Smart Becomes Intelligent: How Your Business Can Benefit from IoT DevicesHomes are now smart, with the Internet of Things sensors at every turn. Smart businesses will capitalize on the data collected and use it to influence consumer behavior.
Smart homes and the devices that power them are now everywhere. Gartner says the Internet of Things (IoT) industry is worth more than $235 billion, and they point out that an average of 5.5 million new things are being connected every day. From the watch on your arm to the pacemaker in your chest, IoT devices are all around us, impacting our lives in ways we wouldn’t have imagined even a decade ago.
While you might not be next in line to create an Amazon Dash Button, there are ways you can lean into the smart home craze. How can businesses benefit from smart technology?
What’s Smarter about the IoT?
IoT devices include a mix of computer hardware sensors and software that connects wirelessly to a network. One of the goals of any IoT device is to collect and collate data. At some point, the goal is for all these sensors to connect and “talk” with each other to create a seamless user experience where our every need is anticipated. We haven’t transitioned to fully to a “smart life” yet – but Network World predicts not only will cloud storage increase to hold the data next year, but Internet speeds will improve exponentially. These improvements will set the stage for the next wave of smart devices. Businesses need to be ready to capitalize on these changes.
It is precisely the data that these devices are capturing that will impact business growth trends in the future. Businesses that are capturing IoT can begin to use it to change operating procedures including marketing and customer service. For example:
- Data can be collated into buckets and business intelligence (BI) tools could be used to track consumer behaviors. Understanding the how’s and whys of customer behavior will help companies adjust their marketing messages to improve relationships and increase sales.
- The data could also be used to predict exactly when, in the customer lifecycle, that a buying behavior will occur. Data from Fitbit wearables could track the mileage of a jogger and then a marketing message could start to appear at the exact time a runner’s shoes start to wear out. Or, a refrigerator that tracks water consumption from a filtered dispenser could ping consumers by email when it was time to change the filter, offering a coupon deal to buy the replacement.
- Management of the big data captured from the IoT makes analytics crucial. Businesses would do well to capitalize on software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers that offer powerful analytics tools as part of their online subscription service. The key will be to track the right data, analyze it, and change marketing strategies to accommodate your findings.
- Marketers should also take advantage of GPS location devices to track where consumers shop, and then partner with retailers to offer deals at those brick and mortar locations.
Smart technology powers everything from the computers in our cars to our refrigerators. It’s Siri and Cortana, Watson and Alexa. Businesses that can begin to capitalize on the data these devices capture in 2018 will remain at the forefront of this technology phase. Ignoring the data will put your business at risk of falling behind.