The Internet of Things: What you need to know

December 11, 2015

The Internet of Things (IoT) is well and truly here – what a silly name it is, but that’s what we’ve called it!  Essentially it’s made up of three elements: the “things” themselves; the networks that connect them; and the data that magically flows between the devices. According to a CMO council report I read, there will be 50 billion connected things by the year 2020. Mind-blowing, isn’t it?

But what do we need to know about the IoT if we’re thinking of tapping into it? Here are a few key points, according to Digital Marketing Magazine

1.No, the IoT isn’t just a clever fridge that informs you when your milk’s gone off. It’s not about gimmicks, it’s about building relationships with consumers without the need for “shouty advertising” – it forms a new kind of brand value: one that’s based on relevance and real-time engagement with customers

2.You can’t expect miracles overnight. You need some elements of trial and error in the development stages to ensure you’re going to be giving consumers what they want. And once you have a success story, this will certainly help.

3. Be open and completely transparent with consumers with regards to what data you’re collecting. Tell them why you’re collecting it and what you intend to do with it. You also need to be aware of what data is important and how it can be applied to future marketing. There is a resistance to IoT as some people see it as an intrusion into their personal lives, so this is key if you want to add trust and value.

4.Go where your consumers are. There are around 200 IoT platforms on the market, so don’t dive head first into the first one you come across. Instead, ask yourself how it would help your consumers and how it would positively affect your brand.

5. Digital Marketing Magazine says there are three main areas for opportunity: the first is smart packaging – turning your products into “intelligent media touchpoints”. The second is smart spaces – activating the space around your products to help provide informed experiences and services. Finally, you need connected products, based on “embedded connectivity and computing power into a ‘thing’”.

Are you going to take the leap and tap into the IoT in 2016?

Jessica Ellis - Business Development Director