Find Your Customers in Previously Unimagined Ways

Will 2016 be the year when everything we’ve seen in sci-fi movies starts to become reality?

From virtual reality to facial recognition, wearable trackers and self-lacing shoes, it certainly seems like anything is possible. Mobile-based technology has progressed so much, it’s hard to believe that 2016 will be anything but amazing.

That brings us to the Internet of Things or IoT—the next evolution of connectivity in our lives, industry and beyond.

Like most buzzwords, the Internet of Things has countless articles devoted to it, as well as conferences, consortiums and congresses. Contests and start-ups are consumed by the IoT; every company seems to have a vision or point of view on it. But this is all primarily future focused.

Don’t wait to get started. It’s here now: whether on your wrist or the Wi-Fi hot spot in your car. Bosch is rolling out a line of connected smart appliances. These are just natural extensions of items and processes already present in our daily lives.

But to truly understand the potential of the IoT, we must shift the paradigm of connectivity as we know it. It’s easy to imagine a refrigerator keeping track of our grocery list, but what about products, objects or applications that don’t even exist yet because they wouldn’t function without the support of the IoT?

This will change the world and this will change the way we live our lives.

First, marketers must recognize that this is a huge opportunity to reach and communicate with digital natives. Second, and perhaps more important, to make meaningful connections with this audience marketers have to complement the experience the IoT affords consumers, not take it over. We need to understand the IoT, not merely in a broad, practical sense, but on a deep level. That is, we don’t just send a message to a refrigerator with a screen, but consider the overarching purpose that screen serves and how it changes the way our customers think, act and make decisions.

Just because we can place an ad on a smart appliance doesn’t mean we should.

The name of the game is personalization and individualization. The IoT will turn big data into BIG data, full of juicy insights and signs of intent.

Caitlin Hurt, Media Supervisor at HackerAgency