The internet has changed our lives in extraordinary ways since its adoption in 1983. Rather than calling each other by landline to communicate, we can fire off a rapid series of texts and tweets to friends to stay in touch. Professional communication has been streamlined by the creation of workflow, instant-messaging websites, and email. We can access television shows and creator content instantly through streaming services like Netflix and YouTube.
No longer do we have to flip through a book to find an answer to a specific question; now we can go to Google and find the answer we were looking for with a simple search term.
The internet is a vast place that has improved, simplified, and changed the way we live. It’s had quite the effect on marketing teams too. Nowadays, the trove of information and websites that make up the internet allows marketers to reach potential customers easier than ever before, whether through direct contact via social media or affiliate marketing content shared at the beginning of a YouTube vlog.
How is the growth of the internet working to change the way businesses market every day? Part of it relies on connectivity—a concept known as the Internet of Things (IoT).
What Is IoT?
IoT is the way digitally connected devices share data and information with one another across the internet. It is a form of digital communication device that makes it possible for specific data to be shared across the internet from one account to another. Similarly, it is the way apps communicate with one another and the smart devices that fill your home, such as the Amazon Alexa.
What an IoT-Driven Future Looks Like
The future of marketing, thanks to IoT, is expected to improve greatly, all thanks to the networking abilities provided by modern digital communication methods. With the ease to collect vast quantities of data in an instant, marketers should expect to have greatly expanded efforts when it comes to understanding customers, marketing strategies, and more.
These changes are going to be incredible, not only for the type of technology pushing the internet forward but for the sheer amount of data that will be collected along the way. Current estimates from the International Data Corporation expect IoT devices to generate more than 79 Zettabytes of data just in 2025. For reference, a Zettabyte is equal to 1×1012 Gigabytes (1,000,000,000,000 GB). This expected data is going to be collected by the 75.44 billion devices that are connected to IoT by 2025.
This trove of information will be collected through a variety of sources, particularly thanks to the advancement of machine learning and artificial intelligence. These methods, as related to IoT, include:
- Artificial Intelligence: Artificial intelligence will make the collection, transference, distribution, and analysis of data easier than ever before, removing the amount of time that often requires human work hours to accomplish such feats.
- Machine Learning: Enhanced programming efforts will increase the flow of customer data from devices to AI systems without human errors obfuscating the process.
- The Power of 5G: 5G is going to be a landmark change for internet usage and IoT efficiency, as up to a million devices connected to the internet can be handled by a single cell while 4G can only currently handle 5500 devices per cell.
- Home Safety: IoT devices are going to become integrated into home security devices and smart home tools going forward. Parts of your home controlled by smart home devices—including your door locks, security cameras, heating, lighting—will become more protected than they currently are, thanks to the advancement of in-home router security.
How IoT Will Change Digital Marketing
IoT is expected to change marketing in many different ways, but there are a few that are notable and deserve some consideration:
Sophisticated Digital Platforms
The amount of data produced and shared by IoT devices is going to be innumerable, but doesn’t have to be wasted. When properly utilized by marketers, this information can be implemented to properly analyze and evaluate ongoing marketing strategies. Whether your business relies on affiliate tracking software or a multi-channel social media approach, you can use the data produced by your customers to better understand how they interact with your content, website, and brand identity.
Understanding Customer’s Lifestyles
So you have an idea of your customer, thanks to the data that’s been shared with you by your marketing platform of choice. This information can be used to better understand what your customer’s lifestyles look like, in regards to your brand, from the times of day they’re searching for content related to your company, what their average product purchases look like, which content creators they follow, and more. All of this can be beneficial, utilized to narrow your marketing efforts to home in on your niche.
Instant Data and Service
The instantaneous data provided by devices connected by IoT will produce immediate gratification when it comes to managing your business’s marketing strategy. Suddenly, you’ll have information about how your products are selling, what people are saying about your products, how your services are viewed, what people think about your brand, and more. This immediate data will become essential to businesses, allowing them to track the quality and perception of their business in real-time.
Analytics When you Need it
Beyond poring over the massive amounts of data provided to you, one of the best features of IoT and machine-learning algorithms are their capabilities to produce analytics instantaneously. These predictive analytics can be utilized by your business whenever needed, allowing you to identify the initial success of a campaign or forecasting the path it will take based on the first set of customer interactions. With this predictive data, you’ll be able to effectively fine-tune your business and make adjustments as needed, working to produce the most successful campaign possible.
The benefit of IoT is the ease of access to data that it provides to you as a marketer. No longer do you have to hunt down data from platform to platform. Rather, digital connectivity will bring that information directly to you, making the process of data analytics far easier than it’s ever been.