The level of interconnectivity today has certainly reached new heights with the advent of the Internet of Things. In essence, the Internet of Things simply involves internet-based communication between computing devices, motorised and digital machines with objects, animals or people, through unique identifiers that enable them to send and receive data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. It employs cloud computing technology and is linked by networks of data-gathering sensors. Analyst firm Gartner predicts that there will be about 26 billion Internet of Things devices in circulation by 2020, which translates to approximately four devices for every person on Earth.
With internet connectivity progressively expanding to include everyday objects, it was only a matter of time before it found its way into business processes and strategies. To stay ahead of the competition, many companies have pivoted their focus towards the Internet of Things and are increasingly integrating it with their marketing strategies, especially those in the digital and online sphere. Let’s take a look at how the Internet of Things is changing online marketing in the most profound manner.
Creates better user experiences
With the mobile phone being so ubiquitous and such a necessity in everyday life, it’s no surprise that the smartphone – or any other mobile device, for that matter – plays a big role in creating a more dynamic user experience for mobile users. In this case, the smartphone is used to give customers greater engagement and a deeper understanding of how products and services work. For example, if you had purchased a rice cooker some time back and misplaced the instruction manual, all you need to do is to scan the QR code sticker on the rice cooker with a QR reader on your smartphone. It will open up the company website where you can search for the right instruction manual for your rice cooker model. This saves you time by not having to rummage through your drawers to look for the physical copy of the instruction manual, and may even prevent mishaps resulting from improper use of the rice cooker.
Another example of how the Internet of Things features in online marketing would be in its ability to connect customers’ online accounts with in-store POS systems. Many stores these days have a reward system where you receive points upon making a purchase. These points are accumulated every time you make a purchase, and can be used to obtain free products and services once the minimum number of points required is met. When paying for purchases at the counter, the cashier will be able to obtain the exact number of points you’ve earned thus far through the POS system, which is connected over the internet. You will then get to redeem your free item instantly at the point-of-purchase with no fuss, and a long waiting time. Customers are usually very appreciative of this, and will reward the business with loyalty and long-term business opportunities!
Feeds marketing data
Any seasoned marketer will be able to tell you that one of the keys to successful marketing is to have data on your target market – the consumers, your customers. Marketing automation software developer Marketo defines the relationship between data and consumers succinctly: Connectivity leads to higher levels of data, which can be mined to get more insights into customer behaviour, enabling the marketer to design more relevant campaigns, which ultimately lead to more customer engagement. Of course, marketers must first be able to obtain the data required to analyse their customers – this is enabled by the many gadgets and devices that we use today.
To illustrate, fitness technology product Fitbit can do more than just track your daily activity levels. It not only keeps track of how many steps you take each day, it also records the number of calories burned and the distance walked. As the device is connected to the internet and can be synced with the mobile app on your mobile device, all this information can then be used by marketers to inform you of products and services that are specific to your lifestyle and interests.
The same goes for your shopping habits on- and offline. Most companies have now developed mobile apps that allow customers to make purchases and accumulate reward points, regardless of whether the purchases were made in an actual store or over the internet. POS systems today are connected over the internet, allowing the purchases to be logged onto the mobile app, giving marketers some insight into the customer’s purchasing habits, items of interest, and general preferences.
Marketers use this data to design appropriate marketing messages to the customer in the form of current promotions, free samples, as well as invitations to new product launches by way of push messaging through mobile apps or even social media platforms. This ensures that marketing efforts are able to reach the specific target market, leading to a more effective marketing campaign. As Internet of Things becomes a common feature today, the scope and depth of data available to marketers continues to grow, giving online marketing a big boost in terms of effectiveness.
Fuels demand for convenience
A big part of keeping customers happy involves providing them with a measure of convenience for a pleasant shopping experience. Marketers today are increasingly privy to the fact that in today’s fast-paced world where most people are pressed for time, convenience is a welcome respite. Thus, more and more companies are incorporating delivery services into their repertoire of offerings, giving customers everywhere the convenience of ordering products from the comfort of their own homes. For example, products that are advertised over internet-enabled TVs allow customers to place orders for products or services over the internet and have their orders delivered to their address of choice.
Additionally, home security devices are now connected over the internet, and are designed to contact the local police beat base and inform the house owners of any suspicious activity detected, thus remove the need for themselves to do so. The popularity of the Internet of Things grows in tandem with customers’ expectations of convenience, and marketers everywhere should cater to those expectations or risk losing to their competitors.
It is undeniable that the Internet of Things is taking over the world therefore it is crucial for us to understand its impact on our lives. Our ThunderQuote team hopes that this article gives a better understanding to the World Wide Web. For more information, please click related articles or visit our website.
ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.