The so-called “Internet of Things” (IoT) is quickly permeating our lives, which is a good thing for local marketers, according to StreetFightMag.
With the rapidly changing market, connectivity is occurring with what StreetFight describes as “every day objects,” currently estimated at $655.8 billion, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). That figure is anticipated to reach $1.7 trillion by 2020. “[T]he value of IoT solutions is increasingly being recognized as transformative to business, governments, and consumers and the way each party experiences, operates, and innovates in the world,” Carrie MacGillivray, program vice president of mobile services, IoT, and infrastructure for IDC, said in a statement, according to StreetFight.
MacGillivray also pointed out that Internet-enabled devices—think: Apple Watch—along with consumer-oriented services—such as the Nest connected home systems—may, perhaps represent the most high-profile piece of the IoT; however, enterprise use of the technology is expected to expand in future years. For example, in the same way that mobile technology has enabled marketers to fine tune the way in which they target consumers based on location and behavior patterns associated with their smartphones, IoT will similarly expand to consumers’ cars and watches, and whatever else is out there.
StreetFightMag notes that local marketers should keep some points in mind to benefit from this fast-growing sector. For one, marketers must present meaningful messages to consumers in a simple and direct way if they seek to make an impression on devices that are as small as the 1.5-inch Apple Watch screen or in which time is critical, such as when communicating on the new 12.3-inch Audi dashboard screen.
Interaction context is also critical in the IoT, with technology giving access to increased consumer data and improved targeting based on consumer behavior. Going forward, ensuring that these contexts are appropriately understood becomes more and more important, notes StreetFight. “Let’s say Nest sends emails out because of changes that indicate activity late at night,” says Suneet Bhatt, CMO of LiveIntent, an email-based local marketing platform for SMBs. “That’s a good opportunity for, say, a pizza delivery service. Small businesses have no resources to waste. IoTs email activity provides insight and a new channel for SMBs to tap into.”
Not only does the broadening of the IoT open more ways for local marketers to reach prospective customers it also provides the opportunity for them to welcome multiple channels in their marketing campaigns. For example, says Bhatt, someone who purchases a smart watch is “likely to also be using other smart devices, so targeting them with display advertising throughout the course of their day is unlikely to be effective, since those cookies don’t work across devices,” StreetFight reported.
IoT will provide new data to marketers that provides a more meaningful understanding of consumer behavior, which will better enable local marketers to target messages, but will also enable them to exactly review the impact of their marketing efforts, according to StreetFight. Jim Clouse, founder and CEO of local marketing firm ClikitySplit.com, who calls this hyper-targeted marketing “narrowcasting,” says, “Narrowcast analytics [provides details on metrics such as] number of times a map is accessed for a businesses’ location, which marketing panes (such as ‘Hot Deals,’ ‘Coupons,’ ‘Video,’ ‘Slideshow’) were accessed by the end user, number of times a promo code was tapped in Hot Deals or Coupons, etc.” He adds that, “This empowers the business to test various special offers and promotions, receive immediate feedback, and determine what works and, very importantly, what doesn’t work.”
Personal security is another issue. At the end of August 2015, Symantec secured more than one billion IoT devices—TVs, cars, smart meters—with a focus on increased consumer security, wrote StreetFightMag. “In the automotive industry, hackers can literally steer the car and ‘hit the brakes’ from their keyboards,” Shankar Somasundaram, senior director of IoT security for Symantec, said in a statement. Today’s marketers must be aware of these concerns in how they issue marketing messages or other notifications, ensuring their customers and prospective customers do not feel as if their privacy or online security has been compromised, which means that securing permission from consumers prior to sending promotions, as well as ensuring marketing messages do not feel invasive, is critical.
Palmer, Alex; How Local Marketers Can Harness the Internet of Things; StreetFight. September 4, 2015.