The “Internet of Things” (IoT) has recently exploded as a hot new “thing,” fueled in part by Google‘s and Cisco’s increasing strategic investments, and an estimated $19 trillion dollar market opportunity
While early adopters are now experimenting with creative ways to leverage IoT as a conduit for deeper audience engagement, IoT hasn’t reached critical mass yet; IoT discussions still live inside the walls of “digital innovation” and “new product development.”
At the crux of IoT discussions for digital media is a rather simple, yet entirely disruptive concept — that individual physical products can become their own media platform for brands. In other words, a connectable product (anything from a bicycle to a soda can that consumers can engage with via their smartphones) can act as its own media channel — operating alongside TV, mobile, magazines and other media channels — and tapping into consumer behavior to create an entirely new form of CRM through physical objects. This concept — products as interactive media — has vast implications for the media landscape.
As products become connected, the game changes completely for brands, shifting marketers’ strategy from the traditional push model to a more intelligent pull model. A connected product provides a brand with a direct, real-time interface and interaction point with the consumer. Instead of pushing content toward consumers at the best guesstimated time to catch their attention, brands can engage with consumers who are proactively opting in to receive content when they most need it and when they are most engaged with the brand’s product.
Data is the key to enriching the consumer’s experience
Marketing executives are just beginning to open their eyes to the limitless marketing opportunities enabled by IoT. There is still a world of innovation before us, and if the industry can embrace the disruptive idea that products can serve as their own digital media channels, we’re off to a great start.