The Impact of IoT and Big Data on Marketing


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The annual Consumer Electronic Show provided us with a glimpse into the latest gadgets and what we can look forward to throughout the year. While there was a number of different releases and new tech, there was a theme that seemed to be circulating, grouping many of these devices together. More and more objects are being made with internet connectivity, looking to expand the already rapidly growing Internet of Things (IoT).

What is the Internet of Things?

For those unfamiliar with IoT, it refers to the community of everyday objects that are connected to the internet. These objects can identify themselves and exchange data to and from each other on a network. New smart technologies like Google’s Nest or wearables like FitBit all fall into this category. Soon even cars and home appliances will have the same connectivity, resulting in a massive network of smart objects.

One of the major developments contributing to this increase in connectivity, is low-cost sensors and microelectronics. These devices allow for almost anything to be connected to the web. According to Cisco, there will be over 50 billion things connected to the internet by 2020.

The Convergence of IoT and Big Data

Organizations are always looking for new sources of information and new means of collecting it all. The hope, is that this information can be used to better understand customer behavior, and build better models to increase the chances of success. Enter IoT. The more objects we have connected to the web, the more sources companies have for mining information.

It’s not hard to picture how interconnected objects will contribute to the big data use case rush. These IoT devices, especially wearable tech and in-home appliances, will help gather personal, behavioral and environmental information on consumers’ lives. Essentially, the marriage of big data and IoT will be a gold mine of marketing insights.

The Marketing Opportunities

It shouldn’t be too hard to understand why more data, or rather, why more in-depth, quality data, will help marketers improve their craft. Primarily, IoT technology allows for real-time and accurate data sensing, with wireless transmission to web applications and servers connected to the internet. This means that organizations can achieve more precise monitoring and data collection. Improvements in big data analytics will allow markets to manage this data with greater ease, and quickly find the right insights to create more targeted messaging and campaigns. It’ll usher in an era of micro-segmentation, allowing for the right ads to reach the right people, and influencing more actionable results.

For example, the healthcare industry could really benefit from this information. Advancements in medicine are some of the most important achievements we can hope for. Anything that can reduce pain or prolong life is generally very well accepted. If information gathered from fitness trackers could be retrieved by healthcare providers, they could offer very customizable solutions and incentives based off user data.

The Problems Marketers will Face

While all the information from IoT will offer great insights, it comes with a few problems as well. Sure, the immediate reaction would be to question our ability to handle and store it all. Data storage has always been a problem, but for the moment, storage solutions are keeping up with demand. The primary challenge will most likely focus on security concerns. This data is great, but will marketers have access to it? Consumers are more aware of their own data than ever before, and they are starting to learn its value. Marketers shouldn’t count on unhindered access to free information. Companies may need to prepare to start buying and bidding on information from consumers.

Overall, we know IoT is coming fast, and it’ll turn big data into big, big data. The question on marketers minds should still be, what information will to be helpful in accomplishing our goals? That’ll help markets pick what they need and avoid overspending, should data licensing become a thing. Next, they’ll need to be realistic in their expectations of what data they can acquire. Even paying for information won’t guarantee access to everything.

Rick Delgado
Freelance Writer
I've been blessed to have a successful career and have recently taken a step back to pursue my passion of writing. I've started doing freelance writing and I love to write about new technologies and how it can help us and our planet. I also occasionally write for tech companies like Dell.


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