We’re surrounded by the smarts—smartphones, smart homes, smart cars. Where we thought innovation had reached its limits, we’re now seeing new possibilities. The Internet of Things (IOT) transforms mundane objects into multi-dimensional, technical parts of a larger communication system. Everything is interconnected; our everyday tools are remotely accessible and highly adaptable, lending exciting opportunities to business and e-commerce.
Consider Amazon’s “Dash Buttons,” which alert customers when they need to refill household staples like detergent, pet food, and toiletries, then allow them to order more with the touch of a button. This eliminates the need to visit a physical store or even run an inventory at home. Now, that probably seems excessive for the average person, but it’s indicative of a larger trend. This concept of integrated living is already expanding—big time. Forbes speculated that smart cities are up next, with environmental pressure and technological advances paving the way for cities that self-regulate, operating more efficiently and sustainability.
As this concept trickles through industries far and wide, the Internet of Things is becoming an integral part of marketing strategy. Here are just a few of the ways it’s transforming the game:
1. Habit-forming potential
Purchasing becomes less of a conscious decision and more of an effortless ritual when it’s as simple as pressing a button. This may seem dangerous for the consumer (and it certainly can be), but this technology also benefits them in countless ways, freeing up time spent on grocery lists and weekly shopping excursions.
The same goes for the many service-based companies popping up left and right—they’ll do your laundry, deliver your food, walk your dog. It’s a revelation for marketing teams, who often fight tooth and nail to get you to integrate their product into your life enough to establish some brand loyalty. Now consumers crave and expect that kind of reliance.
2. Increased adaptability and targeting
Personalization is the name of the game. Brand value skyrockets when your product is recognized as working for the customer. Wearables are a great example of this. My FitBit is like an extension of my wrist at this point—I feel naked without it and lost without my daily stats, which inspire me to stick to my workout regimen and simultaneously make heavy use of the product. This dramatically changes the marketing game, introducing a whole new layer of product potential and taking it from “nice-to-have” to “need-to-have.”
Hot companies like Nest sell technology that learns your behavior and preferences, reducing energy costs by monitoring heating and cooling much better than the average person could. Health technology monitors our bodies outside the doctor’s office. The Internet of Things maximizes technology’s potential to work with us and for us, catering to our individual needs more than ever before.
3. Multi-company strategy
All this interconnection often teams up independent companies that need to work seamlessly to thrive. It’s a unique shift in the business climate that demands strengthened partnerships and collaboration. Consumers expect solid integration across all products they buy and use, and the further they dive into these integration’s, the more all parties benefit.