How to Market the Internet of Things

Garrett Astler - April 6, 2015

According to Intel, by the year 2020 there will be 200 billion smart devices connected to the Internet. That’s 26 networked devices for every person on the planet. It’s easy to see why people are starting to get really excited about the future Internet of Things (IoT), but what does it mean for marketers?

At its core IoT amounts to data – lots of data.

When most people hear the term Internet of Things, they think of smart thermostats, refrigerators, washings machines, baby monitors, etc. The fact is, most smart objects will be found in factories, on city streets, and in healthcare facilities.

As IoT expands, its vast network will require savvy translators who can tell a story with all the data being generated, giving content creators and brand managers a unique position to separate the wheat from the chafe. Furthermore, IoT offers many opportunities for new brand partnerships as data is shared across multiple smart objects.

As a marketer, what can you do now to be sure you don’t find yourself behind the curve?

Aside from the Apple iWatch, IoT devices are not expected to reach broad market adoption before the end of 2016. That said, there are activities you can and should be doing now to be sure you’re in a strategic position for the new paradigm. For example, we already know that IoT connectivity will interface with mobile platforms, and this is yet another reason to keep pace with mobile demand through responsive web design, app development, etc.

Always look for better ways to analyze how people interact with your products or services. What data gaps are holding you back? There’s going to be creative ways that IoT will enable you to get closer to your consumer, and if you’re heavily engaged in analytics, you’ll become aware of them sooner.

Despite all the disruptive change that IoT will bring, most marketing opportunities will likely remain on the Internet, rather than the Thing. At this stage, the primary goal is to defend yourself against the misconceived, while positioning yourself in the best possible position to take advantage of the future as it unfolds.

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