How will the internet of things impact marketing in 2019 and beyond?

The modern marketing strategy has a lot of different factors to consider. Content strategies, social media, paid advertising, video, podcasts…

And now, the internet of things has joined the frame.

We’ve covered how the IoT can impact businesses as a whole in a previous blog, but today we’re going to look at something more specific: how marketing strategies will change as a result of what is, in some senses, a complete revolution in how businesses are run?

So in 2019, how can the internet of things make a genuine difference to businesses looking to make more money? Let’s take a look.

The revolution of data

Put simply, the internet of things means more data will be available to modern businesses.

Every single new physical touchpoint, whether it’s from a hardware sensor or a smartwatch, will bring a whole new set of data capable of offering a huge amount of insight.

And you might be surprised at the sheer number of hardware devices that are now capable of being ‘IoT’ ready – the usual suspects like watches, cars and phones are one thing, but IoT technology is already being applied to things like recycling trash cans and even toothbrushes!

According to a recent study, analysts estimate that by 2020, there will be as many as 13 billion IoT connected devices in the world. Some analysts are going even bigger, guessing the number will be as high as 1 trillion!

By analyzing this data, marketers will be able to provide better targeted campaigns and as a result will be able to engage more effectively with their customers.

Essentially, the IoT should lead to businesses simply being better at providing a positive experience to their customers.

IoT will give marketing the chance to take their data sets ‘up a level’, moving them on from simply whether the customer to bought to understanding their buying behaviors, and even to pre-empt when they’re going to buy something.

Which brings us onto the second point…

IoT will deliver a better customer experience

Put simply, people are most likely to buy at a time when they are feeling a need (or want) for a particular service.

The IoT will offer huge potential for customers to do exactly that.

Imagine that just as your car’s tire is beginning to burn out, you receive a full 50% off code for the same tire, direct from your manufacturer?

This ability to offer the right product at exactly the right time is invaluable to businesses that want their customers to be pleased with the service.

The flip side of this is that marketers will have less chance of annoying customers by sending them messages at the wrong time, or by delivering promotions that they’re simply not interested in at that time.

Anyone who’s been scanning their feedback only to be sent a completely irrelevant ad for a product they’re simply not going to buy will know that it’s incredibly irritating – especially if that product then continues to follow you around the web for the next week!

Being able to give customers exactly what they want, exactly when they need it can only be a positive for both the company and the customer: the business makes more sales, and the customer has a great experience. Everybody wins.

The ability to accurately measure every part of the customer journey, from their purchase patterns to their preferred offer, will likely change marketing forever.

Marketing agencies will change their role

Online marketing as a whole has forced modern agencies to be more focused on tech. From technical SEO analysis to data mining, skilled tech staff are far more common than they were in the ‘mad men’ days!

However, expect the IoT to expand this even further.

Over the next decade, many marketing agencies will almost become closed to a ‘tech team’, capable of doing everything from making website changes to building full multi-device information platforms.

Marketing agencies will have to learn to manage the whole customer journey. Whereas previous marketers will look at one thing – whether or not prospects turned into customers – eventually a ‘marketing role’ will look at a huge number of potential datapoints:

Engagement with relevant hardware, from app-related devices like watches and cars right the way through to store visiting trackers capable of measuring footfall.

Not to mention they’ll also have to manage the software that controls and tracks the hardware.

(And that’s before they look at the more traditional agency concerns such as content marketing, email marketing, copywriting, videos and so on!)

One thing’s for sure – marketing agencies that focus on the technical side of things can give themselves a big heads up over their competitors.

There will be a necessity for increased security

This isn’t a perk, as such, but it’s very important to highlight.

The more data is available, the more important it will be for marketers to be responsible with that data.

Put simply, marketing agencies will be required to have the same levels of online security as any modern bank.

Indeed, it’s quite possible that marketing agencies will actually store MORE information about customers than a modern bank might.

While a bank might keep financial records, modern IoT agencies may also have access to behavioral information, even physical footfall.

There have been several articles in the recent months where app developers have been accused – with serious evidence to back up the claim – of abusing this data.

Any marketer looking to succeed must put ethics at the top of their priority list. The recent scandal regarding Facebook – and the amount of people who’ve deleted it since the scandal – show the perils of not respecting customer information.

By having the power to offer a fully personalized experience to customers, marketers must adopt additional levels of responsibility and invest in the highest online security possible.

Any mistake in this area would likely mean a terminal – and deserved – PR disaster.

Whole new marketable industries

Finally, it’s worth remembering that by integrating hardware sensors and trackers, a whole new marketing sector will be accessible in a way it’s not been before:

Household consumer goods.

Think of devices like your fridge, your oven, your coffee makers, your dishwasher and so on. When IoT technology reaches a tipping point, all of these devices will become fully smart friendly.

This means that items that have always been essential – coffee, dishwasher tablets, oven cleaner – will suddenly be marketable in a way that’s never been optimized before.

Previously, these kind of essentials have only ever been marketable in the sense of ‘make them good and put them on shelves, and people will grab them when they get the chance’.

Now, hardware trackers will be able to maximize revenue – as soon as new consumables are needed, you’ll be able to get messages delivered with promotions, etc.

The days of making a shopping list will be over, essentially.

The technology goes further though, and this is where things get even more exciting. By linking IoT technology directly to your supermarket’s online portal, your devices will actually be capable of ordering your shopping for you.

You won’t have to lift a finger – the goods you need will simply show up on your doorstep as you need them – this will be ideal for marketing companies looking to maximize revenue, and perfect for you as an experience!

Get in touch

If you’d like to learn more about how the internet of things will impact your marketing strategy, get in touch today – we’d love to help you.

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