The Internet of Things has been making a splash in all sorts of unexpected industries. From city infrastructure all the way down to baby monitors, its affecting our world in a way that’s not been seen since the internet. Its next venture? Marketing.
Marketing is one of few industries that changes minute-by-minute. Consumer perception is a difficult thing to understand and what worked last week might not today.
A recent survey stated that over half of top global marketers expect the Internet of Things to revolutionise the marketing world by 2020. Why? Because data is everything, and there’s no better data-gathering tool right now than the IoT.
The IoT is able to gather data in real-time in devices where it was previously unattainable. It can analyse customer buying habits, help garner insight into how consumers choose a product, and even help expedite customer service.
How IoT Changes the Game
How something is marketed can change at the drop of a hat. For instance, let’s look at a simple product like eggnog. It’s a seasonal item and therefor selling in June is unlikely to garner many sales, and so it tends to come out around Christmas. Now, let’s say there was a huge egg-scare and people are suddenly avoiding eggs. What happens now?
Without the IoT, businesses are slow to respond to this trend. Eggnog sales are down, but most companies don’t know why. They keep it on the shelves and end up losing potential customers.
With the IoT, the system recognizes that Eggnog sales are down… but what’s this? Egg-free eggnog sales are up. The system was able to analyse this trend in real time and within a day, the business has started prioritizing egg-free eggnog. Sales stabilise for this business.
Consumer behavior is an ever-changing beast. Thanks to the IoT, this beast is a lot more tame. It can help with a lot more than just egg-scares, too. Knowing why one product is bought over another is just as important when it comes to marketing. Was the price too high? Was the product not in the right color or size? Sure, you could ask the customer all these questions, but with the IoT, it’ll be able to predict the answers based on data received.
It can also help with targeted ads. Social communities are an important part of social media and focusing efforts towards these communities to reach prospective customers is extremely helpful. Determining emerging trends with one group of people would help you to sell the same type of product to other similar groups.
Being able to answer the why’s of consumers is the number one job of any marketer. Being able to answer in each moment allows marketers to adapt instantaneously to new trends. As it happens, the Internet of Things is the tool required to do both on a global scale.