How IOT Can Enhance Consumer Product Marketing
At one point in modern history, the internet was just a collection of ragtag sites and search engines or some place where people looked up MapQuest directions to their vacation destinations. However, as technology becomes more and more intertwined in our lives, the internet has crept into everyday life. Even though this trend was occurring, though, there's still a very physical divide between the internet and the products we buy as consumers. Or is there? More recently, marketers have started to understand the immense potential of what is called the "Internet of Things," or IOT. Consumer product marketing is rapidly becoming aware of this trend and it's leading to some really interesting products that no one could have foreseen even 5 years ago. It seems that the Internet is truly becoming indistinguishable from life itself.
Curious as to how the IOT will help (or hurt) consumer product marketing? Read on.
Wait, the "Internet of Things?"
This phrase might be a bit confusing, we know.
In 1999, Kevin Ashton gave a presentation wherein he coined the term "Internet of Things." He used this term to refer to the idea that the internet was moving past just computers and phones.
In the Internet of Things, the Internet and technology encompass even regular products in our lives. One prominent example is in vehicles -- if a car detects that your tires are wearing down, for instance, it can direct you to a marketed tire shop. This is the Internet of Things: complete integration of the internet (and the marketing that goes along with it) in physical things.
While it might not be immediately clear how this relates to consumer product marketing, IOT holds a ton of potential. Nearly every product can benefit from internet integration
Connecting Services to Products
Something that's particularly interesting with the IOT and consumer product marketing is the idea of connecting a service to a product.
Let's use another example. A person goes to the store because they're looking for a new microwave oven. In an Internet of Things sense, maybe this microwave can detect the types of food that the user normally microwaves. Then, it can give nutritional guidelines or dietary advice.
This is exactly the kind of revolution that can occur with the IOT -- products no longer have to only be products. Instead, there can be an internet service attached to it.
This is all immensely useful for consumer product marketing. There's now a unique path to solving the problems of consumers.
Mountains of Data
Services like Facebook and Instagram have already shown how harvesting data about consumer purchasing habits, previous shopping carts, and frequently-visited websites has immense marketing potential.
Now, that mass of data becomes even more...well, massive.
Think about an Internet of Things-connected refrigerator. It can tell what kinds of foods are most often held in it and link you to recipes or new products you might like. It can order you things you're running out of and use most frequently. The applications are nearly endless.
With all of this comes data that can be collected and analyzed to see what consumers want and enjoy. All of this data can be tied into new products that create an experience for the users.
People are no longer satisfied with physical things because the Internet of Things has changed consumer product marketing forever -- now things need to be engaging, fun, and active for the user.
Consumer product marketing is no longer an "I tell, you buy" kind of exchange. IOT has changed that forever as well.
Now, consumer product marketing is a little more like a conversation. Things like interactive alcohol bottles are making it clear that the consumer is now a part of that conversation.
This, along with the gathering of data, means that products can be easily personalized for each user. When the user interacts, the company is gaining more and more information as to what the customer likes, what their life is like, and most importantly, what kinds of specific solutions they can provide that user.
See, consumer product marketing is no longer a game of "make a good product and hope someone buys it." Now, the product must adapt to the user to provide this personalized experience.
Enhanced Product Functionality
In terms of consumer product marketing, having a good, functional product is still important. After all, your service can be personalized and connected to the user, but they won't use it if the product isn't solid.
The Internet of Things, fortunately, has multivariate solutions to this problem.
Take, for example, smart light bulbs. There are light bulbs with sensors and audio inputs that can learn which rooms people use the most and their light-use habits. Then, they can turn on and off when the users are on vacation, effectively and realistically simulating an occupied home.
So not only does the IOT give immense data gathering and personalization options for products, but it also makes those products more interesting, more functional, and more likely to be purchased.
The caveat? Businesses need to take the initiative to implement these systems in their products. The good part, though, is that the opportunities are nearly endless.
Who says the connections have to be one way, though?
Now, consumer product marketing can focus on connecting their services to other vital services the user already takes part in. Take Spotify's connection to Uber, for example, where the user can automatically play their Spotify playlists on Uber rides.
This is a win-win for both products and for the user, creating a happy and worthwhile consumer product marketing ecosystem.
IOT and Consumer Product Marketing: The Bottom Line
In an Internet of Things age, it's important for consumer product marketing to realize the newly interconnected nature of things. Along with this comes change, but that change creates more functional personalized products.
Interested in learning how you can use IOT in consumer product marketing? Get in touch with us.