Much like Augmented Reality or Big Data, the Internet of Things is one of those “tech-y” type terms that are all the rage, but can sometimes be hard to narrow down and understand exactly what it is. Everyone seems to be talking about it and how it is changing the world as we know it, but the incredible magnitude of its impact on the way we live our everyday lives can be sometimes quite hard to grasp.
What we have experienced over the last decades, and which now dominates a major part of our lives, has been the Internet of people. What the Internet we already know, love and are used to does is connect people all over the world, even if they use devices as a tool to do so. But mainly, the communication that occurs is between people. A new age is dawning, however, connecting not people, but things, and hence its name. Welcome to the age of the Internet of Things.
So, what exactly is the Internet of Things?
In layman’s terms, the Internet of Things is essentially the interconnection of all devices among each other, which communicate with each other offering feedback and information, telling them the ideal way to behave. Basically, it is about turning ordinary devices that we use in our everyday lives, everything from cars and traffic lights, to bridges, lights and refrigerators, and making them “smart”.
As explained by Jason Silva in his awe-inspiring video about the IoT, we are introducing and implementing sensors into everything we know, which register and record information that they then send to our devices.
The goal of this notion, this concept, is that our devices will learn what we need and want without us even telling them, and communicate with each other to offer feedback and instructions. Having sensors built into the concrete in streets for example, that can interpret the weather, whether or not the streets are icy, or even the amount of traffic. They communicate with the traffic lights which will become dynamic, adapting to the amount of traffic at that moment, who will in turn communicate with your car’s GPS that will reroute to give you the fastest trajectory based on precisely that information at precisely that moment, or even physically slow down your car at a red light.
Or imagine you have a fitness bracelet that tracks your sleep cycles while you are sleeping. Well it knows the time you would like to get up, and monitors you how deep you are sleeping to find the ideal moment to way you up, with the least disturbance of your sleep cycle. It automatically tells your smartphone to sound the alarm, as well as telling your blinds to raise and your lights to begin fading on. It turns your coffee machine on and maybe even starts playing your favorite song in the morning. This is the connection and communication that represents the Internet of Things.
Andy Clark said that as humans we have all but perfected the art of tailoring our mind and skills to fit the tools we have at our disposal – but what happens when those same tools begin tailoring themselves to us? It seems that many of our current limitations are soon to be a thing of the past.
How will the IoT affect Digital Marketing?
Well, the question would more accurately be how will it not? Considering marketing is pretty much a living being that moves and adapts to consumer needs and habits – it seems only logical that something as revolutionary to us consumers as IoT, will be equally revolutionary to us as advertisers.
Digital Marketing quite literally feeds off a direct, intimate connection to consumers, which it achieves by getting as much information about them as possible – it is like oxygen to its lungs.
What this all but infinite number of sensors placed into everything we do translates into is an infinitely larger pool of data at our disposal. By transforming this raw data into information, we can use this knowledge to get to know our customers better, make products that they truly want and meet their needs, and offer these products to precisely the right people at precisely the right time – with unprecedented accuracy. The panorama of market research, and hence how marketers get their information, will alter completely.
The connection of all of these devices to the global network offers advertisers more portals through which to connect with their consumers, in a fashion about as personalized and as targeted as we can imagine.
Now, the the quantity of information out there on the Internet is already overwhelming, and its about to get incredibly more so. If mass-made randomly targeted ads weren’t already a thing of the past with the rise of AdBlocks, they will soon fall into utter oblivion. Users’ patience for information that does not interest them will fall to subzero temperatures and the crucialty of SEO will soar.
Automated, machine-made decisions will make the tasks and decisions of our day to day lives happen at dizzying speed – and advertisers will need to keep up, magnifiying the importance of programmatic advertising and of the use of Artificial Intelligence in advertising to be able to make decisions at an equally instantaneous speed.
In a world where information will become as banal as air, and countless decisions will be made simultaneously without an instant of thought through this Internet of Things, the need for an intense, emotional and personal connection between consumer and advertiser will become more important than ever, and incredible, inspiring content will become the very core of marketing in the modern world.
Written by: Chantal India