The internet of things (IoT) is the inter-networking of physical devices, known as “connected devices” or “smart devices”, buildings, and other gadgets or machines embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and an internet or network connection which enables them to collect and share data.
To the creative marketer this opens up all sorts of possibilities which takes digital marketing beyond the people-to-people and business-to-people paradigm into a brand-to-everything model.
New product development should no longer be considered in isolation from IoT potential. Any physical product may well have IoT potential to communicate ‘back to base’ to report faults and performance statistics, benefit from automatic upgrades to software and capability, and to interconnect with other related devices.
Marketers now have unprecedented opportunities for interacting with their products after a customer purchases them, in such a way as to listen to how they are being used, adapt future versions of products and even send added value data to them for the benefit of the device and/or the customer.
At the Retention stage of the three phases of the customer journey there is a significant opportunity to utilise IoT to enhance ongoing experience, increase engagement and think of sustained communication as more than simply social networking and an occasional email newsletter.
Think about what you could do with the products you market if you could communicate directly with and through them after your customer buys them. Do you have opportunities for cross-selling, back-selling and up-selling?