Cisco estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will reach 50 billion interconnected devices by the year 2020. The trend is clear and the potential benefits are as well. The ability to store and process billions of pieces of data from unique devices and individuals is a literal treasure trove of actionable information. Industrial tech firms such as Qualcomm, IBM, Dell and Intel are leading the charge into this field of valuable but often times convoluted data. However, for the most part, consumer facing brands have balked at significant investment in this space despite significant marketing implications, noting that “too much data is a problem”.
As I understand it, this article is referencing both the potential for data collection as well as outward facing marketing value in recently and soon to be “connected” consumer goods. A smart refrigerator is specifically mentioned. Concerns on the part of marketers are dually centered around the difficulties of identifying relevant data and effectively integrating marketing content into spaces and devices where consumers are not accustomed to encountering ads. Additionally, projections for ROI are shaky at best. It should also be noted that smart phones and mobile devices (oftentimes remote controls for other smart devices) will certainly play a large role in the mobilization of this sort of marketing strategy.
Industrial companies, unfettered by consumer opinion are able to focus on system improvements. Using IoT data to imporove things like fuel efficiency or safety. Consumer facing use of IoT data is largely “one offs and gimmicky” with the exception of some fitness devices, car technologies and specific features to the LinkNYC public internet program. However, as investment in mobile marketing strategies continues to increase, I expect the investment in more in depth IoT technologies to follow. Which leads me to my two questions:
- What sort of native strategies could you see marketers and advertisers employing to effectively integrate ads into new and unusual places?
- How soon will we see these kinds of marketing efforts?