The internet of things (IoT) has become part of normal life and is continuing to grow. Most of us interact with it without thinking. Do you have a smart watch or step counter, a home voice assistant, or a WiFi connected light bulb? As brands interact with businesses off of the computer or smartphone screen we’re seeing new challenges and opportunities for marketers. Here’s what some of the experts are saying.
Writer Kayla Matthews taps into the growing Internet of Things industry and focuses on five industries that are doing it right (or at least making use of it in tangible ways). The five are: Consumer Electronics, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Transportation, and Construction. While these industries are proving the IoT will become normal and necessary for business and public services going forward, they also demonstrate new considerations for safety and security. Matthews finally asserts that the IoT is beneficial in almost every business, and so brands should be looking that way if they haven’t already.
The Takeaway: Look to consumer electronics, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, and construction to see how to best make use of the IoT.
Back in November, Kimberly A. Whitler interviewed Deon Newman, CMO for IBM’s Watson Internet of Things, about why it’s so crucial for marketers understand and be involved in the IoT. Newman’s insights had to do primarily with the way we collect and analyze user data. Whereas before the prevalence of the IoT marketers relied on focus groups, surveys, or purely purchase data to inform them, now we have a depth of information about how users actually interact with products all the time. This opens up opportunities for more relevant and helpful marketing based on what customers want and what they use.
The Takeaway: The growth of IoT is especially relevant to marketers, who now have constant data on user behavior.
“What Marketers Need to Know About the IoT In 2018,” Target Marketing Mag
The IoT has become a standard part of marketing practice, and author Sarah Mannone discusses the impact that will have on how marketers reach customers. The biggest (and perhaps most interesting) change will be how, where, and when people conduct search results and make purchases. Marketers can’t assume that customers are at a computer or on their phone anymore. They might reach your site through a voice search on Alexa, or on a smartwatch, or while driving. Further, they might actually buy things this way too — essentially with zero friction. This means increased access, and also increased potential for brand loyalty. Marketers must now optimize for new realms of customer interaction.
The Takeaway: The IoT reduces friction and limitations on purchasing, meaning customers can engage and convert from anywhere, at any time. Brands must optimize for that kind of interaction.
A Little Point of View
The biggest trend we see with the increased use of IoT products is the consequent increase in data, and the biggest challenge marketers will face is learning how to make the best use of all that information. If you know that customers often find your storefront via voice search on a smartwatch while outdoors, you would be wise to consider vocal versus typed search terms and habits. If you know that customers who order office supplies online have a standing refill order, you’ll need another way to reach them besides desktop web searches. As more and more brands start to optimize for IoT, data interpretation will become even more important than ever. Make sure that your data is accurate and up to date, and that you can test your digital channels across access points. This is the time to ensure that your testing platform is secure and integrates with any platform you use. SiteSpect can help you optimize your brand for the consumer in the IoT world.
About Eric J. Hansen
Eric J. Hansen is the Founder and CTO of SiteSpect. He previously served as founder and CEO of the web development agency World Machine and has over 20 years experience in software development and project management. He is based in Boston.