With the advance of the Internet of Things, marketers’ opportunities to connect with consumers becomes much more varied — and complicated. Contributor Andy Betts recaps an Adobe Summit session.
What does the future of marketing look like from a consumer point of view? As the Internet of Things (IoT) evolves, consumers will interact with brands on a multitude of devices with differing capabilities, from conducting initial research on a computer to receiving a reminder on a wearable device to making a purchase in store.
This was the topic du jour at the recent Adobe Summit session entitled, “Connected Experiences: From Websites to Wearables to Wherever,” featuring speakers Loni Stark of Adobe and Rebecca Lieb of Altimeter Group (and a fellow Marketing Land columnist).
IoT And Brand-Consumer Communications
Rebecca and Loni discussed how the IoT fits into the consumer-brand paradigm and supports a multi-way communications model between object and brand, object and consumer, and consumer-to-consumer.
This “connectivity model” is real time and can be used to predict future consumer behavior. It’s a step ahead of the more commonly discussed two-way dialogue model.
Citing 2014 Acuity Group research, Rebecca said that by 2019, we will see a large jump in the adoption of IoT devices thus enhancing connectivity between brands and consumers.
Get ready for a growing number of new ways that consumers will access the Internet; forget mobile – now we’re talking smart televisions.
So, with all these touch points, what’s the glue that holds it together?
Content, Context & Consistency Glue
Rebecca says the following are key to the omni-channel experience:
- Content: “Content is the unifying element of how brands manifest across all touch points.”
- Context: “Context is the antidote to endless, noisy media proliferation.”
- Consistency: “Consistency in brand tone, outreach, response, presence and culture.”
Rebecca also described Home Depot as model for tying an experience that’s initiated online to the offline experience in the store, as illustrated in the following slide:
How does this new age of marketing and brand-consumer experience benefit all of us?
Rebecca points out that it provides better utility to consumers, where brands are “partners.” Additionally, the experience is more relevant to consumers leading to increased loyalty, improved conversions and market differentiation.
But there are also risks, which include attribution issues, ineffective or unethical use of data and just plain annoying or “creeping out” consumers, to name a few.
However, the possibilities are quite intriguing, and the future looks bright for all the ways brands can potentially use IoT technology to connect with consumers,
One way that brands can prepare is to plan for and prioritize digital transformation, Rebecca says. According to 2014 data from Altimeter Group, 63 percent of marketers surveyed said that further research into customer digital touch points was a priority.
In the world of IoT, those digital touch points will be even more important to understand in the next few years as brands aim to be a part of being where their consumer is – in the buying journey sense and also in the physical world.
It is clear that new technologies are empowering marketers to connect digital experiences to physical devices, and many now believe that business and digital transformation must be powered by marketing departments.
In the age of digital transformation and in the world of IoT, Rebecca highlighted five steps companies must take:
- Foster a culture of content
- Orchestrate across teams, internal and external
- Plan and prioritize for digital transformation
- Plan for media convergence
- Plan for technology integration
For your reference, here’s Rebecca’s full presentation from SlideShare:
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.
(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)