What is the IoT (Internet of Things)?
Internet of Things (IoT) is an interconnected network of physical devices that are embedded with internet connectivity, sensors, and other hardware that allows communication and control via the web. These physical devices are smartphones, laptops, computers, smart TVs, smart home appliances, and wearable devices such as smartwatches, heart monitor implants, etc. These devices collect and transfer data via Bluetooth signals, beacons, and the cloud, without the requirement of human interference.
An example of IoT is the smart home. Smart home appliances such as thermostats, fire alarms, doorbells, air conditioners, smart bulbs, etc are connected to a hub where data is shared between the physical devices, and the user is able to control these devices remotely. IoT is helping everyday gadgets to enhance the quality of human lives through the power of convenience. On a smaller scale, the Internet of Things is creating smarter homes that are more energy-efficient. On a larger scale, smart cities projects are using IoT to reduce waste and energy consumption.
The IoT is not just limited to a smart home. IoT is being used in different industries like healthcare, education, and digital businesses to improve the prospects of revenue, efficiency, and reduce operating costs.
How does IoT work?
An IoT ecosystem consists of smart devices embedded with sensors that communicate to the cloud through internet connectivity. The data shared is processed by the cloud’s software, and then it decides on a course of action. This information is sent back to the device through an alert, or automatic adjustment of the sensors to perform the required action. Sometimes, these devices communicate with other related devices and act on the information shared with them by the other devices. All of this happens without any interference from the user.
Users can check the system or make adjustments through an interface, which sends data through the systems from the opposite direction. The data is shared through the user interface to the cloud, and then back to the device or sensors.
Why is IoT important?
The basic goal of IoT is to make human lives easier. It is allowing us to live and work smarter. For example, home automation is helping us live more comfortably, especially for the aging population. The beauty of home automation is in its convenience, and the ability to adapt its design and usage according to the special needs of its occupants. The benefits of IoT are aplenty, and it’s applicable across multiple industries.
In business, IoT is enabling companies to automate manual processes and reduce labor costs. It’s also enabling companies to greater real-time insights into their products and internal systems, helping to make better decisions. Manufacturers are adding sensors to their products to track and collect data regarding their performance. Technologies such as real-time stream analysis and machine learning is helping enterprises to conduct predictive maintenance and proactive monitoring of expensive industrial equipment.
Integration of IoT allows organizations to gather dynamic data both from within and outside the organization into a single cohesive framework. The intercommunication of different systems allows an advanced level of automation with minimal human intervention across multiple departments such as customer relationship management, executive information portals, reporting systems, and supply chain management, thereby generating better productivity and revenue.
According to Gartner, 25 billion connected devices by 2020, which translates to more than $2 trillion opportunities. The majority of spending on IoT hardware is by businesses, especially by sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, aviation, and agriculture. The potential of IoT lies in its ability to enhance corporate efficiency, create new business models, and align physical operations with digital assets in real-time.
What is IoT’s role in digital marketing?
IoT is helping marketers to truly capture customer expectations and amends their products and services to meet these demands. IoT goes beyond the usual analytical tools to gather consumer data. It helps brands with predictive analysis to forecast demands, and plan for future product development.
IoT is helping businesses to understand and analyze their complex customer journey. It helps brands to understand consumer needs, purchasing patterns, and locations, which provides marketers with an advanced level of analytics. The accurate attribution of customer behavior can help brands to send timely notifications to customers, which can result in greater engagement and conversion.
Using big data collected by IoT, marketers will be able to understand the everyday lifestyle of consumers. This would allow a granular understanding of customers, and enhance retargeting campaigns. Customer lifecycle information can help businesses to place their advertisements more optimally to ensure better conversion. Upselling email and social campaigns can gain a lot from big data analytics.
IoT can deliver personalized messages at the most optimal time to the right device. This level of hyper-personalization can enhance customer engagement, and improve the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. With the vast data sets available, marketers can identify the most appropriate ad campaign to engage the audience.
IoT is enhancing the customer experience with its seamless connectivity allowing users to access, monitor, and control devices remotely. IoT integrated customer service can provide a faster and accurate response, improving customer satisfaction.
With big technological advancements, IoT will continue to evolve. The impact of IoT will be of great consequence across multiple industries. Its flexible connectivity and data exchanges between billions of assets will continue to provide tremendous business opportunities. At Alkye, we help our clients to enhance their marketing automation and customer experience strategies by incorporating the latest innovations and technology, so that they can exceed customer expectations.