The Internet of things (IoT) is a fancy term for a connected world where almost everything man-made is connected to the internet. This phenomenon is not very full-blown these days. Farms don’t yet have a complete internet-connected irrigation system, and not all cities are laden with geographic sensors.
But that’s not to say IoT won’t come to fruition. Our voice-assisted technologies like Alexa and Siri have become more personal and responsive in the last five years. Smartwatches get better at examining heart health and providing actionable care. Our voice can jumpstart a host of other mundane appliances like microwaves, TV, and air conditioners.
While the IoT is not anywhere near full-scale adaptability, its power and importance cannot be understated. For one, tech companies have continually innovated products and services. Hence the industry will grow to more than 1,000 billion USD by 2027. Second, IoT improves the overall efficiency of consumers and the whole community in its continued improvement.
Consumers and cities are not the only ones who would benefit from internet-connected devices. So do marketing and advertising companies. But how? By leveraging the data that all those devices have collected, marketers can provide better content and present customized products and services to their target market.
Here’s how marketers can benefit from the Internet of Things:
Let’s say you walked into your kitchen and placed a pre-cooked chicken in the microwave. You turned on the microwave and set the timer through your voice. When you entered your room, you told Alexa, Siri, or Cortana to activate the AC and the laptop and turn off all the lights.
All these devices generate your data. The length of time you cook your meal, the time you wake up and turn on your AC, and the amount of energy you consume through different appliances.
The amount of energy they generate, how often you exercise and what day of the week, and what time exactly, how long you leave the house, and what time you’re inside — all these are opportunities for massive amounts of data that no one can previously access.
In the past decade, all the ways technologies get data is through the available technologies such as laptops, desktops, phones, tablets, and recently smartwatches and earphones. And yes they do good in knowing most about us. They can be nosy, actually. But the data they accumulate are very limited and sometimes not in line with reality.
IoT enables marketers and other tech companies to look into someone’s daily life. Of course, these should adhere to security and data laws. If done right, marketers and tech companies will learn how consumers interact with the devices, how the devices improve their lives, and what needs improvement.
So it’s a win-win situation. Again, it’s beneficial to consumers only if the tech companies and marketers handle the data responsibly and in accordance with data protection, laws, and regulations.
Imagine you don’t wake up until 11 am. But as early as 7 am, you get ads of slushies and healthy drinks, perhaps advertising companies thinking they could get you to buy morning drinks. Another scenario is when you get bombarded with ads of late-night meals and snacks when you sleep early in the evening.
These are just a few instances where our current technologies and marketing strategies fall short. Some devices cannot detect what we are presently doing, hence they cannot provide accurate data to marketers. In turn, marketers cannot send customized and personalized content and advertisements for their targeted consumers.
The Internet of Things and its hoards of connected smart devices, either at home or in the office, have access to data such as daily routines. They know the time you take your lunch or go to school. They know when you’re home when you’re out drinking, or where you’re at the office finishing work.
Marketing tools can maneuver these beneficial data to both consumers’ and marketers’ advantage. Using the data, marketers can share better advertisements. Likewise, consumers can see personalized content.
The best part is that both content and advertisements are time and context-sensitive. This means brands reach out to you at the right time and place, leveling up chances of engagement. Let’s accept it. You don’t want to receive ads on lunch when it’s 10 am. IoT data prevent that at all.
IoT technologies are better community builders. People who use the same wearable device can form specific communities where they both share the benefits and challenges of the devices.
For example, household X owns an Alexa at home. The kind of content Alexa generates for other people is more likely what’s generated for household X too. And as they get to share content based on these devices, they’ll form communities of like-minded people.
Marketers can take this as an opportunity to tailor their content to such devices. This is why newer formats such as FAQs and question-like headlines and titles get chosen more than other traditional formats, aka articles.
Suppose you mostly write long-form articles and not other IoT-optimized formats. In that case, you diminish your chances of getting top results from content generated by IoT devices like Apple watch, Google home devices, factory sensors, or shipping radars.
So for a marketing strategy to work in IoT, digestible and easy-to-comprehend formats should make part of your creative arsenals.
In short, IoT devices will make way for new ways of content creation. Ways wherein content are not necessarily in-depth, but more simple, easily understandable, and capable of getting picked up by voice searches.
One of the keys to better customer-company relations is through conversational communication. It means when consumers ask, you answer—that simple. Consumers ask for help, you give them the exact support they need.
For marketers, these need consideration because most of our content is not conversational. Of course, the quality and research is there but the way it is written does not directly answer human queries. IoT and its devices are beginning to change all that.
Take, for instance, voice assistant devices such as Cortana, Alexa, and Siri. The content they provide is direct answers to human questions. The responses are short and straightforward. And in seconds, they provide the help you actually need.
Content marketers can learn from this by creating content designed to answer questions or provide help. As long as they are both easy to understand when spoken out loud, chances are your content will make it to the top of those voice-assisted results.
Specific questions start with why, how, what, and more are good formats to reach the top results. For advertisers, that also means getting past the flowery and inconvenient product description but concise and short words answering some people’s concerns about which your product or service can help.
Again all this with the goal of having your content reach consumers. And consumers nowadays use voice-assisted AI technologies. If your content is tailored to get picked up by these technologies, you’ll achieve better conversions.
IoT will deliver massive amounts of specific and personalized data. Marketers and big companies can use these data to target an audience that is more likely to buy and use their products and services.
In this way, there’s no need for A/B testing or targeting a slightly different pool of people to succeed in marketing. With IoT, marketing strategies are laser focus.
That will translate to a better bottom line. First, when the resources are allocated to specific targets, budgets are lessened but not at the expense of conversions.
Much more important is that marketing strategies become more sustainable as it hinges on IoT. This marketing ability to transcend hundreds of billions of devices through just the Internet is much cheaper and sustainable. It doesn’t generate loads of electricity, money, and other resources. It only uses what’s widely available on the web and the data provided by the IoT tech producers.
AI has already proven itself to be worthy of attention and investment. For companies, It has leveraged the power of branding technologies such as AI logo makers or AI brand tracking. For consumers, it has allowed for a more customized experience.
But all this can work better if only companies respect personal data privacy. Some companies suggest running data in encrypting technologies. But it may come a long way before everyone adopts such solutions.
So for the rest of tech companies, it all boils down to responsible handling of data. Or else, the advertising industry will suffer a fatal blow.