The wide spread of everyday connected devices, appliances, and gadgets has brought the benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) into the spotlight. This technology enables consumers and companies to interact with the physical world, and to smartly and efficiently manage the big amount of data generated to improve customer experiences and business processes.
By 2020 there will be 34 billion devices connected to the Internet, what requires the reinforcement of the relations human-machine. Precisely, although IoT is still in its infancy, there are great expectations placed in relation to the implications this technology will have not only in the human-machine duo, but also in our daily lives.
Media and conferences are dedicating increasingly more space to discussions about the real potential of IoT and its uses in every situation. Big tech companies are also starting to invest money and time in creating value-added solutions. For example: Samsung has recently acquired Harman, a company heavily focused on connected car technology. With this partnership, higher resolution displays are expected to show up in new cars, via the night view functionality.
Amazon Prime Video services, the Amazon Fire TV stick, and the Amazon Echo Alexa contribute to increasing the smartness fever within our homes. What before was considered a thing of the future, is now a reality, isn’t it? To own a smart TV is increasingly becoming the norm and health sensors, such as the FitBit, belonged to the most popular products during the last Christmas seasons. The next wave of smart appliances is led by intelligent fridges. What’s next?
As we see that consumers are step by step familiarising with IoT technology and incorporating new connected devices into their daily lives, can we say the same about companies?
Real-time interpretation of data
According to a study made by the Potsdam University in association with SAS Institute, only 43.5 % of companies actively deal with IoT. However, it is important to note that this opinion differs by sectors. It calls to my attention that the industries which are more intensively focused on IoT are those that have an operational approach: logistics and production, while the industry less interested in this promising technology is trade.
Furthermore, this study confirmed what improvements can be achieved by using IoT technology. On one hand, companies can increase their turnover by offering better services and products. On the other hand, the internal efficiency can be enhanced by managing the big amount of valuable data generated by connected devices better and faster.
Taking into account the big amount of data that this universe of connected devices is generating, one of the main challenges to face is to find the perfect formula to interpret relevant data in real time. The mentioned study suggests that data should be connected with other internal data sources (ERP and CRM) and external sources (price information, market analysis, etc) in order to make more accurate predictions and offer more attractive products and services.
How does IoT affect digital marketing?
Precisely the possibility to use real-time smart data to personalise products and services, and sell them more effectively, makes IoT a really powerful tool for marketers.
The adjustment of pricing in real time or the tailoring of ads depending on customer behaviour could be a reality. Moreover, since smart data allows planning informed and better marketing strategies, the ROI could be improved substantially.
In this sense, it is necessary that marketers are aware of the impact of IoT and follow its development actively in order to adapt their current business activities to the new functionalities that this technology can bring. For example, the use of platform as a service (PaaS) is gaining momentum thanks to IoT adoption, Gartner said recently.
In a nutshell, IoT is still in its starting phase but is said to be revolutionary. It remains to be seen when and in which way IoT will confirm this predictions. In principle, IoT aims to be the solution to put order and smartness where a lot of data chaos and inefficiency can occur. However, it is not surprising that there are still a lot of doubts and concerns about its real potential and its applications, especially in terms of data security.