IOT- What the internet has in store for consumers and marketers?
There is a consumer trend indicating that more and more things are inevitably going to be connected to the internet. Almost all objects are now susceptible to be re-packaged and redesigned by upcoming start-ups who have thought of a new use for them, usually by means of connecting it to the internet.
Take for example, utilities: Smart cups that tell you if you drank enough water, TVs that can stream a wider array of content and thermostats that can point to the most efficient ways to heat or cool your house. Add the ability to make all those seemingly unrelated objects communicate together, and you can start dreaming of a world where your little army of robots has but one thing in mind - your happiness!
That being said, for brands trying to reach out to potential customers, an increasingly connected world brings about a new set of challenges and opportunities:
- How to integrate their product into the upcoming connected reality: Can a product take advantage of the connected things that surround it or can it, itself, become connected?
- A multiplication of sensors means a multiplication of data. How can a brand access and use that data in order to push its products forward in a contextualized way?
- The boundaries between where the data is collected, who gets to see it and use it - and for what purpose - are going to get blurrier. A responsible brand has to plan for the confidentiality issues that this generates.
There are multiple ways to address these new challenges and opportunities. Recently, Comcast partnered with a popular context programming app (IFTTT) in order to bring email notifications to TV screens. Not only is it a nifty trick for Comcast clients, but it’s also a very smart way to chip away at some screen time that would normally have been spent on a smartphone (the new king of screens) and hand it back to the former king, the TV (with all its great content and, of course, established advertising platform and revenue stream).
Objects having the ability to connect to the internet present a lot of opportunities for consumers to customize their experience with objects that are getting ever-smarter. Marketers need to be aware of these changes or they might get outsmarted by the wireless speaker that plays the most tweeted-about song when it detects ads playing on the Smart TV.