The Amazing Marketing Opportunity Coming With IoT

A week or so ago I was asked to speak at a regional event on the Internet of Things. As co-host of the Dell Luminaries podcast, I’ve had a ton of exposure to Edge computing and the technological innovation that’s already taking shape. However, if you do a search for marketing opportunities with respect to IoT, there’s honestly not a lot of discussion online. In fact, I’m disappointed since IoT will transform the relationship between the customer and the business.

Why is IoT Transformative?

There are several innovations that are coming to reality that will transform IoT:

So How Will This Impact Marketing?

Think about how consumers have discovered and researched products and services provided by businesses over the last one hundred years.

  1. The Market – A century ago, the customer only learned of a product or service directly from the person or business selling it. Marketing (thus named) was their ability to sell in the market.
  2. Distributed Media – As media became available, like the printing press, businesses now had an opportunity to advertise beyond their own voice – to their communities and beyond.
  3. Mass Media – Mass media arose, now providing businesses with the ability to reach thousands or even millions of people. Direct mail, television, radio… whomever owned the audience could command significant dollars to reach that audience. It was official, the advertising industry grew to enormous heights and profits. If businesses wished to thrive, they had to work through the paid gateways of advertisers.
  4. Digital Media – The Internet and social media provided a new opportunity that’s chiseling away at mass media. Companies could now work on word of mouth marketing through search and social channels to build awareness and connect with targeted audiences. Of course, Google and Facebook took the opportunity to build the next profit gateways between the business and the consumer.

The New Era of Marketing: IoT

The new era of marketing is almost upon us that’s more exciting than anything we’ve seen before. IoT will provide incredible opportunities we’ve never seen before – the opportunity for businesses to bypass all gateways and communicate, again, directly with prospects and customers.

Within the presentations, good friend and IoT expert John McDonald provided an incredible vision of our near future. He described todays cars and the incredible computing power they already have. If enabled, cars could communicate right now with their owners, letting them know that they were weaving and tired. Cars could tell you to take the next exit and point you to the nearest Starbucks… even order your favorite drink for you.

Let’s take it a step further. What if, instead, Starbucks offered a commuter mug with IoT technology that communicated directly with your car, its global positioning, its sensors, and the commuter mug let you know your drink was ordered and to pull over at the next exit. Now, Starbucks isn’t depending on a gateway to pay and communicate with the consumer, they can communicate directly with the consumer.

IoT Will Be Everywhere, In Everything

We’ve already seen where insurance companies offer discounts if you put a device in your car that communicates your driving patterns to the company. Let’s examine more opportunities:

Best of all, consumers will have control over our data and who can access it, how they can access it, and when they can access it. Consumers will gladly trade data when they know that data is providing value back to them and that it’s handled responsibly. With IoT, businesses can build a trusted relationship with the consumer where they know their data isn’t going to get sold. And the systems themselves will ensure the data is kept safe and secure. Consumers will demand both interactivity as well as compliance.

So, how about your business – how can you transform your relationship with prospects and consumers if you had a direct connection and could communicate directly with them? You better start thinking about it today… or your company may not be able to compete in the near future.

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