According to a study by The Economist Intelligence Unit, “51 percent of marketing expect the Internet of Things (IoT) to revolutionize marketing by 2020.”
The only explanation that match with the study is IoT has been couched as a tool for ‘personalization,’ ‘engagement’ and new ‘customer experiences,’ but these characterizations are too vague. IoT may be worthy of all the buzzwords, but what will it actually look like in day-to-day life?
Apparently, there are 2 phases for IoT and Marketing to get right together. In Phase 1, marketers will seek to improve peoples’ lives by collecting data about product use and then introducing services that fulfil unmet needs. By meshing devices with services, they will make products that are more useful and therefore more marketable.
In Phase 2, marketers will attempt to open this system to advertisers. We will see the development of ad networks designed for the Internet of Things.
When NextMarket Insights surveyed consumers about connected kitchen appliances that would interest them, “a fridge with the ability to monitor food inventory using a smartphone” was the most popular choice. So Phase 1: to improve the experience for refrigerator owners, create a smart fridge with sensors that notify owners when items are running low. To personalize the experience, allow owners to choose which items are measured (some people drink more beer than milk).
Once you collect, aggregate and analyze enough inventory data, you will know what people buy, how often they buy it and how much time lags between running out and repurchasing. You will see all sorts of personal, geographic and demographic disparities among smart fridge owners. That’s a marketing gold mine.
In Phase 2, offer the consumer ways to repurchase goods and introduce an ad network for food brands. Maybe you partner with a grocery delivery service and show a “Reorder” button on the fridge’s touchscreen; maybe you push inventory warnings to a smartphone app that automatically adds items to a grocery list; perhaps the fridge tells the smart TV to run milk ads on its streaming service. If the consumer buys milk at the grocery store using her mobile wallet, the wallet tells the TV to not run milk ads later that day.