What Does IoT Mean for Marketers? A Special Guest Post by Martyn Etherington, Cisco Jasper
The vision of IoT is simply to deliver business outcomes tied to a company’s strategy—it is far less about connectivity. In short, it is how companies save money, make money or improve customer experience through IoT. Many companies—with the exception of automotive companies, which are some of the most advanced IoT practitioners—have predominantly centered their IoT projects around improving operations, but forward-thinking companies and CMOs now have the opportunity to leverage IoT to identify new revenue streams and improve customer experience, which is equally important.
When thinking of IoT, “T” can refer not only to things like robotic arms or sensors, but also mobile devices and connected humans. The ability to transform the data from these devices into revenue streams by reading and responding to customers’ digital body language will not only improve your customers’ experiences, but also reveal more revenue streams for your company.
When marketers dare to think outside of the box and beyond the pure parameters of personalized messaging, IoT can enable them to create totally different experiences by bridging the digital and physical worlds. However, in some industries, such as connected cars and retail, there is a strong external and customer-facing component, and the focus is on customer experience and customer engagement. IoT applications are already prevalent in smart metering (utilities), insurance (IoT is even used for pricing models), and consumer banking, to name just a few applications. However, this is only the tip of the IoT iceberg as the possibilities for marketers are endless.
Potential use cases of IoT for marketing can include:
- Analyzing customer buying habits across the devices they use
- Reading and potentially anticipating a customer’s digital body language in the buying journey—including understanding where in the journey the customer currently is and how to serve relevant offers
- Real-time customer interactions, POS notifications and course-targeted contextual advertising and offers
How Can Marketers Prepare Now for IoT?
Marketers can begin by thinking big, starting small and scaling fast. If you have an idea in the IoT space that you’d like to validate, start with the business outcome you are trying to accomplish—considering the “what” versus the “how.” One of the biggest inhibitors to IoT projects is the ability to determine how IoT aligns to your business’ strategic objectives. Once you’ve identified the service that you want to deliver via your connected devices, then you can begin to outline how you’ll go about delivering that service.
To help you start small and at an affordable cost of roughly $100, there are many IoT starter kits from companies like Amazon, Intel, AT&T and more. These starter kits can help to eliminate the expense and complexity of getting started with developing your IoT service. Within a few minutes, you can get access to an end-to-end solution, from the hardware and connectivity management to application development tools. With these affordable options available, there are no more excuses to stay behind.
Remember: Think big, start small and scale fast.