How the Internet of Things is changing digital marketing

Stefano Viani


28 Apr 2016 Digital Agency Consulting

The technology of the Internet of Things is still in its infancy. According to forecasts, however, more than 26 billion networked devices worldwide will dominate our everyday lives and communicate independently with each other as early as 2020. But what does this development mean for digital marketing?

Internet of things: Chancen und Herausforderungen für das Digitale Marketing

Opportunities: Understanding customers better and making them happy

For brands and companies, the Internet of Things offers huge potential. Many of these benefits and opportunities are closely related:

  • More touch points with users: the growing number of smart applications offers marketers more and more opportunities to engage with consumers and communicate their brand messages in a natural environment. If implemented well, brands can thus experience an enormous boost in value.
  • User data collected en masse: The useful everyday helpers naturally also collect lots of data about their users. Advertisers are licking their fingers at this, because this user data allows:
    • Deep insights into user behavior: By analyzing the data collected, marketers learn what makes consumers tick and what their needs are.
    • Optimization of the offering: If you know your customers precisely, you can tailor products and services specifically to them. Personalization and continuous optimization of the offering ensure greater marketing success.
    • More accurate forecasting: those who keep a constant eye on their consumers' behavior can also better assess what they will need in the future, allowing them to anticipate and respond to an emerging need.

Challenges: Everything will be different

Of course, there are two sides to this coin. Because it will not be easy to position oneself in the new colorful world of the Internet of Things. Marketers should be prepared for these challenges:

  • Responsiveis becoming more and more responsive: If optimizing your web content for common smartphones and tablets is already too much for you, the exotic screen formats of the many new everyday helpers will certainly not appeal to you ...
  • New marketing strategies: Messages not only have to be prepared for different screen formats, but also adapted to user habits. The smart devices are used in very different situations. Instead of constantly flooding users with the same information, the right content must be delivered to the right place at the right time.
  • Masses of user data: Yes, these masses of data can also become a challenge. The trick is to separate the wheat from the chaff and efficiently evaluate the relevant information.
  • Many question drawing: How does the empty refrigerator "decide" where to reorder food? Or more generally: Which information sources are used by smart devices and in which search engines, portals & Co. should you position your brand as well as possible? Important questions to which there are still no answers today.

Conclusion: Observe, learn and react

The Internet of Things has the potential to completely change markets. Classic business models and marketing strategies could become obsolete and ineffective within a few years. For example, search engine optimization will play an even greater role in the future, as the criteria for a good ranking will change even faster.

Even if it is currently hardly foreseeable how exactly the Internet of Things will develop in the next few years: It is worth keeping your eyes open and being prepared for changes.

About the Author

As Executive Director of Blackbit digital Commerce GmbH, Stefano Viani manages all areas of the agency in the offices in Göttingen, Hamburg, Berlin and Kiev. His passion is the development of marketing strategies and their implementation in concrete measures.

In his free time, Stefano is passionate about riding his motorbike or working out in the gym.