WHAT IS THE INTERNET OF THINGS AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT A BUSINESS’ DIGITAL MARKETING?
What is the Internet of Things? What are the effects that the Internet of Things bring to a business’ digital marketing?
You may have heard the term – “Internet of Things” or IoT – more than once. It’s a common topic that many people and businesses seem anxious or excited about. When the news broke out of how it will change even an ordinary person’s life, people have been trying to grasp how much impact the Internet of Things or IoT will have in their daily activities. But the impact is mostly anticipated by businesses, especially on how it will change the game for Digital Marketing.
Before I go on and elaborate about the impact of the Internet of Things for businesses, let us meet on common ground so that everyone understands what the Internet of Things is. The Internet of Things basically deals with any equipment, appliances gadgets and other items connected with each other through the use of the Internet.
Sometimes this is referred to as a machine-to-machine transaction or communication. Let’s say, for example, you need to monitor activities at your house, and you install a CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) to enable you to do just that. Then you install an application or app on your mobile phone so that anywhere you are, you can watch everything that is captured by that CCTV, and streamed to your mobile phone. Voila! You are already applying the principle of IoT. It is literally a web of ‘things’ connected seamlessly with the help of the Internet .
Since the birth of the first electronic telegraph in the 1832 in Russia, the idea of the Internet of Things was inevitable but not yet realized. The simple machine only helps people communicate from a certain distance and it was not made available to just anyone.
However, as the technology started to advance from this simple machine for communication and getting connected to and through the Internet was made easier, people started to realize how much impact it would cause in the daily activities and how business would change in some ways that it would work. By the year 2009, the Internet of Things was born and people started to anticipate what will become of it.
With IoT looming to change how consumers would look for products and services, businesses knew they had to step up and pick up the pace in terms of their marketing strategies. The way they deal with consumers would no longer be as hard as before but would also pose certain challenges. Businesses perceived such high impact towards digital marketing which would positively affect their business especially when they are equipped with the right digital marketing strategies.
In order to determine which digital and other marketing strategy a business must develop or improve, the impact of the Internet of Things must be determined first. These effects on businesses would lead to strategies that would eventually become crucial in surviving the Internet of Things. In order to have a clear view on these impacts, here are the things that you can expect for businesses to encounter once the IoT dominates the digital world, especially for your digital marketing strategies.
SYSTEMATIC AND LIVE DATA CONTROL
The Internet of Things provide benefits for both consumers and businesses. As a consumer, imagine you can program or control the washing machine or oven from wherever you are. Let’s say you started your laundry, and halfway to the supermarket you realize you forgot to separate the colors. Wouldn’t it be great if you can instruct your washing machine to stop and pause the process? Or maybe you forgot to turn the oven off? It would be such peace of mind to be able to switch off the oven as you drive into the highway, right? The internet of Things can provide such freedom for consumers to do things manually, from any location, without the fear of any miscalculations.
For businesses, having access to the data of what interests their clients most and how they behave can provide essential information of what features and steps they need to make next in future models. The data gathered from consumers will be far easier than before and can be programmed on a certain time or day. The data can then be sorted by a company’s own program or system. Digital marketing strategies that can be used or boosted will be determined from the data gathered. Never before has brands been able to acquire and capture such accurate data that can help improve their product or service. This live data also enables a company to pinpoint any issues that may be happening at the moment, which leads to the next impact of IoT for businesses.
BETTER AND REAL-TIME CUSTOMER SUPPORT
Any consumer would like to have an immediate customer support at the time an issue breaks out, and have it resolved as quickly as possible. One of the best part of a company’s digital marketing strategy is having an effective customer support system that can help retain consumers’ trust and loyalty by providing accurate solutions to the issue/s they might be facing with the product or service.
But imagine if the company can provide customer support before the customer even contacts them? Imagine just as the dishwasher breaks down, you get a call from the customer support immediately informing you that they are aware of the issue, and are working furiously on it to resolve it as soon as possible. Isn’t that far better?
The Internet of Things can make this possible. With the machine to machine transfer of data, a company can launch a customer service related program that enables it to determine which consumers are having issues with the products or services. This allows the company to assess the situation real time and give solutions immediately without asking too much questions to the consumer.The company can also include this customer support program through their digital marketing strategy by launching it together with other strategies, such as their social media campaigns.
OPTIMIZING SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is a powerful tool for any business’ digital marketing strategy. With an engaging and relatable content, consumers are willing to share a business’ blogs and videos on their own social media accounts. The customer’s experience of a company’s service or products may also be posted through their social media accounts. Internet of Things can help build a better way of optimizing a company’s social media campaign to rally and win these brand ambassadors.
In this Age of the Internet, people like to share their experience on blogs, social media, review sites, etc. Consumers like to share their satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with the products or services. This is an advantage for businesses by creating a program that allows a consumer to share their experience instantaneously on their social media accounts. This will then become a way of marketing the products or services of a business to any potential consumers who are also using social media. IoT will work its way on providing better means of spreading the feedback of consumers on social media.
FASTER FEEDBACK, SMARTER PRODUCTS
Because feedback is sent instantaneously with the Internet of Things, companies can create better ways of making better and smarter products. Consumers nowadays don’t just look for something that can help them with their daily activities, they also look for something that they can monitor even when they are not around. A washing machine that ‘intuitively’ knows how much water and soap needed for a certain group of clothes is better than a machine that needs to be filled with water and soap through manual selection of options.
Internet of Things enables companies to create digital marketing campaigns that will dominate other company’s campaign by promoting directly through the products or services. The feedback gathered from the consumers will be a great basis for a company on which part of the product they need to improve and which feature they need to highlight in their digital marketing campaigns.
SAFER TRANSFER OF DATA
Although many seem skeptical on the safety of data transfer especially on confidential information, the Internet of Things can become a great way of preparing businesses for any security breach. Analyzing the situations and scenarios can become easier for businesses since they can find ways to trace information that has been hacked or stolen. The IoT helps companies develop a way to lock information on a product with less risks of being hacked or stolen.
The development of data security is very important, especially for companies’ sales records and personal information of consumers. With the advancement of technology and smarter products, Internet of Things can change the way data is secured. This will benefit companies and consumers, enabling them to protect the information they deem sensitive.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR SMALL AND LARGE BUSINESSES
Any company can benefit with the Internet of Things’ dominance in the coming years. IoT can gather more relevant information, feedback and sales data directly from a consumer’s home. With the information on hand, companies can then prepare and apply the best solution for any hiccups that consumers and the company itself may encounter.
IoT is also the best way of spreading the word about a company’s brand and how it is unique from other brands. With the right application of the Internet of Things in a company’s digital marketing strategies, the possibility of having a brand that can be recognized and trusted by consumers will be achievable even by small scale companies. Return on investment will be faster with higher number of click-throughs and sales from contents that are relevant with the help of data gathered through Internet of Things.
Internet of Things may become a big hit for any company, especially when applied wisely on their digital marketing campaigns. This is not to be feared; it should be seen as a challenge that can level the playing field of companies, big and small. Companies should learn to adjust and adapt with the changes being brought by the Internet of Things in order to survive a more competitive world that it may bring.
Please Like and Share my blog posts, and Follow My Blog. Also, please leave a message in the comments section. I would love to hear from you.
Blessings to all.