You may be asking, “What exactly is the Internet of Things?” The Internet of Things, or IoT, is the interconnection of devices that have the capacity to connect to the internet or to another network to collect, share, receive, and analyze data. The Internet of Things includes a range of devices involved in all parts of our lives, including city management, smart home appliances, and even personal fitness tracking. All of these devices create what Intel has called “an intelligent system of systems,” where they work to inform the greater management system to ultimately improve it – or at least provide more information about the current system through data collection.
Studies estimate that, in the future, 26 billion devices will become a part of the Internet of Things, and it will continue to grow as technology also continues to advance into the future. As more and more devices become capable of connecting to the internet, increasingly more data will be captured, pooled, analyzed, and then shared across devices with the hopes of improving and optimizing many different aspects of our society.
Naturally, the Internet of Things also has many implications for digital marketing. As technology continues to integrate itself into every aspect of society, digital marketers should understand how this evolution is currently affecting digital marketing and the direction that digital marketing will take in the future.
The Internet of Things emphasizes the future of Big Data
With the cumulation of data from an interconnected network of devices, big data helps marketers in many ways and will continue to provide insights to marketers in more fields in the future. Because of the shared data collected by individual devices, marketers have an opportunity to fully understand consumers–possibly more than consumers even understand themselves. With larger data sets, marketers have access to data on consumers’ habits, preferences, purchasing patterns, needs, and desires.
The IoT creates an emphasis on engaging digital marketing strategies
Big data allows companies to develop products and services that consumers realistically want and need. Ideally, companies differentiate themselves successfully through the products and services they create. However, digital marketing should always still work to find new and innovative ways to target the company’s main customers and grow its customer base.
There is a great potential for marketers to create optimized marketing campaigns to target customers on social, financial, and psychological levels. While there is still some uncertainty, the Internet of Things allows marketers to predict consumer behavior, response, and action, as well as engage their target audiences to a higher degree. Therefore, it can improve the customer experience and solidify a positive brand image for your company. This makes it easier for digital marketers to focus on other priorities such as building brand recognition and loyalty through their online efforts.
Luckily, testing out different growth, engagement, and brand education mechanisms becomes easier as marketers can access data sets with increasingly more data points from various consumers. The Internet of Things provides an opportunity for continuous improvement in factors that are important to your company and its business objectives.
As all companies improve their digital marketing strategies, consumers alike are becoming more weary of ads that do not spark an interest. Marketers must push the boundaries of digital marketing to create new methods and strategies that will capture the target audience’s attention and do it better than their competitors who likely also have access to similar data sets. This opens up the field to infinite possibilities to be creative and change the future of marketing.
Responding to the changes brought by the Internet of Things responsibly
While big data has such a great potential to improve the products we market to the world, it also has the capacity to do more damage than good. The normalization of data on the most intimate parts of consumers’ lives brings about the concern of ethical practice. The way you use consumer data reflects on your company’s values and may even serve to build trust in your company amongst consumers. As marketers, we need to understand that the responsibility of using, collecting, and protecting data properly falls on us. The data practices of marketers in today’s day and age will set the precedent for marketers in the future.
The Internet of Things has made a huge statement in our society, and your company is likely already adjusting to the changes it has brought. Still, it is important to understand its implications on digital marketing so that you know how to actively adjust to changes and will bring in the future.
Even though big data is monumental in digital marketing practices, it is important to note that qualitative and quantitative analysis together are necessary. How has your company or agency responded to these changes? What other changes do you predict will occur in the future?
- Consumer map
- Research will change
- SEO will change
- Ethical concern
- Other companies will step it up to meet demand with big data