This post is an excerpt from our Digital Growth Summit event in Sunnyvale.
Here are the digital marketing experts who contributed to this blog:
Here are some key takeaways from the IoT Marketing Advice & Best Practices for Brands panel:
- Consider the end user
- Even small changes can have a big impact
When creating your IoT marketing plan you want to ensure that you are not coming off as pushy or intrusive to the end user. Craft the experience with your user in mind to increase your engagement.
Whether your goal is boosting customer retention, streamlining the manufacturing process, or monitoring your supply chain, challenge your team to find ways to use IoT data to optimize your business.
What is the value proposition of the Internet of things, IoT marketing, and the future of where it is going?
You want to get to your customer in a meaningful way that is engaging. –Sri Rao
Years ago, Target was consuming data and purchasing data and they started targeting this household with pregnancy and new-mom stuff. The dad of this household got so upset about the sheer volume of stuff coming in that he called Target and said, “Nobody in my house is pregnant, so why are you sending me all of this stuff?” And they said, “Well, our data says that there is.” The man said, “Well, it’s not my wife.” He went to talk to his daughter, and his daughter was pregnant. So it was totally accurate but out of context about what was going on at the time. I think a lot of maximizing the value is going to be with the customer experience and making sure that these marketing ads are not seen as intrusive or breaching someone’s privacy. –Jeff Marcoux
If you look at a discount popping up on your phone, that seems like a meaningless interaction. The device already knew that you were there, so it should add the discount at the counter automatically. That would be more compelling. Just having notifications pop up is not a compelling model of interaction. You want to get to your customer in a meaningful way that is engaging. –Sri Rao
What are some of the methods and solutions to solve existing IoT problems?
A sensor can actually change the customer experience. –Jeff Marcoux
We are working on a couple of things with airline companies right now that all tie back to customer experience. If we can do things like predictive maintenance on aircraft so that by the time the plane is landing you know what part needs to be replaced, the crew is ready, and both the parts and crew are on site. This helps you avoid keeping your customers stuck on an airplane or waiting for a flight because the bathroom light is out. It is one of the most frustrating experiences ever as a customer and it doesn’t have to be that way. The airline is losing money and brand value, everything is impacted by this and this is where a sensor can actually change the customer experience. –Jeff Marcoux
We haven’t even scratched the surface of what IoT and AI will do for us. –Emad Hasan
We haven’t even scratched the surface of what IoT and AI will do for us. It is going to be a game changer in many ways. IoT marketing is one where I think regulations and quality control will eventually have to be set up, but one example would include the agricultural industry. I was just talking to the California Head of Data Science for Agriculture and the amount of impact that it will have on that field is amazing. They are going to be able to monitor crops at a level that they could never have done before and provide the right amount of materials at the right times for the crops, which will change the game completely. –Emad Hasan
What about the moral ethics behind this technology for companies?
Decide where you can’t be transparent because of the big brother issue and how you work through that. –Robin Kim
In the past, particularly with B2B technology, you relied on spin doctors and customers and referrals to tell you whether that technology is real or not. So you filtered through other users. All the consumers cared about was whether or not it worked or and whether or not the front-end experience was better.
Now the reputation piece, the communicator’s piece, and how you fit that back-end will slowly become inseparable because the only way that you solve for profiling is to run risk scenarios and decide where you are going to be transparent and communicate upfront that it is not perfect, but you are working on it. You also decide where you can’t be transparent because of the “big brother” issue and how you work through that. Finally, you decide whether or not you need to test it to see if there are any hidden consequences, and that will never be a perfect science. –Robin Kim
What is the one unexpected thing you have learned as an IoT marketer that you didn’t expect?
Having seen a lot of IoT devices in market, it is astonishing how little the actual person at the end of the experience is accounted for. If you are trying to do a connected experience, it is impossible to scale that right now. –Sri Rao
The biggest thing I’ve learned is that I don’t think it will be called IoT at some point. I think different technologies will come out of this and they will all be independent and I think it will be a completely different field by the time something is successful. –Emad Hasan
For me, I think it is the potential for how little changes can have a really big impact with things like just-in-time delivery and starting to look at those components. The little things that allow brands to tweak the customer experience have a huge impact, and oftentimes they are things that you don’t notice. –Jeff Marcoux