The Internet of Things, IoT, is a topic every marketer is talking about. But, what does it mean, and more specifically, what is the impact of IoT on marketing? IoT’s smart, connected devices provide marketers with a new suite of opportunities to listen and respond to the needs and wants of their audience, based on their behaviors. How? At its simplest, the IoT is the connection of all things to a network or the Internet and its impact can already be seen in cars, home appliances, wearables, and on store shelves, to name a few examples.
IoT Allows Customers to Tell You What They Want
Forget the days of trying to figure out what people want. IoT presents opportunities for real-time engagement where customers are telling you what they want, on a continuous basis.
And your audience is eager to improve their lives with these devices and provide marketers they trust with the information needed to do so. As Cole Shafer, the head of copy for HoneyPot, so aptly says in his recent article for Medium, “We don’t want to wait for a taxi. We want to hit a button and be in an Uber in 2 minutes. We don’t want to fuss with hotels. We want to instantly book an Airbnb. We don’t want to stand in line at the bank. We want to simply take a picture of our check and have it deposited. We want to save time on mundane tasks so we can spend more time doing the stuff we want to do.” And IoT devices do just that – take care of the mundane not only with the touch of a button, but with sound of your voice.
IoT Solidifies the Need for a Customer First Lens
To take advantage of these new devices and the ever-growing customer expectations, you need to flip your marketing, and indeed your organization’s objectives to drive customer benefits first, then business outcomes. Marketers and organizations, need to look at the world through a customer first lens and provide customers with the experiences they want. And it pays off. Recently, Forrester provided the ROI with a reported 36% faster revenue-growth rates. Here are two examples of companies thinking with a customer first lens:
- Amazon GO, Amazon’s new retail concept which allows customers to scan their purchase and go, without having to check-out.
- L’Oreal’s recent purchase of leading beauty tech firm Modiface, which specializes in augmented and virtual reality tools. This acquisition has already resulted in the launch of an app for, L’Oreal Professional, called Style My Hair, which provides augmented-reality hair color tryouts.
IoT Turns Every Business into a Digital Business
If, as Forrester says, “Every business is now a digital business and needs to chase customers ever-growing expectations, not competition,” the goal is to collect, analyze, synthesis, and react, in real-time, to customer information and do so across multiple touch-points. And, with IoT comes a new flood of data. Data that directly affects the whole organization, not just marketing. As Deon Newman, Chief Marketing Officer for IBM’s Watson Internet of Things (IoT), told Fortune Magazine, in November 2017, “Data is the basis of competitive differentiation for every company. CMOs can play a leadership role in making IoT data how marketers understand customers and products. But their influence can extend so much further. Marketers can join forces with the heads of engineering, research and development, sales, and customer service to use IoT data to create more customer-centric products, offer new services, and find and sustain new differentiation.”\
Customers Happy to Hand Over Information
Customers want to improve their lives with the smart devices associated with IoT, and will provide marketers, they trust, with the information needed to do so, especially if it means they free up time to enjoy more of the types of experiences they seek. And, IoT devices do just that – take care of the “mundane” not only with the touch of a button, but with sound of your voice, or by predicting your needs – think smart fridges and Nest thermostats and home alarm systems.
How will your company make your customers’ lives easier? Figuring that out has tremendous upside as customers will reward those companies with their loyalty.
To find out the steps needed to take advantage of all the data from IoT, download our latest eBook, How to Implement Personalization Across All Customer Touchpoints.
About VeraCentra: Marketers everywhere want to use data to implement more modern customer engagement strategies. But there can be many obstacles standing in the way of success. That’s where we come in. VeraCentra provides easy-access Customer Data Hubs. We represent best of breed Cross Channel Engagement Platforms (so marketers get the right fit) and offer the Marketing and Data Services that guarantee speed to value and quick win ROI from technology investments. We deliver these solutions with an unmatched wholehearted approach bringing personalized support, care, and service to every client. That’s why many of our client relationships span more than a decade.