Digital Marketing in the Age of the Internet of Things

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Time has proven that the Internet of Things is more than just a fad. It is the future.

The use of smart home technology is no longer accessible solely to the rich and famous. Nowadays, more people have at least one household product considered to be smart and connected to other devices. The smart television is now present in many homes. Google Assistant and Alexa are also being used by more individuals and families across the United States.

That said, the Internet of Things, or IoT, could be the next battlefield for digital marketers. Companies can directly deliver advertisements to consumers whenever relevant which potentially can lead to an increase in sales.

How will advertisements work in IoT? Here are a few ways. Let’s find out.

Being on Top of Search is Still the Goal

The emergence of IoT devices will not change the way products and services are advertised on search engines. Most people are not using their smart refrigerator or smart oven for search but it is possible. In case you need to look up a recipe, you can use the search engine right on the device. Or, you can ask Google Assistant or Alexa to guide you through a recipe.

To be on top of search, companies will need to use search engine optimization or SEO.

Many digital marketers will soon find themselves creating new strategies in order to be on top of search for IoT. This will change the game. It adds a new platform for digital marketers to compete with others in addition to mobile and desktop. It is also more challenging considering that the screens on many smart home appliances are very different in shape and layout.

More Targeted Ads

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IoT is expected to generate troves of new data that digital marketers can use to capture consumer behavior, intent, needs and desires, etc. This will allow them to find and identify patterns, and then push relevant content in a timely manner. The digital marketer no longer has to wait for clear intent (such as doing an internet search) to push a product or service. They can show consumers a notification to make a purchase before they show interest in it.

Ads can become more targeted and more suited to the consumer’s needs and behaviors. Therefore, they are more likely to turn that notification into a sale.

From Indoors to Outdoors

IoT is an ecosystem of connected smart devices, and that includes your mobile phone and wearables. You can download an app on your smartphone and use it to switch off the lights without getting up from your bed. Similarly, your smart home devices can beam information to your smartphone.

This is already happening. When a person is at your door, your smart doorbell will send a video feed to your smartphone or laptop to let you know that you have a visitor waiting for you.

It can be used for advertising, too. Say you are walking outdoors and you happen to pass by a grocery store. Your smart home can send your wearable device data that can remind you to purchase a bag of rice or a box of toothpaste.

In addition, stores can use IoT to seek feedback from consumers. For example, as soon as you walk out from a brick and mortar store, you may receive a message asking you about your experience or offer a voucher the next time you come back.

Privacy and Safety Concerns Over IoT

IoT will create tons of consumer data that can be passed on from one device to another. This is great news for developers who want to improve user experience and for advertisers who want to deliver the right product or service at the right time.

However, naturally, this will create concerns over privacy and safety. With so much personal data being collected, many consumers may feel apprehensive over adopting new smart home devices.

There should be ample consumer protection in place to protect data, especially from individuals and groups who want to exploit the platform for monetary gain. The television show Mr. Robot showed a hacker crew gaining access to a person’s home by compromising their smart home devices. This can happen in real life.

Strategies such as encryption should be employed to prevent hackers from compromising a smart home device. IoT should have no vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit. Consumers rely on tech companies to keep them safe. They should be protected from people with ill intent.

No one can predict how things will play out in the future, but IoT is here and it is already being rapidly adopted in more households. Digital marketers should be prepared to respond to the changes it will bring.

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