Marketing is an intensely competitive business and by nature marketeers are highly competitive individuals, always looking for new ways to gain an edge on the competition, to get greater ‘mindshare’ for their brand and products.
So they’ve always been quick to exploit new technologies for any possible edge. IT has long been a high priority, from customer relationship management systems to web advertising and smartphone apps. Now the latest IT development getting attention from marketeers is the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s particularly attractive because it enables marketeers to establish an ongoing dialogue with customers.
A recent article in Forbes Magazine How The Internet Of Things Will Transform High-Tech Marketingproclaimed: “It is estimated that by the year 2020, the Internet of Things (IoT) will consist of approximately 50 billion objects, each with its own embedded computing system, and able to interact with the existing Internet infrastructure. … This has some far-reaching implications for businesses and the marketing strategies which they should adopt in order to stay abreast of the powerful trends now underway.”
In the UK there is even a marketing consultancy, SharpEnd dedicated to exploiting IoT for marketing purposes. It is looking at connecting vodka bottles to “better serve its customers by leveraging location data, which could provide more tailored and relevant information or services.”
According to Marketing Magazine UK cosmetic company L’Oreal is exploring the idea of smart make-up that could allow it to give connectivity to dumb objects like lipstick or mascara, giving it a new way to track customers.
A survey of 500 IT and marketing professionals in large and mid-size companies, designed to assess their use of big data and IoT in support of digital marketing, reported: “Forty percent are using machine data (Internet of Things) to support digital marketing, but are in the beginning stages of doing this.
Nearly 20 percent are being very aggressive this way, and another quarter or so (27 percent) plan to begin an IoT project for digital marketing soon.”
It went on to say: “Top uses for IoT in digital marketing: better understanding of customer preferences (28 percent), to power campaigns and promotions (24 percent), to drive customer-facing web and mobile apps (14 percent). Seventy percent say they’ve been successful in meeting or exceeding their IoT-based digital marketing goals. More than half (53 percent) say it’s likely they’ll expand IoT-based digital marketing programs.
“Forty percent say cost is the biggest consideration when implementing big data and IoT-based digital marketing programs. Twenty one percent say lack of executive support is the biggest challenge (“They don’t yet see the value.”). Twenty percent say technical skills are the chief impediment — they don’t have the skills in-house
Tata Consultancy Services’ recently released a reportInternet of Things: The Complete Reimaginative Force in which it said: “The biggest product and process improvements [from IoT] reported by companies were more customised offerings and tailored marketing campaigns, faster product improvements, and more effective customer service (in part, by being able to identify product problems before customers knew about them).”
Things are moving very rapidly in the world of Internet-connected things. Expect to see many more creative applications in support or marketing initiatives in 2016.
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