Work smarter, not harder, with the Internet of Things Published November 10, 2015 With the Internet of Things (IoT) giving rise to near-constant innovation and new technological advances, we’re going to help you explore the ways in which you can put the Internet of Things to use in your business, allowing you to work smarter, not harder. Sounds great? Well, let’s go! A deluge of data Confusingly, the IoT is much more about data than it is about things. With the rise of the IoT, connected devices are now doing much of the hard work for us when it comes to the collection of data, as well as processing, analysing and reporting on said data. It is promised that by 2020, the IoT will consist of over 50 billion objects, each with its own embedded computing system and each capable of interacting with the Internet infrastructure. These devices will send accurate, detailed, real-time data that must be collected and analysed by sophisticated systems to ensure data can be turned into meaningful information for businesses. Ensuring your company is prepared to receive this amount of precise data is therefore critical. Whilst this might mean extra work in the short term, when IoT connected devices are coupled with big data and serve to complement each other, our working lives are ultimately going to be made significantly easier. A marketing revolution There are some powerful new marketing trends that are set to emerge as we all seek to keep pace with the IoT boom. Personalisation of email campaigns and the ability to forge close, emotional ties to companies and brands are known key indicators of success. The volume of data on customers that the IoT will deliver is going to allow for more precise targeting of purchasing and potential customers. This level of marketing precision is going to be a necessity when the IoT truly takes off, as generic marketing strategies are going to see limited success in the future. We will have to invest time and money in developing advertising strategies and marketing campaigns that can deliver the right message to the right audience in the most appealing format possible. If utilised correctly, the IoT can revolutionise your email marketing strategy through producing seamless, multi-channel campaigns that are of overt value to the consumer. Customer experience is everything The IoT allows companies to develop increasingly personalised customer experiences and provides incrasingly relevant products for them. Continuous monitoring of your customers over time, rather than periodic testing, can ensure that your next email marketing campaign is created using accurate, real data based on known behaviours. This will help with that all-important customer experience, which must always remain at the forefront of your campaigns. New marketing models Marketing is set to become an exchange of equals, rather than the historic model of brands preying on consumers and having to utilise less-than-savoury tactics to increase sales. Brands that receive data on their customers and companies can perform activities to increase the value of their offerings in order to encourage customers to part with their hard-earned cash. Creating value in companies used to rely on feature-versus-feature warfare, the IoT will call for a new model and new strategy that no longer relies on the products alone and is instead based on the brand-consumer relationship. Keep your head in the clouds The UK Government has demonstrated its belief in the potential of technology by pledging £45m in developing the IoT, more than doubling the funds available to the UK technology firms developing IoT connected devices. The IoT doesn’t function without cloud-based applications to interpret and transmit the data, this cloud is what enables the applications to go to work for you anytime, anywhere. Investigating the use of cloud-based applications in your company can enable a more seamless integration of IoT connected devices. Final thought The recent report from the Government Office for Science commented “There is a danger of trivialising the importance of the Internet of Things through examples that are used to stereotype it.” The IoT is far more than just your morning alarm clock telling your kettle to switch on. It is an abundance of data and a catalyst for technological development on an enormous scale. Fortunately, smaller businesses have time to prepare for the arrival of such large scale automation and logistics, but need to put thought into how to manage it effectively. Resources such as our Email Maturity Model are a useful place to start to assess your level of readiness, enabling you to implement strategies to help your business make the most of the IoT when it takes off.