By 2020 over 40 billion of these devices, from your car to your fridge will be connected to the web. But what does that really mean for business?
Technology research giant, Gartner estimates that product and service suppliers will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion from this phenomenon and IDC forecasts that the worldwide market for IoT solutions will grow to $7.1 trillion in five years.
It took 100 years to connect 1 billion places, 25 years to connect 5 billion people and now just 15 years to connect 40+ billion devices.
A world where almost everyone and everything is connected via the internet brings with it endless opportunities for brands to better listen and then respond to the needs of their customers – delivering the right message, at the right time and on the right device.
51% of the world’s top marketers expect IoT to revolutionise the marketing landscape by 2020
As Chet Pipkin, CEO and founder of Belkin, puts it: “The world is made up of trillions of things — cars, planes, jet engines, exercise equipment, the items on my desk. And then there’s the Internet."
This category is about all of these things and the Internet, as we know it, coming together. Anything I can do over the Internet blended with my things.”
Leading the way in the IoT world are wearable’s like a Fitbit and the new Apple Watch.
Consumers will become more and more connected with our brands and as such allow us the opportunity to analyse their habits, gather and review this data, understand where a customer is in their buying journey and then deliver content, notifications or real-time point of sale when it’s needed the most.
We’ll be able to react quicker to the needs of our customers, resolve issues quickly and nurture sales more effectively.
At this year’s CeBIT technology expo and conference in Sydney, Cloud Believer, Dez Blanchfield explained that there is no future for gadgets that are not connected to the internet and that the best example of the Internet of Things right now is the smart phone.
Businesses should focus on designing and building an app that either does something better or solves a problem.
And then giving that app for free to its customers so that you can track usage, review data and learn more about their buying habits.
Head of Marketing (ANZ) for Ericsson, Warren Chaisatien showed how the future is a networked society driven by 5G technology.
At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in March, visitors were invited to put on a Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and sit in an operator seat with heavy machinery controls.
They then took control, operating a real Volvo excavator located some 2,500 kilometers, sitting on a mound of dirt in Eskilstuna, Sweden.
This is when the future starts to look a little like a scene from some Hollywood special effects, blockbuster.
Shara Evans, Futurist and CEO of Market Clarity showed us the robots of the IoT revolution including a flying defibrillator that travels at 100 km per hour and can arrive on scene within a minute, saving lives where heart attack victims have a sixminute survival window and ambulances take an average of 10 minutes to respond.
Or micro drones being developed by Harvard University to help combat the global decline of honey bees.
Professor Andry Rakotonirainy from Queensland University of Technology says the electronic car manufacturer Tesla and Google are claiming to have driverless cars by 2020.
With over 90% of accidents caused by human driver error many analysts believe our roads will be safer by ditching the driver.
Even councils around the world are buying into the IoT world by changing their shires into smart cities.
Leading the way in Australia is Brisbane with the appointment of the city’s Chief Digital Officer, CISCO pods that connect to Council services, free WIFI throughout the city and digital signage on buses that changes in relation to it’s GPS location - https://youtu.be/nELVe_Y9p7s
So with so many changes in our world over the next five years, as marketers we need to start thinking like data scientssts.
From our homes, cars, offices, wearables and more, this data presents an enormous opportunity to capture smart device data, shape trends and deliver a relationship between brand and customer like never before.
Tony Eades is the Director of Brand Strategy at BrandManager (www.thebrandmanager.com.au), a creative digital communications and inbound marketing agency based in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.