but also from car’s dashboard or refrigerator’s shelves.
In the future, more digital devices and platforms will be created to collect even more data. However, analysing so much data will throw a new set of challenge for digital marketers.
10. Ever Increasing Responsibility of Digital Marketers with Customers’ Data
Access to so much sensitive data also brings greater responsibility. There will be stringent privacy and security regulations for protecting both consumer and company’s data.
New technology will be developed to bolster authentication and encryption techniques to prevent any data breach. This will also impact digital marketers in both positive as well as negative ways.
So these were ten ways how the Internet of Things (IoT) could transform digital marketing forever.
The world we live in is so interconnected that every aspect of our lives is affected by the presence of the Internet.