There are “people to people” and “people to things” relationships, but “things to things”? Broadband internet has become increasingly available and the cost of technology and connecting has significantly decreased. More devices are designed with Wi-Fi compatibility in mind, and smart phone penetration is continually increasing. The increase in connectivity can all be attributed to the Internet of Things (IoT), but what exactly does this mean?
What is the Internet of Things?
The term “Internet of Things” was coined by the innovator and consumer sensor expert Kevin Ashton in 1999 and is used to describe “the interconnectivity between things using wireless communication technology to connect objects, locations, animals, or people to the internet that allows for the direct transmission of and seamless sharing of data.” While the term was established in 1999, the first predictions of the IoT began as early as 1926. Nikola Tesla told Colliers Magazine the following in an interview:
“When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole… and the instruments through which we shall be able to do this will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket”
A few IoT companies that have contributed to this manifestation include Microsoft, Amazon, Google, IBM, and Cisco. Through development of IoT platforms such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and IBM’s Watson, companies have been able to collect and analyze data instantaneously, which is great especially in the age of big data. The IoT impacts the way in which we do business and continually exposes the increasingly fast paced digital world.
Sales & Marketing
In regards to sales and marketing, IoT impacts their strategies in the following ways:
1. Easy exchange of data: Smart devices can gather important big data regarding your products and services, and supply it back to you in real time. The instantaneity provided through the advancement of the IoT allows businesses to create informed sales and marketing strategies and adjust them concurrently.
2. Instantaneous Customer Analysis: As companies continue to gather more data about their clients through interconnected devices, they will have a better understanding of their audience. Coupled with a quality CRM tool, the data will not only be organized, but effectively analyzed. With this information, businesses can learn more about their customers’ lifecycle to improve their value creation sales strategy.
3. Predictive Social Media: The IoT is already optimized for use with social media, allowing automated posts and shares to be regularly generated by the devices themselves. Being able to predict the development of these social communities and target your efforts towards these communities will allow you to reach potential customers that you may not have previously been able to. The ability to track social media changes allows you to take advantage of emerging trends and markets.