Business & Marketing | Anurag Gupta | Last Updated: 2016-04-15
What is the next big thing in online marketing? It is not a new search algorithm from Google; it is not a new form of video compression; it is not even a new content management system that makes SEO implementation easier. The next big thing in online marketing is the Internet of Things (IoT). Marketers and web developers who get a handle on the IoT now will be light years ahead of those who fall behind.
What is the IoT? It is that worldwide community of electronic devices that can all connect to the internet using built-in wireless capabilities. Just like your smartphone can connect either through your 3G/4G data plan or by piggybacking on a local Wi-Fi signal, many modern gadgets and appliances can do the same thing. The vast universe of the IoT could eventually include every single electronic device in every single home or office.
When you understand the scope of the online universe, it is easy to see that the IoT is promising obvious benefits to those marketers who fully embrace its potential. The IoT goes well beyond online marketing solutions to create a whole new avenue for effectively reaching targeted customers.
The power of the IoT for marketing purposes starts with gathering and analyzing data. This is most easily seen by looking at the capabilities of the modern smartphone. As you know, geolocation is now a standard part of smartphone programming in iOS, Android, and almost every other mobile operating system. By identifying your location and sending the data back to a central server, your phone is providing marketers with valuable information about where you go.
That information can be analyzed and applied to create targeted marketing campaigns based on the places you frequently visit. If your smartphone reports that you regularly visit a local coffee shop, for example, that data can be used to create a targeted advertisement that would prompt you to go to the shop to take advantage of some special deal. The same technology could be used to market everything from clothing to entertainment to medical services.
Apart from collecting the data and analyzing it to enhance the marketing, IoT can be beneficial in several other ways. The marketers can use this internet of things in ways discussed below.
Thus far, the capabilities of the IoT have remained elusive to all but a small handful of progressive marketers. Most still don't fully realize the extent of the IoTs reach. That means those that do get it have a head start. For them, it is a race against time to fully utilize the IoT before everyone else catches up. Just like Microsoft established worldwide dominance before anyone else was ready to compete, the marketers who get a handle on the IoT first will set themselves up as global leaders.
The internet marketing services of today still use standard SEO tools and reliable marketing strategies to reach customers. None of those things will go away as a result of the IoT. However, all can be enhanced by taking advantage of the capabilities of data-gathering in the IoT. Those who get in on the ground floor now will reap the benefits of a powerful new platform that promises to forever shape the way we market. Internet of things is, undoubtedly, one of the best things that have happened to the marketers in a long time.
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