If you think you’re drowning in data now, just wait. The pool is about to get a lot deeper.
The much anticipated Internet of Things is here and it’s growing at a head spinning rate. The telecommunications experts at Ericcson are predicting that IoT sensors and devices are going to produce 400 zettabytes of data next year. That’s one trillion gigabytes. Even if that forecast turns out to be a bit off, there’s no denying that the IoT is deluging us with data.
Without experts to analyze all that data and turn it into business intelligence, it’s fairly useless. Many organizations lack both the tools and expertise to gain meaningful knowledge from this endless stream of data, but they know that it can drive highly customized and effective marketing campaigns if they can manage it properly. Expect them to turn to agencies for help. Are you ready to deliver results to clients that come to your front door with mountains of numbers to pour through?
Start with the right leadership
Marketing agencies traditionally split media buying and technology duties between discrete departments that specialize in each. The sheer volume of data filled with insights waiting to be decoded will necessitate bridging these silos together. The skill sets necessary to derive actionable intelligence from IoT data draws from both sides of the fence. Engineers that understand data onboarding software and can reconcile key data points with a broad vision that connects them to known identities are worth their weight in gold.
Most companies find it easier to train engineers who are already data experts with the marketing expertise to target and reach consumers than vice versa, but it makes no difference which discipline the experts originate from. The key is getting people in place now that are ready to do the job — and it starts at the top, with leadership that is accountable for incorporating IoT into marketing.
Harnessing contextually relevant channels
IoT devices are rapidly introducing new channels that provide data and many of them can also be used to carry messages. Consumers are moving between these channels at lightning speed and data gained from one must be captured, analyzed and used to craft a message with lightning speed. Between smart appliances, cars and virtual assistants like Alexa-enabled devices, the opportunities are endless — and consumers move between these channels rapidly throughout their day.
If a smart washing machine realizes it is running low on detergent, perhaps it is equipped with the ability to deliver a message itself. But think about how much further it can go. If the detergent manufacturer receives the data, it can send a message to the owner’s car as it drives by a store or the machine can send a message to an Alexa device asking it to order more. The window to purchase that detergent is small, and only marketers that are equipped to capture data in real-time and convert it into intelligence that drives customized targeted messaging on contextually relevant channels will be able to drive behaviors that result in sales.
Organizations are grappling with the challenges and possibilities that IoT devices are presenting and smart agencies can position themselves now to become vital consultative partners in navigating the exploding ecosystem.