Gone are the days when connected activity was limited to three devices – laptops, smartphones and tablets – the introduction of the Internet of Things has seen the ordinary object transformed into a piece of revolutionary technology. But what does this mean for advertisers? Ben Sidebottom, Director of Solution Architecture, Visual IQ discusses how advanced connectivity will impact marketing measurement and optimisation.
Advanced connectivity is rapidly becoming a way of life for the modern consumer. Smartphones and tablets are already ubiquitous, and the growing popularity of wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, wristbands, and connected glasses is taking this connectivity to another level.
With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), previously inanimate objects ranging from personal electronics to home appliances and lighting are able to communicate with one another. This is made possible by machine-to-machine (M2M) communication that allows ordinary objects to be connected to the Internet using sensors and controllers. Global M2M connections are expected to increase from under 250 million to almost one billion over the next five years, indicating a swift expansion of the IoT.
Major brands have already begun to embrace advanced connectivity. Samsung, for example, has announced that all its products will be Internet connected by 2020. So how will the IoT impact the way brands interact with consumers?
Engaging consumers in the right place, at the right time and with the right message should be the focus of any marketing campaign, and advanced connectivity will make this goal more achievable. Wearable devices such as watches and wristbands can detect location and context, opening up valuable, omni-channel marketing opportunities that engage consumers with messaging relevant to where they are and what they are doing. This could include delivering a voucher or other special offer to a consumer’s smart watch when they are near a particular store or within a certain radius of a restaurant at lunchtime. Marketers can further maximise the impact of these contextually relevant offers by making them easily shareable via social networks, increasing awareness and reach, and turning new and existing customers into brand ambassadors.
In addition to enabling marketers to reach consumers with relevant messaging, the IoT will also provide far greater insight into the customer journey. As the path to purchase becomes ever more fragmented, it is increasingly difficult for marketers to fully understand how consumers interact with the brand – but the IoT will simplify the process. By using branded apps and sign-on environments on Internet-connected objects, marketers can incentivise users to identify themselves so they can be tracked as they switch between multiple connected objects and devices. This provides a more holistic view of consumer behaviour by stitching together all the interactions and media touchpoints a customer is exposed to throughout their journey from awareness to conversion.
Most importantly, this deeper understanding of the customer journey enables marketers to move away from out-dated measurement techniques that give all the conversion credit to the “last click.” Instead, marketers can use advanced measurement technology to precisely quantify the contribution of each and every marketing touchpoint, as well as its underlying attributes (e.g., device type, placement, creative, keyword, etc.). This data can be used to inform marketing strategies and fine-tune spending to the optimum combination of channels, campaigns and tactics needed to convert a customer.
Advanced connectivity will revolutionise the way brands interact with their audience. As well as enabling them to reach consumers wherever they are and whatever they are doing with highly targeted, contextually relevant messaging, marketers will gain a greater understanding of the customer journey so they can maximise the impact of each and every consumer interaction.
By Ben Sidebottom
Director Solution Architecture