How the Internet of Things is changing digital marketing

Stefano Viani

Management

28 Apr 2016 Digital Agency Consulting

Internet of Things technology is still in its infancy. However, according to forecasts, over 26 billion networked devices worldwide will dominate our everyday lives and communicate with each other independently by 2020. But what does this development mean for digital marketing?

Internet of things: Chancen und Herausforderungen für das Digitale Marketing

Opportunities: understanding customers better and making them happy

The Internet of Things offers huge potential for brands and companies. Many of these benefits and opportunities are closely linked:

  • More touchpoints with users: the growing number of smart applications offers marketers more and more opportunities to engage with consumers and communicate their brand messages in a natural environment. If implemented well, this can give brands a huge boost.
  • Masses of user data collected: Of course, these useful everyday helpers also collect a lot of data about their users. Advertisers are licking their chops for this user data:
    • Deep insights into user behaviour: By analysing the collected data, marketers learn what makes consumers tick and what their needs are.
    • Optimisation of the offer: Those who know their customers precisely can tailor products and services specifically to them. Personalisation and constant optimisation of the offer ensure greater marketing success.
    • More accurate forecasts: If you constantly keep an eye on your consumers' behaviour, you can also better assess what they will need in the future and thus react proactively to emerging needs.

Challenges: Everything will be different

Of course, there are also two sides to this coin. Because positioning yourself in the new colourful world of the Internet of Things will not be easy. Marketers should be prepared for these challenges:

  • Responsive is becoming more and more responsive: if optimising your web content for common smartphones and tablets is already too much for you, the exotic screen formats of the many new everyday helpers will certainly not please you at all ...
  • New marketing strategies: Messages not only have to be prepared for different screen formats, but also adapted to usage habits. Smart devices are used in very different situations. Instead of constantly flooding users with the same information, the right content needs to be delivered to the right place at the right time.
  • Masses of user data: Yes, these vast amounts of data can also become a challenge. The trick is to separate the wheat from the chaff and efficiently analyse the relevant information.
  • Many questions draw: How does the empty fridge "decide" where to reorder food? Or to put it more generally: which sources of information are used by intelligent devices and in which search engines, portals etc. should you position your brand as well as possible? Important questions to which there are still no answers today.

Conclusion: observe, learn and react

The Internet of Things has the potential to completely change markets. Traditional business models and marketing strategies could be outdated and ineffective within a few years. Search engine optimisation, for example, will play an even greater role in the future, as the criteria for a good ranking will change even faster.

Even if it is currently difficult to predict exactly how the Internet of Things will develop over the next few years: It is worth keeping your eyes open and being prepared for changes.


About the Author

As Executive Director of Blackbit digital Commerce GmbH, Stefano Viani manages all areas of the agency in the offices in Göttingen, Hamburg, Berlin and Kiev. His passion is the development of marketing strategies and their implementation in concrete measures.

In his free time, Stefano is passionate about riding his motorbike or working out in the gym.