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The Internet of Things has grown to prominence, with numerous smart connected devices available in the market. However, even as the technology continues to create new spaces for innovation across the world, it could bring multiple concerns to the table.
Data privacy concerns in IoT are already being debated, as it offers a completely new avenue for sensitive data to be leaked. A new revolution seems to be on the horizon, as advertisers are now gaining access to the most interconnected platform, in order to harvest data from users.
Connectivity of devices to the Internet of Things makes sure that all of them are data points. Data is being generated at a tremendous rate every day, and with the rise of big data analytics and artificial intelligence, all of this data can be converted into insights and strategies for use by advertisers.
The Rise of IoT-Targeted Advertising
Due to big data having boosted granular targeting capabilities, the Internet of Things will play a crucial role in ensuring that there will be more data to be harvested. This will effectively allow advertisers to usher in the next wave of targeting technology.
The first stage of targeted advertising has already begun, with data giants such as Google, Amazon and Apple moving into consumers’ homes with “smart home” devices. These have already proven to be effective in converting customers to buy more products, as seen by the higher likelihood of Alexa owners to make purchases on Amazon.
While this will not only provide a new way of delivering advertisements, it will also give advertisers a look into an area where they have not penetrated yet. The increased presence of smart home devices will undoubtedly provide a large amount of data and patterns in the hope that advertisers will push to further conversion rates. This will mean that they can potentially leverage the power of IoT to provide products that the customer needs at home.
For example, a connected fridge with an awareness of what it contains will be able to share data with advertisers regarding its contents. Utilising AI, the advertisers will be able to determine what the end user requires, and send a message to the smart home system to notify the user of the product. This is just one facet of connected technology, as it will soon grow to cover all possible locations of the customer, providing a seamless advertising experience.
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The rise of IoT can also help in creating new customer opportunities by utilising data and insights, as well as in providing perspectives on unexplored markets and demographics. This will mean that the advertiser will be provided with a nearly complete picture of consumers and their mindsets at any given point in time.
This kind of phenomenon has already been observed, as seen by IoT platform company Evrythng partnering with Trueffect, a digital advertising firm. The partnership was in order to come up with new ways marketers can utilise the information gathered from consumers using products. Data such as this can also give businesses an opportunity to further research their target markets and the ways they reach them.
The use of IoT can also result in the improvement of various critical parts of advertising such as advertising messages, customer retention and service, and mainly targeting strategies. The analysis of data provided by IoT allows marketers to message people at the right time in their purchase cycles as well, thus determining whether or not they interacted with the product.
How IoT Will Change The Advertising Process
IoT data provides perspectives into data pools that were previously inaccessible, such as revealing the identity, location and usage of the product by the customer after purchase. This also opens up a potential inlet for customer relationship management, allowing for the collection of feedback and information on new products.
Moreover, a higher rate of customer satisfaction can be achieved through the IoT market, both due to the highly targeted nature of it and the ability to connect with customers post the purchase of the product. This will induce methods to make the customer a returning one, as well as ways to ensure that the customer recommends it to their network.
IoT will also provide new channels for advertisement, as mentioned in the example of the smart home devices acting as one. Through the use of multiple advertising channels, it is also possible to optimise advertising and marketing messages to ensure maximum impact.
On the advertiser side of things, IoT data will finally be able to deliver a full funnel insight on the customer. It can tell businesses who have buying intent, and for what products, and at what locations. The devices can also provide personal details that can be used by advertisers to personalise their messages.
This is already being seen with Google’s location-based advertising service. Based on location data harvested from phones and IP addresses of the computers accessing the site, Google can provide suggestions based on keywords.
This allows advertisers to target extremely specific audiences, even those that are within a small radius of distance from the target location. However, in the case of offline businesses, there is a visibility gap between putting up the ad and getting customers. The advertising party has no idea as to the intent of the user or what they wish to purchase. With the use of IoT, this can change as the advertiser will be able to determine whether a lead converted into a customer when they converted and after how long they converted. This can further be harnessed to make advertising more efficient.
Knowing the Consumer
While these sum up the technical changes that will be brought to the advertising process, the advertisements themselves will undergo a change. While today’s advertisements aim to have the maximum impact and design themselves that way, IoT ads must be different. Targeting and personalisation are two important parts of advertising, but IoT will add another layer, namely contextualisation.
The market sentiment for ads on connected devices is generally positive, as the results of a survey by the International Advertising Bureau demonstrate. Reportedly, 62% of people who own a connected have already seen an ad on it. Moreover, the market also seems ready to receive this new technology in their stride, as out of 1,200 consumers surveyed, 55% said they’d be willing to receive ads targeted in IoT devices. Granted, this would be in exchange for promotional items, such as discounts or exclusive games, in order to incentivise engagement.
Purchases of smart products also demonstrate the propensity to be a marketer-friendly demographic. Around 69% of those willing to receive ads earn more than $100,000 a year, with 68% aged 18 to 34.
If users are constantly bombarded with ads the way they are on the Internet, general sentiment will lower and ads in IoT will experience a general downturn. However, by harnessing the data provided by connected devices, advertisements can be much more contextual to the user. Take, for example, a person known to be a fitness enthusiast. While the Internet will provide the user with a bevvy of offers and services similar to what he has already purchased, IoT advertising will provide a solution much more contextualised to his needs. A recommendation for a gym membership near his office will get a stronger response than the countless advertisements he has seen on the Internet, as it appeals to both a need and a context in the end user.
The rise of IoT will drive advertisers to collect and store vast amounts of consumer data, an analysis of this data will be required to create new strategies. Through the use of data mining, statistical modelling, machine learning and artificial intelligence, brands can utilise predictive analytics for marketing and maximise the potential of their messages.
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