What has been dubbed as “the next industrial revolution”, or Industry 4.0, is just around the corner. It is predicted that around 125 billion devices and ‘things’ will be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) by the year 2030. This major technological upgrade is big, really big. And for businesses to survive in the new digital era, they will need to understand exactly how the IoT will affect them.
Digital marketing will see some of the biggest changes, many of which are already rolling out right now. Here are 6 ways that the Internet of Things will change your marketing strategy:
1. On-Demand Services Will Be Everywhere
Constant connectivity breeds a certain type of user, and this type of user is interested in instant gratification and being able to access information or products when they want it, at any time of the day. In the past, convenience was getting groceries delivered instead of having to venture to the supermarket. In the (very imminent) future, convenience will be something completely different. It will be not even having to order at all. Connected fridge/freezers will be able to record inventory and order groceries for you when programmed to do so. Or a breadbin that links up directly with the shopping list on your mobile phone whenever you’re running low.
On-demand services will be everywhere and the act of ordering, buying, shopping and managing the household will happen at the touch of a button. Making way for a whole new marketing platform for companies looking to reach modern internet users who like to have their products and services on demand.
2. Personalisation is Key
An era of constant connectivity will also breed internet users who want personalization and platforms that are made just for them. The desire for convenience means that people don’t want to waste time searching or seeking things out. Meaning that personalized marketing will be an essential discipline across every industry, particularly for retail. This type of user, in particular, Millennials and Gen Z, is also likely to be happy to share data if they feel they can benefit in terms of saving time and money. But being able to provide value is important, especially as GDPR will be reshaping the data landscape going forward, ultimately changing the way everyone thinks about their personal information and how it is used.
However, with so many devices being hooked up to the web and so much data being collected, pulling up user profiles and setting preferences will become easier than ever. This paves the way to a world where all digital marketing is tailored to a specific user. A current example of such kind of thing at work already is Google Personalised Search, something that modern day SEOs need to be aware of.
3. Device Connectivity Rules
Mobile users already account for 4.77 billion people worldwide, and the number shows no sign of slowing down. With the IoT, we will see devices of every kind connected to the web. Including wearable techs such as watches and trackers, in-car devices, TVs and entertainment systems, and even household appliances.
This means that digital marketing will have to cater for users accessing the internet from any kind of device, not just mobiles, and tablets. For SEO and PPC/Adwords, this means improving user experience and increasing levels of engagement. Things like personalization (as mentioned before) and improving page load speed (such as Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages) will become very relevant for marketers.
4. Expect Ad Automation
Another key trend to watch out for this year is ad automation. With the help of machine learning and developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI), PPC campaigns will be able to see huge improvements in terms of Adwords management. Automated processes have been a game changer in almost every industry and in the next few years, we will likely see changes in online marketing too. Whilst, for now, PPC managers won’t be leaving ads to manage themselves entirely, controlling and changing ad bids will be less of a manual process, allowing campaign managers to focus more on the creative side of things.
Another way that the Internet of Things will affect the PPC discipline is the growth of mobile and IoT devices. PPC campaigns will need to make a shift from desktop best practice to mobile best practice. We are already seeing the Mobile First Index being adopted by companies, and as the Internet of Things develops, other devices (from tablets and in-car entertainment devices to smart appliances) will need to be considered within the mix.
5. The rise of IoT apps
IoT will soon become a part of your everyday life, and will heavily influence the app development trends in 2018. From home automation to town planning and healthcare, IoT will be everywhere. And this is something that app companies cannot ignore. This will call for a more evolved direction in app development, creating a new wave of IoT apps that interweave sensors, connected devices, networking, cloud, and analytics. Combining different elements to yield applications like never before.
Apps that control home appliances or adjust your home thermostat even when you’re out / at work will be one of the key trends to understand. Marketing for apps will be more significant than ever, and with mobile phones being such an integral part of IoT controls and devices, apps will become a much bigger necessity in everyday lives. One that grows far beyond booking an uber, whatsapping friends, or mobile banking.
6. Voice Search is Happening
If there’s one single legacy that IoT will leave behind, it’s the digital assistant. The very first version of the ‘humanoids’ of the future! Smart robots such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa or Cortana by Microsoft are just the start of what is to come.
And unique voice activation has helped the technological market make strides with voice communication between human and bot. This means that voice searches are something that the industry shouldn’t ignore, and companies large and small will need to prepare for the upcoming voice search revolution.
Robert Lovell is a digital content marketer at JCammidge.co.uk. He works on campaigns in various sectors and is always looking for new ways to create a great original.