One of today’s most trendy tech phrases is The Internet of Things. We all have a vague idea of what it means – our devices today are all connected to the Internet and to each other, whether they’re smartphones, cars, or refrigerators. As consumers and manufacturers, we’re just starting to scratch the surface of what this means and what we can do. As marketers, however, we’re even further behind.
An important part of being a marketer is understanding where things are headed. If you’re able to get ahead of the curve, you’ll have a significant advantage over your competition. If you fall behind, however, you’ll have to catch up quickly or get left in the dust. Think about the impact mobile devices, for example, have had on marketing and brands. They have driven the explosion of social media and changed the way people interact with content, making video much more popular.
The Internet of Things is going to have the same impact. If you want to keep your brand relevant and thriving, it’s critical that you understand what this means as early as possible. To help you out, here are three important implications that the Internet of Things will have on marketing, both in the near-future and today:
1. Gathering Data
Platforms like Facebook already give us information about what shows people like, the types of companies that they’re following, and much more. In the near future, however, we might have even more information at our fingertips. It isn’t a leap to assume that smart refrigerators, for example, will be able help us estimate how many people live in a specific house, what their brand preferences are, and what their estimated income is, simply from the food that they buy and store. To get ready, make sure that you’re already using the information you have at your disposal today. Pretty soon, that’s going to be the new bare minimum.
2. A New Sales Funnel
Many sales opportunities that were previously marketed will now be handled directly by smart devices. For example, a smart car might be able to detect that a specific part is wearing down and direct users to head to a local auto shop. If you’re an auto garage, it’s likely that you’ll need to compete with other local businesses for those automated recommendations. Take a minute to think about how this could impact your industry and if there are any relationships you could form now, just in case.
3. Linked Services
Another way you’re going to see the proliferation of connected devices impact marketing is through the use of strategic partnerships. For example, everybody loves to listen to their own music while driving. That’s why Uber and Spotify partnered up. By connecting their apps to each other, you’ll be able to listen to your own Spotify playlist when riding in an Uber vehicle. It enhances the value of both brands and improves the overall customer experience. Take a minute to think about if there are any similar complementary products or services that would enhance your customer’s experiences and pursue them before somebody else does.
Understanding and leveraging The Internet of Things isn’t a must-have for your digital strategy in 2018, but it’s clear that there are ways you can already start taking advantage of it. By considering the information discussed above sooner rather than later, you’ll give your company a head-up over the competition and be ready to start performing far into the future.