Imagine a world where almost everything you can imagine is connected to the Internet. This world is apparently only a few years away according to Gartner who predicts there will be 25 billion connected “things” by 2020, compared with 4.9 billion by the end of 2015.
Up until now, data was derived from customers through direct and inferred means including loyalty schemes, web browsing, registration and so on. However through the IoT data will come directly from the product itself which will create a host of new insights, opportunities and will also drive the next wave of digital disruption in certain industries and categories.
Consumer appetite for IoT down under
Whilst connected “things” present a significant opportunity for brands there are certain “connected device” categories that have seen greater consumer uptake than others.
In Australia, wearables are one category that is growing at a rapid rate. According to Telsyte 370,000 smart-watches were sold in Australia in 2014 and a further 800,000 smart wristbands were sold over the same period. 30% of Australian households also now own a smart TV. However consumer penetration of connected white goods and other household appliances is still in its infancy. Although consumer adoption at present is still embryonic in a number of categories the landscape will evolve quickly with manufacturers in these categories i.e. white goods, home security etc embracing the IoTs in a big way.
IoTs set to power the next wave of CRM
Whilst many marketers are struggling to grapple with leveraging all of the data currently available to them – the IoTs is set to further accelerate the generation of data and create a whole host of new data challenges and opportunities. In particular, the IoTs promises a wealth of opportunities for brands to further enrich their CRM strategy as it will provide new ways to connect with customers and deliver highly relevant, personalised 1:1 communications through the products themselves – all underpinned by real time data. For brands in the FMCG and manufacturing space the IoTs will be particularly fertile ground allowing these brands to develop a direct relationship with the end consumer – something retailers will be very closely watching. Unilever is one FMCG brand that is betting big on the IoTs;
Marc Mathieu, Global VP of Marketing at Unilever recently said in an interview that Unilever is “very keen” on the internet of things area and what the space may mean for the future of its brands, which includes Magnum, Dove and Flora. “I’m a huge believer and very interested in everything related to data, so really understating how data is going to enable us to contextualise and personalise experience and the relationship with people on their terms and not just our terms is interesting.
Equally though, the IoTs will open the door for services like insurers organisation to collect more data on health, wellbeing and even car usage which will enrich the customer data profile and allow service organisations to deliver more relevant communications and offers based on customer needs.
So rich is the IoT territory marketing automation platforms are already jumping on the bandwagon.
According to Marketing Magazine “Salesforce has started opening its CRM platforms to data from connected devices, with support extended to Google Glass, Samsung Galaxy Gear, Fitbit and Facebook-owned augmented reality tool Oculus Rift”. Whilst Adobe announced earlier this year that the Adobe marketing cloud now supports digital content testing, optimization and personalisation beyond web browsers and apps across any IoT device.
The IoT will be the next big to trend that will further drive a significant shift in the way brands market. Is your organisation ready?