On November 15th of last year, I published the first part of this two-part story. The actual title of the piece is, “What is the future of digital marketing?” In that article, I stated that Mobile (not limited to cellphones), Consolidated Consumer Data (big data) and Social Media would be dominant in the future development of digital marketing. Here is a link if you would link to reread the first part. http://bit.ly/to-be-or-not-to-be-1st
Now, here comes the cool part! The future, which has already started, will merge those 3 major aspects of digital marketing, and will use the Internet of Things (IoT) as the tool to collect and distribute the information. There is a useful article published in the Business Insider that does an excellent job with component definitions for IoT. I recommend you read it. http://bit.ly/Business-Insider-IoT
The Holy Grail of marketing is to be able to know what a customer wants, or is likely to want, based on a compilation of data, inclusive of empirical, environmental, customer type (person or entity), basic characteristic information (M/F, age range, socio-economic, etc.). Social Media ties into this as advertising platform, information gathering and product or services advocates, or in some cases detractors.
Think about the last time you were looking online to buy some consumer item and then later while on Facebook, you noticed ads to the right and sometimes inline (center), if you are not blocking them, for the exact type of products you were previously shopping online. This is a more basic form of targeted advertisement, but throw in Big Data and IoT with sophisticated data analytics and it is a gamechanger!
Gathering data while maintaining privacy and then tying it to a unique identifier of some type (alpha-numeric code), perhaps the ultimate Mobile device has this identifier, would allow access, and gathering of a wealth of information for specific advertisement to that individual consumer. We already have devices in urban areas that ping to programs on cell phones such as the traffic and navigation app Waze that lets you know you are near a sale, specific restaurant, automotive store, etc.
Now imagine there is enough information tied to your Mobile device that it knows your favorite food is Indian and you are going to pass by a restaurant you eat or order from all the time. BTW, that Mobile device also exchanged information with your automobile’s computer and knows it is due for servicing. That dealer or service center is coming up on your way home and now you have a reminder.
The IoT and gathering of information isn’t just about selling consumer products and services. What if you have a serious medical condition that is life threatening and by wearing an IoT device or piece of clothing it could warn you through your Mobile device that you should seek medical assistance? It could quite possibly save your life.
IoT includes all types of information gathering devices from simple to complex. Do you know that the technology is already here to include inexpensively the ability to gather and exchange product and consumer interactive information? Companies such as Thin Film Electronics ASA, or “Thinfilm” as they are commonly known, have developed an affordable, mass production process to “make everyday objects just smart enough.”
In this digital future, we now have an individual consumer Mobile device, interacting with multiple IoT objects, both simple and complex, and tied into all of that you have instantaneous social media reach to the consumer as well as their opinion of your product and services.
It should be remembered that consumers now listen more to other consumers when it comes to selecting products or services. In some cases, this even includes influence from other aspects of a person’s life, such as political or religious views. This has never been more apparent as in the last presidential election.
To capitalize on this developing merge of technologies and information, digital marketing agencies will need to be able to help their clients utilize these tools. This also includes a massive potential to create and maintain data analytic tools and services. Having access to and gathering data is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The challenge will be the timely and accurate analysis and use of the data while maintaining trust with the consumer regarding their privacy. It most definitely must be automated to be relevant as time will always be a major data point.
I haven’t been this excited about cool technology and its uses since finishing my model of the USS Enterprise when I was kid and dreamed of flying off to explore the universe! We have robots, availability of all sorts of home sensor and management devices, cell phones that are technically small computers with phone capabilities, AI development, and I watched a YouTube video recently of the SpaceX rocket launch and landing. In a word, amazing!
Information has always been the single most important commodity for humankind. Now it is being taken to a whole new level of sophistication. Are you ready? Is your agency or company ready?
I do believe a sequel may be in order. With the rapid advancement in smart technologies, what is the next possibility? Human data creation combines with AI data creation? AI learning and analytics? The only limit is our imagination and the patience to create the tools needed.
Excellent Topical Articles