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The Internet of Things and Its Impact on Digital Marketing

IoT is destined to make a huge impact on the marketing world

IoT is making a massive impact on marketing around the world. While the technology hasn’t been completely rolled out yet, the pieces are coming together. 5G is being rolled out, and smart technology is being used in everything from cars to light switches.

However, the impact of IoT digital marketing will differ from anything that has come before. Since IoT provides constant streams of data to marketers, it will allow for real-time marketing and greater opportunities.

How is IoT Making an Impact?

The impact that IoT digital marketing will have on the marketing world, in general, is unheard of. Already, IoT is helping businesses gather more data about their clients and customers. This makes it easier to design products and services that are more in tune with customer needs and demands. Savvy business owners, managers and marketers will be using this technology for years to come to make their jobs easier.

IoT is also helping companies to market their product and services better. Since they’re able to collect more data from their customers, they’re able to market in certain ways that weren’t obvious before. This makes it easier to market products and services with success.

Certain industry insiders do argue that IoT will revolutionise marketing within a year. Some interesting facts about IoT include:

  • The global IoT market will grow to £5.247 trillion by 2020
  • The total number of connected devices will increase to 13 billion by 2020
  • 30% of the population will have smart thermostats within 5 years.
  • 40% of the population will have a smart refrigerator within five years

With all that backing up the idea of digital marketing, how exactly will IoT be used in the future? It can resolve customer issues, close sales, and analyse customer behaviour. It can also provide instantaneous notifications based on real-time information flow.

What will make IoT marketing exciting is the segmentation. Since the volume of data will grow manifold due to so many devices feeding data into a system, it will provide lots of contexts. Data will show how marketing to someone living in one neighbourhood will be different from someone from another neighbourhood. The same will apply to different cities, areas, and regions.

While this type of information is already available to companies that operate in different centres, the volume will be much larger. With IoT, targeting specific customers, specific audiences, and regions will be made much easier. Hence, marketing materials shown to one customer may be radically different from those shown to another customer. 

A Data-Driven Marketing Strategy

While data already drives a lot of marketing strategies, it will continue to upend conventional wisdom. Since data will be at the centre of IoT digital marketing, it’s not surprising that it will drive the entire enterprise. This data will not only analyse which product or service sells better, but what users behave like.

With each product and service, IoT will allow for analysis of behaviour based on gender, politics, region, etc. Since all the data will be coming in instantaneously, marketing based on location and timing will become more common. 

What’s more, the buyer’s journey will become clearer as well. Today, companies ask you how you heard of a product or service. Now, they’ll be able to track just how you got to a store or a retail site. This will allow them to choose the right type of marketing tactic for each customer. It will enable companies to understand the different behaviour that customers exhibit when they like product or service.

How Will IoT Digital Marketing Change the Game?

While we’ve talked about the influence of digital marketing, we don’t know how it will all pan out. Here are just a few of the elements and features of IoT that will influence digital marketing in the future.

Big Data

Data is the central pillar of IoT. All the devices that will become smart in the future and all of the ones that are smart now are data gatherers. From your smartphone and smartwatch to your smart car and your smart appliances. All of them will deliver valuable data to the company or marketers that need it the most.

The data will allow for companies to gain insights into user behaviour and design data-driven strategies for marketing. In the future, tiny sensors will measure behaviour in the context of different factors. These will include temperature, weather, time of day, location, etc. Essentially a behavioural map of every single customer will be constructed to allow for very targeted marketing.

Notifications and ads may pop up depending on what you do at the time of day. They may also pop up depending on the stores or restaurants you visit or the places you go to visit your friends. All of this data, previously unavailable to marketers, will drive the next evolution of marketing and

Better Market Research

At the moment, data gathering, processing and analysis are already very sophisticated. Yet, the barrage of data that IoT will bring forth will make market research much better. It will yield deeper insights and make contextual data more available.

IoT for B2B enterprises is an industry norm already. However, individual customers are much different and more diversified entities than companies. As discussed above, the prevalence of IoT devices everywhere will allow marketers greater volumes of data to analyse.

This surge in data can allow marketers to streamline different processes and reach niche audiences. Due to the connection between IoT and the cloud marketing professionals will be able to perform more predictive analyses. This way, targeted marketing will become much easier and much more effective.

Consumer Lifestyle Information

IoT doesn’t just access information which a customer chooses to share publicly on social media platforms. It accesses information about their everyday lifestyle. The types of IoT enabled devices that will be utilised by the general consumer will be coffee makers, automatic lights, and smart TVs. These devices make up the lifestyle of a consumer.

They are present when consumers wake up in the morning till when they go to bed. Digital marketers with access to that data will be able to market things to customers depending on their lifestyle. Right now, they are just dealing with a general data set. In the future, this will expand to cover individual markers.

SEO will Change

SEO will experience a major change with IoT. Today, SEO is just about catering to specific things that people ask on search engines. It’s about appealing to a certain aesthetic sense with web design and with user experience.

However, IoT will change how people interact with their devices. Voice and touch will take over what was limited to key and cursor-based interaction. While people now use several devices with touch and voice already, IoT will scale that to a larger level.

Thus SEO will have to adapt to not just words in a search engine, but a whole interactive experience. The language that consumers will use to interact with their devices will allow marketing to change.

Real-Time Data Will Influence Marketing

Real-time marketing has been discussed already, but the majority doesn’t well understand its effects. At this time, location-based reminders and timed ads are already a thing. However, with IoT devices feeding instantaneous data to companies, it’ll be easier to send users alerts and notifications in real-time.

When someone gets in their car, their smartphone may give them an alert to put on their favourite playlist. When they drive by or walk by a restaurant, they may get an alert for a coupon or a discount. If their daily routine is recorded, they may get alerts based on what activity usually occurs at any time of day. 

Ethics Will Be a Bigger Part of the Conversation

Since IoT marketing will be data-driven, the amount of data flowing into the hands of marketers is concerning. That’s why ethical use of data will be a large part of the conversation for IoT. Already, laws like the GDPR are taking shape all over the world. In Brazil, the US, the UK, China, and even India, data protection laws are being written to protect users from exploitation.

These data laws involve holding companies accountable when using a person’s data and giving them control over their own data. It also involves forcing companies to delete said person’s data if the latter desires it for whatever reason.

These kinds of conversations are necessary for an age where privacy is a huge commodity. That’s why these laws need to be enforced. Responsibility and ethics are a huge issue with regards to the use of data in IoT digital marketing. For most countries, there are yet no laws to prevent this from happening. Hence, this will be an evolving conversation.  

The Internet of Things is an extremely important tool for digital marketing. However, its evolution and development is something that has to be observed with a lot of diligence and care.