The Internet of Things (IoT) is the seed of technological changes in various marketing methods.
The steady proliferation of intelligent devices brings vast possibilities in various sectors and a new paradigm for customer relations and marketing management.
Various industries in the market are using IoT to understand their customers, operate efficiently, deliver better customer service, increase business value, and improve decision-making capability.
IoT has become one of the most important technologies in the 21st century. Now, you can connect objects like cars, kitchen appliances, baby monitors, thermostats, etc., to the internet by using embedded devices.
As a result, seamless communication is now possible between processes, people, and things.
In this article, I’ll explain IoT, some examples, and how IoT impacts today’s marketing.
Here we go!
What is IoT?
The Internet of Things (IoT) defines the network of many physical objects or “things” embedded with software, sensors, and other technologies to exchange data with other systems and devices over the internet.
IoT is a system of interconnected mechanical and digital machines, computing devices, objects, etc. It can transfer information over the network without human-to-computer or human-to-human interaction.
Kevin Ashton coined the name “Internet of Things” in 1999. He named it the IoT since it integrates the interconnectedness of ‘our things’ with the interconnectedness of our ‘internet’.
Now, billions of devices are connected to the internet worldwide, and all are collecting and sharing data. IoT merges digital and physical universes, making the fabric more responsive and innovative.
The idea of adding intelligence to basic objects was first discussed in the early 1980s and 1990s. Since the technology was not very big then, progress was slow. The chips were too bulky and oversized, making them difficult to install in any system or device.
Thus, the first idea came to make the chip small and cheaper. The adoption of RFID tags and IPv6 help enhance wireless networks and take the necessary steps toward IoT to scale. Slowly, it became one of the most powerful technologies in the world.
Benefits of IoT for Businesses
The benefits of IoT depend on business agility and efficiency. The idea is to collect more information about products and internal systems and make changes per the requirements to enhance customer experience.
Manufacturers add sensors to the objects or components of the products to transmit data. This helps businesses spot the component failure and swap it before it can damage other components.
Companies use data that sensors generate to increase the efficiency of the system and supply chain. IoT allows enterprises to automate processes and enhance service delivery while cutting down on waste and reducing labor costs
Some of the common benefits are as follows:
Overall business processes Monitoring
Enhanced customer experience
Saving money and time
Improved employee productivity
Easy integration of business models and adapting them
Making clearer business decisions
Higher revenue generation
Some Examples of IoT Marketing
An increase in the adoption of smart technology doesn’t only mean generating data, experiences, and moments; it also has profound implications for various marketers. To avoid disruption in the business, brands must follow new technology trends like the Internet of Things.
Smart baby monitors, smart doorbell cameras, smart locks, and smart plugs are increasing in demand among many users.
Let’s see some examples of IoT marketing to connect with product campaigns, geofencing, smart labels, branding, and content marketing.
IoT-Based Product Campaigns
Embed an existing product with sensors for IoT connectivity. This will take your marketing to the next step, allowing customers to share their unique data or content relayed to the systems for meaningful insights.
The use of software and hardware comes among the investment-heavy IoT cases, but the output results are unquestionable. For example, the beverage company, Diageo, customizes its whisky bottles to carry customer-recorded videos so that it can generate more customers from the campaign.
Smartphones are becoming more useful in IoT marketing, given their vast popularity and usage among customers globally.
Geofencing is a location intelligence where a smart device’s built-in GPS is used to locate nearby businesses. So, when combined with geofencing, smartphones can help you detect highly relevant and mid-funnel customers near your business or store.
For example, the Internet of Things can inform your business when a buyer is on the radar and send appropriate messages about coupons, offers, and discounts so that customers can visit the store to buy products.
Example: Burger King executes geofencing IoT technique to get greater success. They launched a campaign named “Whooper for a Penny”. This means any McDonald’s customer within 600 feet would receive a notification on their smartphones and be directed to the nearby Burger King outlet.
Smart Product Labels
Existing customers are the best starting point for the new campaign. They stay at the bottom of the funnel, show interest in the business value proposition, and are open to upselling or cross-selling.
This is probably the most cost-effective example of IoT since the hardware is not required. Businesses can apply QR labels directly on their products that customers can scan using their mobile devices. This will guide them to related products, product trivia, in-store experiences, discounts, and more.
For example, a restaurant plans to put a scannable QR code on the table where customers scan the code to know today’s special dish, offers on drinks, and many more benefits. Also, some businesses allow customers to scan the QR code to get the chance to play a game to win exciting prizes which could be redeemed in the same restaurant.
In today’s era, almost everyone has a smartphone and a social media account. Branding is again a cost-effective IoT example but a very effective one. This allows customers to know the brand from social media advertisements or on some websites.
Even if the customers post a picture on their social media accounts, others see the post and know about the product. At the same time, branding allows users to engage in interesting activities, such as food bloggers can enhance your branding and sales while enjoying your foods.
Marketers take advantage of IoT devices to explain what makes their products special and how they differ from other products. It’s all about demonstrating the features of the products to distinguish your brand from the competitors.
For example, a business interacts with its customers to keep them updated about new offers. For this, the business launches an application that sends automated and customized text messages regarding offers and discounts to their existing customers.
Many approaches can be used in marketing, but content marketing is one of the most popular methods. This marketing style focuses on creating quality consumer content via consistent uploads on websites and social media accounts.
With the help of content marketing, a business can build greater customer trust and loyalty, resulting in a strong customer base. The data collected through the interactions help marketers understand customers’ needs.
The use of data from IoT systems can help a company stand out in the crowd since it can individualize its strategy and give customers a unique experience. This leads to a new type of engagement between a company and its customers. Thus, a business can improve its sales figure.
Furthermore, search optimization and keywords are also important to expand content marketing with IoT. This way, you can narrow your funnel while enhancing your leads.
How Does IoT Impacts Marketing?
IoT makes a significant impact in the world of marketing. This technology helps businesses make their services and products more appealing to consumers by listening to the customers’ needs and responding to them accordingly.
Savvy managers, marketers, and owners are using this technology to transmit the right marketing strategy at the right time on smart devices. This will help in getting more customer data that are valuable in knowing consumer behavior and expectation, resulting in business success.
Let’s understand the impact of IoT in different areas.
Customer Experience and Engagement
IoT opens up profitable opportunities to engage customers continuously in real-time and build product value throughout the company’s lifetime. Connected IoT devices give companies visibility into usage, allowing them to detect and resolve issues faster, capture data, and grow revenue.
Think of connected cars, proximity marketing, and home automation; IoT is reframing how you do business and changing how customers behave and expect, thanks to wireless connectivity and networks.
To drive better customer experience and engagement, IoT allows your business to focus on four areas:
Relevant offers at the relevant time
Satisfying store experiences
Seamless and rapid issue resolution
Offering more compelling choices to drive customer loyalty
Thus, IoT is transforming relationships between companies and customers, rapidly evolving ideas of what is possible nowadays.
The increased competition among companies has forced businesses to use multiple tactics to get on the top. One of these tactics is personalization. Every business tries to offer enhanced services to customers. IoT can help companies to meet their customer’s demand for more personalized services.
Since more and more companies dive into the IoT world, the one that can effectively personalize will be on the top of success. Now, in this IoT-personalization world, companies and customers are more connected.
As discussed above, IoT is essential to consumers and businesses in every industry. So, the data is a goldmine for market research. Big data has daily implications for firms, market researchers, and consumers. The data application plays a very crucial role in market research surveys for data processing and analysis.
Market research is becoming more digital today. Hence, IoT helps market researchers stay updated on consumer behavior and habits. Moreover, IoT is more reliable, valuable, and accurate to market researchers.
In the hyper-connected world, IoT connects information, things, and people in a way that is fundamentally changing society and business simultaneously. IoT has become a disruptive force across industries, a major driver of all digital transformation, and an enabler for hyper-connected business.
Businesses work in partnership with their customers to recreate digital solutions that allow them to become hyper-connected. Combining the power of the Internet of Things with network solutions, AI, and technologies, many industries can deliver a 360-degree view of business management and performance.
Customers looking for a quick offline experience can avail of hyper-speed transaction options with the help of IoT.
Remember, fast service attracts fast customers. Since many fast transactions require more customer information, marketers will benefit from gathering valuable data. And you know information is like money these days.
So, hyper-speed transactions are emerging opportunities for businesses to collect more information about customers. These transactions also enable businesses to understand customer behavior and their usual procedure. This way, a business can shape its brand in response to customers’ needs.
The buying journey of customers must be a smooth ride. Hence, businesses must take care of this.
IoT systems can help a buyer order products based on their choice and preference. They can easily adjust some IoT settings as per their preferences and move the rest with automation.
In addition, IoT systems notify customers of product status, whether it’s out of stock or back in stock. You can even give your necessary information early when the product is out of stock so that when it is available, the IoT system automatically buys it for the customer.
End-to-End Experience Optimization
IoT data enables brands to gather a lot of data about their products. The data containing real-world usage of the product can feed data back to the brand and customers regarding the product’s performance.
This will help brands forecast issues and recommendations based on the feedback. Brands can also use this data to notify customers about product functionality and alert them when necessary maintenance. This leads to better customer service and satisfaction.
The common effect that IoT systems have on social media is spurring and enormous. IoT can offer many benefits, such as tracking the behavior of customers in real time, improving awareness of the situation, and more.
Businesses that rely on deep insights can use social media to deliver the expected services. Smartphones have turned into a crucial part of everyone’s lives and are most widely used among gadgets. It has set a battleground for all IoT gadgets.
Here are some of the impacts of IoT on social media:
It allows businesses to change how they deliver their services.
Enterprises can build a better reputation among their audience.
It enables companies to maintain privacy.
IoT changes the way people search for something online. Smart watches, intelligent cars, connected homes, voice assistants, and wearable devices are the best examples of current SEO best practices. To prepare for an IoT-driven future, you need to follow some strategies, such as:
No doubt, every sector is benefitting from IoT technology. With evolving technology, working cultures are changing, and so do the job markets across the globe. But, to ensure efficiency and progress in the coming era, employees and organizations must embrace the available IoT technology.
IoT offers employees a safer environment, high productivity, and a better work experience. On the other hand, organizations can witness enhanced sales. More demand for products and services means better hourly rates for workers as well.
Manufacturers automate maintenance diagnostics and reporting by combining the solution of IoT and automation. It will help provide information on every aspect of the process to increase efficiency and reduce accidents. IoT systems allow businesses to power their security systems.
IoT greatly demands a more agile and disciplined approach to product integration. It’s because:
Consumers are becoming more tech literate
IoT encourages innovation
Better analytics of the product
Reduced development costs and time
You will get plenty of advertising opportunities when you can connect smart devices to the internet. IoT systems can also help your businesses use any object as a channel to engage customers.
The Internet of Things includes fast and secure connectivity, sophisticated information management, and powerful device management. Thus, it helps you build smarter IoT-enabled products.
Businesses can collect data from any source through either inbuilt or external sensors. Data like status data, location data, automation data, and actionable data help several industries grow their business and enhance their sales.
IoT delivers countless possibilities to enterprises and helps them generate more revenue and sales. With the help of IoT, industries can quickly adopt new strategies for marketing.
IoT caters to various industries and businesses involving internet advertising, content marketing, product development, social media, viral marketing, and more. It also helps improve communication between marketers and customers, enhances brand recognition, and provides greater customer satisfaction.
Considering its widespread adoption, IoT will likely stick around for years.