What is the Internet of Things? Simply put, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical devices, such as laptops, smartphones, home appliances, vehicles, etc., which are connected to each other and you through the Internet. For digital marketers, it is more important to know that more than $5 trillion (yes! 12 zeros after 5) of investment will be used for the entire IoT infrastructure. Therefore, it is important for digital marketers to understand how the Internet of Things will change the entire digital marketing field. Speaking of this, the Internet of Things is the future of technology, because it is estimated that there will be approximately 22.5 billion Internet of Things devices in use by the end of 2021. I wrote down this transition in 10 possible ways. According to Cisco, by 2020, the total amount of data generated by all IoT-enabled devices will reach 1 trillion GB each year.
These large amounts of valuable data will enable digital marketers to understand their behavior and consumer needs, and to personalize them in an unprecedented way. However, these rich data will also present another set of challenges for digital marketers, such as ingesting and analyzing data. Digital marketers will be overwhelmed by data, thereby greatly improving the effectiveness of their marketing activities if they know how to manage this data overload. Based on my previous views, data will enable digital marketers to establish real-time interactions with customers. The data collected from IoT devices will enable data-driven marketing by providing real-time consumer data to digital marketers. For example, when a visitor lands on your website, you can target him/her with the right type of advertisement at the right time. This will help to substantially increase the sales of specific companies. I could have mentioned this at the beginning, but I am doing this here to give you a better understanding of the role of data in digital marketing in the first place. With such a large amount of data, digital marketers must be more than just ordinary marketers.
Traditional Marketing Strategies Are Evolving
The Internet of Things is changing the basis of marketing by reducing the role of traditional marketers. With the help of the Internet of Things, technology can directly reach customers instead of marketers. Imagine that the milk on the top shelf of your refrigerator is almost running out. Now the refrigerator can automatically check the network and order a few gallons of milk. OMG! 😱 So what role does the marketing staff of the milk company play? Will they become redundant?
Reinvent Yourself to Stay Ahead of the Game
Therefore, after the emergence of the Internet of Things, digital marketers must develop themselves, not just marketers. IoT data will enable digital marketers to capture consumer behavior, buying patterns, location, and other analysis in unprecedented ways. Previously, the efficiency of contextual marketing was very limited. But now IoT devices can generate a lot of data, such as customer needs, behaviors, wishes, etc., which helps to create more context-related advertisements and target customers individually.
The Customer Journey / Sales Funnel Becomes Clearer With IoT
Situational marketing gains a new meaning! Based on my last point, IoT data can help you gain a deeper understanding of where your customers are in the buying cycle, thereby making contextual marketing more effective. Regardless of whether the customer is in the cognition stage, the consideration stage or the purchase stage, IoT data will further help digital marketers to accurately identify the customer’s purchasing needs and customize products accordingly. This data can be used as a benchmark for the future product development of a given company. Digital marketers are now able to provide personalized information and other promotional content to customers online and offline. Let’s start with an online example. If a customer logs into a car portal to learn about the price of a given car, a digital marketer can capture the visitor’s data stored in the browser cookie, and then create a personalized message based on his/her query and send it to him via email. Similarly, if the customer is offline, then when the customer walks into the store, the beacon allows the brand to deliver a personalized message to them.
So how do we know that the Internet of Things will remain trending in 2022? Statistics, surveys and forecasts all point to a pioneering path for the Internet of Things in the future. Statista has publicly stated that the total number of connected devices this year will exceed 30 billion, and by 2025 it will exceed 75 billion. Communications giant Ericsson released a 2015 report. IDC predicts that spending on the Internet of Things will reach US$1.2 trillion in 2022. A Bain & Company forecast that later this year, the comprehensive market for the Internet of Things will include Internet of Things hardware, software, system integration, and telecommunications and data services. These expenditures will surge to approximately US$520 billion. As such, it’s easy to understand why we are so interested in the Internet of Things today. As technology continues to change, the Internet of Things will continue to play an important role in our future. These major trends will need the attention of digital marketers in 2021 and beyond. As the Internet of Things proves its usefulness and benefits in our world, it will not exceed our society, but it will enhance them, as long as we know how to best use it.