The Internet of Things is resulting in an entirely new way of thinking when it comes to marketing. What does it mean to take opportunities, costs and risks into consideration in such projects, and what examples are there thus far?
- What does the Internet of Things mean for marketing?
The Internet of Things is providing marketing with a whole new world of opportunities. And social media is playing a leading role, because it can also be connected with the Internet of Things. A connected product can automatically publish and share posts and location data. This can give rise to online communities with a special interest in a product. Usage behaviour and customer needs can thus be better understood than ever before. At the same time, IoT users receive valuable feedback and information on current trends.
- What the IoT has to do with corner shops
The IoT is providing marketers with entirely new possibilities. Thus offers can be made to customers in a more targeted way than ever before and this applies not only to the virtual, but also to the physical world. For example, it is possible to automatically detect a shop visitor when entering a business using a beacon. This allows the seller to make an individual offer to the customer based on their personal interests and purchase history. So this is basically a revival of the corner shop, in which the shopkeeper knew that Mr. Smith wants his sports magazine and a sandwich for the train to work every Monday.
- Opportunities, costs & risks?
Regardless of the variety of new opportunities, marketing experts should not lose sight of the risks and act too quickly. Especially in some countries, like Germany for instance, companies can lose customers instead of gaining additional business if the customers feel like they are being patronized or spied on.
Clients should therefore be involved in new ideas as early as possible. It is also essential to determine which way the customer would like to be addressed and what information they want to have collected and used. Especially in light of the fact that the IoT allows for a very immediate and direct customer relationship, it is absolutely necessary to systematically match the concepts with actual consumer needs.
- Future prospects
Early testing of new IoT-based offerings is essential, because the opportunities and challenges associated with the technology are far from being fully realized. And marketing professionals also have to learn to use them in a targeted way.
The small smart IoT buttons marketed by the company Flic are showing great promise, for example. They are simply attached to an object and can trigger certain actions at the push of a button. As a refrigerator magnet from a pizza chain, for example, one click is enough to order your favourite pizza. Ordering has never been easier – the customer is happy and the company remains at their fingertips.
The Internet of Things offers huge opportunities, but only to those companies that are prepared. Just having access to customer information is not enough. The information has to be processed effectively in the company and quickly transformed into the appropriate offers.