The term “Internet of Things” (IoT) marks a new era in marketing and communications.
Laptops and PCs are increasingly being replaced or supplemented by connected devices. Today a variety of devices and applications are already available and in use. In addition to the well-known smartphones and tablets, wearables (like the Apple Watch), in-car communication systems, as well as household appliances with smart functions are being used.
This results in completely new communication channels and touchpoints for marketers. The new conditions can be summarized as the “Marketing of Things,” or product relationship marketing (PRM).
The importance of these innovative technologies is also reflected in the fact that more than two-thirds of consumers are planning to add connected devices to their homes by 2019. In addition, by 2020 an estimated 90% of all cars will be connected to the Internet. Currently, the IoT technology is mainly used successfully in B2B sectors; for example, in manufacturing or health care. However, there are companies that successfully use PRM in B2C as well. Therefore, where the connected consumer and IoT technologies cross paths, the world of Marketing of Things begins.
Things Start To Communicate
Things (physical objects) are no longer dead objects in IoT. Through intelligent functions, they are not only able to collect data but also analyse and exchange it with other devices and solutions via the cloud. The data collected is especially used for monitoring, management, optimisation, and automation, according to Professor Michael Porter.
New touchpoints in the IoT also mean new opportunities for marketers to connect and engage with customers. And this, of course, results in new ways to do better cross- and upsell. In 2020, each second 57,000 new “things,” i.e., devices and connected objects, will be added to the IoT. This not only means we are living in a connected world but also in a hyperpersonalised world. We are just at the dawn of a revolution. But marketers need to get familar with new technologies, channels, and devices today, to stay in touch with their customers tomorrow, and to keep up with the enormous pace of innovation. The personalised approach in a connected world is a prerequisite for the Marketing of Things.
New Opportunities In Customer Communications
In a connected world in which things are linked to people, the Internet of Everything emerges and touchpoints inevitably multiply. New touchpoints mean new opportunities for marketers. Focusing on the customer life cycle and maintaining consistency will result in better experiences throughout the whole customer journey, thanks to personalisation, contextual messaging, and real-time marketing. For example, relevant and tailored offers will be sent to a customer in real time through his smartwatch based on his current location.
Some companies have started leveraging IoT within their marketing initiatives. For example, Pernod Ricard is about to speed up digitalisation. For its largest brand, Absolut Vodka—the “Connected Cocktail”—the company is making the transition from a static glass bottle to a product that interacts with the consumer. Through the exchange of data, the company wants to learn which services perfectly fit its respective consumers in order to provide them with personalised offers, such as cocktail recipes adapted to personal preferences or even a taxi service after a long night of partying.
Clearly, these experiences need to be personal, relevant, and real-time. But, as stated before, marketers need to gain knowledge to keep up with the pace. The personalised approach in a connected world is a prerequisite for the Marketing of Things.
Do you have what it takes to create experiences in a connected word?