The Internet of Things is currently a hot topic, but the issue itself is not new at all. After all, the term and what it stands for were coined in 1999 by the British technology expert Kevin Ashton, co-founder and former director of the Auto-ID Center at MIT. But why is the Internet of Things now suddenly affecting almost every industry?
Already today, there are concrete examples of successful implementation of IoT projects in various areas. The pioneer in this regard is the automotive industry, which is rapidly developing connected cars that can park themselves or communicate with other vehicles on the road. In the health sector, sports enthusiasts are using fitness trackers, which can individually calculate how much movement is required each day and also check whether this is being achieved. So-called smart home applications are providing a higher level of convenience. Controlling one’s home via smartphone and delegating the work of shopping to the refrigerator are some practical examples of the Internet of Things. The opportunities have also been recognized in the logistics industry for quite some time now. Package tracking and transport drones enable companies to work more efficiently.
According to forecasts by the consulting firm Gartner, more than 26 billion things will be connected on the Internet by the year 2020. When one adds laptops, PCs and smartphones, of which there are estimated to be about 7.3 billion in 2020, the number of connected devices will even exceed 30 billion units.
What does the IoT mean for marketing?
Using IoT applications, brands can remain in constant contact with consumers and continuously analyse their needs, monitor brand usage and identify any problem areas. “The IoT links products and consumers, and thus generates data and connections, that companies in turn have to use to develop relevant services,” says Joachim Bader, Vice President of the agency Sapient Nitro. According to Bader, the biggest change and challenge consists of increasingly seeing marketing as a service.
Products for the individual
A recent survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit indicates that marketers around the world are convinced that the IoT is the trend that will have the greatest impact on marketing in the next five years. It is considered to be even more important that other marketing trends like big data and personalization.
According to a Business Insider report, companies that have adopted IoT early on, have already noticed benefits in the areas of customer service, sales, efficiency and data. The same report shows that companies expect the IoT to help them make significant progress toward achieving their long-term business goals. 16 percent of the managers in these companies also believe that the Internet of Things will increase customer loyalty as well as customer satisfaction.
The challenge will be to develop IoT services that provide real added value for consumers.
If you are looking for more in-depth information about Internet of Things, Smart Home, Smart City, Digitization of Buildings or Internet Security, we also recommend a visit of Light + Building, ISH or Intersec, the leading international trade fairs for building, energy and environment and safety technologies.