The word Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the way the Internet has become a fundamental component of the objects we use everyday, and how these interconnected items affect our daily lives.
Today, the web is not just a place you can access from your laptop, but it also operates as an automated entity that can affect the physical world we live in.
The ultimate goal of IoT is to make sure you don’t have to worry about daily, time-consuming tasks anymore. Imagine buying a new refrigerator that is able to keep track of what products you’re running out of while filing a list of the groceries you’ll need on your next visit to the supermarket. Think about how cool it’ll be to go jogging with your brand-new smart running shoes that can easily keep track of running time, distance, and split times.
The Benefits of IoT for Marketing
IoT has slowly been absorbed by the marketing industry as well, turning traditional marketing practices into interconnected digital activities.
The strong impact of IoT on marketing strategies can be traced primarily to today’s growing use of and reliance on data. If more and more items are interconnected, a growing amount of data is being produced by people who use these items daily. This is good news for today’s marketers, whose advertising practices rely heavily on user data. More data translates into smarter data which, eventually, gives access to personalized campaigns and better customer engagement.
Customized campaigns, specifically, can only be achieved with improved targeting, which also makes use of IoT big data. If a certain product is connected to the internet, not only does it provide marketers with insightful information about the user’s location and buying habits, but it also enables them to deliver solutions to problems that the specific product might have.
The Effects of IoT on Content Production and Delivery
Perhaps the most important component of digital marketing, content production and delivery also benefit from IoT.
IoT affects one of the many customer journey stages that involve content creation: the customer experience. Customers today are no longer just exposed to content online, or through their laptops or cellphones. Nowadays, content is also created and delivered in a myriad of other places. Think back to the example of the interconnected refrigerator. The product itself could directly let the user know that there are problems with food temperature, for instance. This is a new way of communicating with the consumer, and therefore has a huge impact on the entire customer journey through the marketing and sales funnel. Marketers are now required to create personalized messages for customers based on the device they’re using.
That’s just one example of a specific situation that necessarily calls for more personalized message creation, but there are so many other elements that can help content customization as well. Location and environment are among the most insightful data for marketers to deliver targeted messages that will guide shoppers to find, and eventually purchase, nearby products that they actually need.
In today’s interconnected world, learning customer habits and delivering the most enjoyable experience is paramount. This is primarily achieved through innovative ideas and insightful initiatives, and IoT has proven to be really useful in this sense.
The increasing popularity of IoT has allowed the rise of a new type of marketing - experiential marketing. Today’s users are more likely to consume content by ‘feeling’ it rather than just reading it. This has led a growing number of brands to promote their work through an experience, rather than a traditional marketing message, in order to better engage the modern customer. Engaging experiences that can be shared and enjoyed collectively, though, have to be personalized in the first place, and IoT’s data represents the most effective way to do so.
Last, but not least, if today’s content needs to be engaging, personalized and experiential, it necessarily means that it will have to be contextual, too. The wide range of interconnected devices requires marketers to depend even more heavily on context for producing and delivering engaging content. This has already happened in the past when marketers had to adapt their content formats to mobile because of changes in the way users consume digital content. Today, the adjustment to new content formats, as necessitated by IoT, is going to be even more challenging given the numerous options of interconnected devices available.
Regardless of how companies adapt their content strategy to the new, ever-evolving world of IoT, the bottom line is this: smart, contextualized content production is more likely to increase trust among consumers, thus improving customer engagement and experience.