Trend Watch: Internet of Things (IoT)

Garrett Mann
Garrett Mann

Director, Content Marketing

What is IoT?

As many marketers are aware, the Internet has forever changed the marketing landscape as it relates to our ability to: get messaging into the market quicker; engage and interact with customers/prospects; measure the success of programs;  and most of all, track and monitor behavior to gain critical intelligence about our customer base.

But what is the Internet of Things? According to TechTarget’s WhatIs.com, the Internet of Things is “a scenario in which objects, animals or people are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.” And the “things” part of this is basically anything that can be given an IP address and the ability top transfer data over a network. Even if you don’t know what IoT is, chances are very good that you have already experienced it first hand through your “things” –  the location-based services your phone, your Garmin watch, your Fitbit, etc.

So, now that we know what the Internet of Things is, the questions is can be the next greatest “thing” to happen to B2B marketing (sorry, couldn’t resist)?

B2B Marketing and the Internet of Things

B2B technology marketing is fast becoming a data-driven business as marketers and their sales teams have more access to in-depth intelligence from inside and outside their ecosystems to help them inform communication and content development, set sophisticated follow-up strategies, and engage more prospects and customers in real-time. All of it predicated on the guiding principle that you can learn more from what someone is doing rather than what they are telling you.

IoT’s ability to bring personalization to a whole new level is what gets marketers most excited. Not only can you learn from the actions that your audience is taking , but theoretically, you can learn from what they are doing when they took those actions and start to build a rock-solid profile based on the data that is being passed to you on multiple levels. This type of data will not only help you get smarter about what you deliver, when you deliver it, messaging, and positioning, but will help you start to better anticipate what exactly your audience needs so you can get out in front of the decisions they are making. An example from the consumer world are apps like Daily Commute that gather intelligence on your daily travel routes, getting smarter over time to the point where it can more accurately predict travel times based on days of the week, seasons, etc. and recommend departure times and routes to you without your input.

Making sense of IoT

To learn about what some of the industry experts are predicting for IoT as well as its impact on B2B marketing, see below:

  1. The market is growing rapidly – According to this infographic from Marketo, 51% of marketers believe the Internet of Things will revolutionize marketing by 2020 and that IoT will be a $7.1 trillion market in 2020. Furthermore, Intel tells us that there will be more than 200 billion smart devices or “things” by 2020.
  2. Putting IoT into practice – This blog shows B2B marketers 6 ways that IoT will help deliver better marketing results through real time marketing message delivery, complete buyer’s journey mapping, personalization and more.
  3. Don’t dive headlong into hype -Just like any new trend or technology, it only works as long as you are set up to take advantage of it. With almost 80% of IoT being largely unstructured, data expert Anthony Scriffignano warns marketers to remain grounded even as the IoT pulls their heads into the clouds and make sure they have data management practices in place to fully leverage the data coming into their organization.

Hopefully this information is helpful as you try to make sense of the B2B market opportunity for IoT. Would love to hear any advice you have for the audience – please feel free to leave a comment or connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

B2B marketing, B2B Marketing best practices, Internet of Things, IoT, Trend Watch

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