April 25, 2016
Website developers and marketers are always looking to keep one step ahead to take advantage of everything the Internet has to offer. It could even be said that the entire concept of SEO as we know it is the direct result of marketers competing to be No. 1. In light of this, it should be no surprise that the online world is now taking a serious look at the Internet of Things (IoT) as the next frontier in marketing. Those in the know believe that the IoT is currently guiding the future of business and will do so for a long time to come.
The IoT is that collection of all the devices in the world with built-in Internet connectivity. It includes not only the standard players like Smartphones and tablets, but it also includes everything from office copy machines to household appliances to the modern cars we now drive. The IoT is everywhere; it permeates everything. Utilizing it as a marketing tool should be obvious.
Not convinced? Take a look at what technology forecasting expert Daniel Burrus wrote for Wired magazine back in 2014: “The Internet of Things revolves around increased machine-to-machine communication; it’s built on cloud computing and networks of data-gathering sensors; it’s mobile, virtual, and instantaneous connection; and they say it’s going to make everything in our lives from streetlights to seaports smart.”
Burrus is among a growing number of technology experts who see the potential of the IoT to transform almost every aspect of our lives. Therefore, taking advantage of it as a marketing tool is a must for all entities looking to stay ahead of the game.
It’s All about Data
Burrus pointed out in his piece that most of the talk surrounding the IoT thus far has been about one machine talking to another. In other words, you have heard the standard joke about your fridge talking to the repair centre to let someone know it is about to fail. Machine-to-machine communications are pretty standard fare and do not offer much by way of marketing opportunities. But there’s more to the IoT than these basic kinds of communications. There are also some tremendous data-gathering capabilities.
If you drive a car built any time during this decade, the vehicle likely has connectivity built-in, whether it is utilized or not. Now, think about the number of sensors that gather data as you drive down the road. All of that data says something about you, your car, and how you and the machine interact. It is data that can be harnessed for marketing purposes. That is how the IoT is now guiding the future of business.
Have you heard of Big Data? Sure you have. Big Data is the concept of collecting as much data as possible in any given environment and then figuring out ways to analyze that data for some perceived benefit. As the IoT guides the future of business, it is relying heavily on the Big Data concept to drive it.
Big Data will be incorporated into the IoT to:
• Collect vast amounts of data from machine-mounted sensors;
• Store that data on servers that can be utilized by those who need it;
• Analyze the data in order to discover a viable use for it;
• Apply the data to fulfill its desire to use information.
Using your connected car as an example again, the IoT concept can be used to gather data about where you drive on a regular basis. If you are the kind of person who routinely drives into the city for work, that data can be used by marketers to sell customized ads that would play over your on-board sound system as you drive. Those ads might feature businesses you routinely pass by on your daily commute – as you pass by them.
A Real Impact on Business
In terms of day-to-day business operations, data collected through the IoT will make it easier for customer service representatives to interact with clients. It will be used to track sales, analyze trends, and generally make the office more efficient. More importantly, the data will be used to drive the plans for future market expansion and growth.
Industries in virtually every sector will benefit. For example:
• Financial services will use IoT data to better understand customer financial habits and track their own risks.
• Health care will use the IoT to provide better patient care through better co-ordination of services and equipment.
• Manufacturing will further develop its current IoT resources to create better products that do more for customers and last longer.
• The technology sector will utilize IoT data to improve product design and help integrate technology more seamlessly into daily life.
As the IoT expands, it will have a definite impact on human capital. We are not talking about a day when robots completely replace humans, but we are envisioning shifting roles where machines do more of the heavy lifting and humans concentrate on further technology development. One of the results will be new business opportunities. We will need new manufacturers to build machines, new design firms to conceptualize them, and an army of new companies capable of collecting, analyzing and storing data.
Data storage capacity will have to increase as well. In fact, we are already seeing the start of this trend. Bigger and better data centers are being designed and built to keep up with the growing mountain of global data. Those data centers will have to keep getting bigger, faster and more efficient. They will have to be more secure too, opening up opportunities for even more new businesses in the security arena.
The Possibilities Are Endless
By now you might be wondering, is the IoT promising obvious benefits to the marketers of tomorrow that cannot be fulfilled? We don’t think so. The possibilities of using the IoT for marketing purposes and business development seem pretty much endless right now. If data can be harnessed and analyzed, it can be used to create better marketing campaigns that get better results. The IoT makes that possible.
As long as we can continue to expand our data-gathering and storage capabilities, there is no viable reason the IoT can’t continue to grow right along with those capabilities. That means virtually every electronic device in the future will either be connected to the IoT or possess the ability to do so. It also means that every electronic device you and I use will become a tool for gathering data important to marketers.
There is little doubt to those who understand the scope of the IoT that it is guiding the future of business today. What we see happening in the marketing world 10 and 20 years from now will be a direct result of IoT development. You can count on it.
This article is written by Anurag Gupta. He works for Placementindia.com one of the leading placement portals of India. Anurag keeps a keen interest in ongoing placements trends in the country and has delivered many articles and blogs for both job seekers and employers. For more details, follow him on: Twitter | Facebook | Google+.