Internet of Things (IoT): What Are These Things?

With broadband internet now widely available at a decreasing cost of connection and an array of technological devices being produced with capabilities of going online, IoT is predicted to reach anywhere from 24 billion to 50 billion devices by 2020.

The Internet of Things includes everything from smartphones, wearables and smart TVs,  to smart ovens, connected lighting and home assistants. Simply put, it’s anything that can connect to the internet with an on and off switch. The amalgamation of connected devices, tremendous growth potential (around $6 trillion in projected consumer spending on IoT solutions over the next 5 years) and tech giants like Google, Apple and Amazon entering the market, are presumably the reason why 51% of the world’s top global marketers expect that IoT will revolutionize the marketing landscape by 2020.

Here are 3 predictions for how the potential IoT revolution will affect the future of digital marketing:

Enhanced Predictive Behavioral Analytics

With a rise in volume of devices being developed, comes more services primed for marketing enablement, increasingly sophisticated contact points and, most significant, data galore. Couple that with machine learning technology adequate enough to process the potential overflow of data and not only will unprecedented real-time analysis be viable, but also predictive analysis. Marketers will be capable of reaching customers at the right time, through the right medium, with the proper message and have access to intricate individualized profiles.

Imagine a customer with a smartphone walks into a store with mobile beacon technology, which allows marketers to understand where a customer is in a brick and mortar environment through mobile app communication, and is in the product evaluation stage of making a purchase. In the era of IoT, marketers will have enough data to understand where a customer is on his or her consumer purchasing journey and ping the customer’s smartphone with highly customized, real time messaging and promotions to assist him or her in making their purchase decision.

In other words, with real-time analytics and extensive customer profiles due to an influx of data, marketers can accelerate the consumer buying process any step of the way through the delivery of personalized ads and promos.

Customer Experience is King

customer centric marketing approach realizes that there isn’t one specific consumer behavior, every customer is unique, therefore every customer should have a unique experience centered around their own distinct behaviors and preferences. In the age of content overload across numerous platforms and mediums with advanced algorithms making it more difficult to reach target market consumers, marketers are well aware that providing a tailored experience can aid in reaching customers and cut through a portion of the cluttered content.

Present day personalization usually comes in the form of segmentation, whether it be purchase behavior, customer specific needs, time zone, etc. Now imagine a world where comprehensive IoT analytics allow marketers to exclusively target each individual consumer with products and services that are directly relevant to their lives.

The understanding a business would have of their target market and each individual customer from the data sent through the IoT, will allow insights into purchasing behavior like never before.

Marketing Powered by the Machines

Programmatic marketing is automated bidding on advertising inventory in real time, for the opportunity to show an ad to a specific customer, in a specific context. Google is targeting around 60% of digital advertising budgets spent on programmatic advertising by next year. According to eMarketer more than two-thirds of all digital display ads are purchased programmatically.

Advertising automation is already happening in the form of website tracking and ad banners being chosen by machines on websites based upon previous searches. This highly targeted advertising will only become increasingly more effective because of the growth of IoT and data collection software.

Into the Future

Many companies have spawned because of the current connected lifestyle and potentially tremendous growth in scope of smart devices. One such company is Catalina Labs who is equipped to excel in the era of IoT through their app Wixi, an application that not only scans your Wifi network and connected devices but also recommends fixes and Sonar Insights, a data driven, context aware digital support technology designed for enterprises and internet service providers to simplify the way they assist customers.

The analytics that will be attainable through companies like Catalina Labs and growth in the IoT will provide marketers with a vast amount of knowledge on every unique customer in their target market. Take that data and apply advertising automation with a customer centric approach and it will be progressively more efficient to target consumers on IoT devices and provide a unique customer experience with in-depth personalization delivered at the right time and through the correct medium to best influence the purchase intent of every individual consumer.