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Digital Marketing and The Internet of Things

Posted on September 16, 2014 by Christopher Rhines

Digital marketing is a chameleon that constantly changes its colors and adopts to new technologies – now more than ever before. While not literally a single piece of technology, the Internet of Things is a hot topic, due to its potential impact on how we interact with devices that are connected to the Internet.

What Is The Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the ever-growing collection of devices that are connected to the Internet’s existing infrastructure. Until recently, the vast majority of Internet-connected devices were what you would probably imagine: desktop computers, laptops, servers, tablet devices, and smart phones. But there is a big shift occurring, and we are now seeing a trend of other “things” connecting to the Internet. So what are these “things”?

apple-watch2Arguably the latest highly publicized “thing” is the recent announcement of Apple Watch. While not the first wearable Internet-connected device, Apple Watch has the potential to excite the masses about wearable technology. Wearable tech is an example of a “thing” that makes up the Internet of Things. Another example is home automation – thermostats, lighting, and home audio systems that can be controlled from smart phones. Outside the home, rapid progress is being made on other IoT devices such as automobiles with sensors (Google Self-Driving Car), biochip transponders for farm animals, and various monitoring implants used in the fields of health and medicine.

According to some studies, there will be nearly 26 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020.

This increasing connection of physical life to the digital world will usher in a new era of automation in nearly all fields. The Internet of Things is expected to collect and generate enormous amounts of data, which will be used to monitor and improve various aspects of everyday life, such as health, environment, and productivity. The IoT aims to function as a vast network of interconnected devices that exchange data in a meaningful way.

How Does The Internet of Things Affect Digital Marketing?

Just as companies and brands can no longer survive by focusing only on intrusive “traditional” advertising (tv, radio, print, outdoor, etc.), there will also be a paradigm shift within digital marketing as well. Behaviors such as link-clicking, collecting data and tracking via browser cookies, collecting data and analyzing keywords and search terms – these are all commonplace in today’s digital marketing world. However, as the Internet of Things matures, we will encounter completely new ways of collecting and managing customer data.

minority_reportBrands and digital marketers will need to continually monitor trends associated with the IoT, related to their respective industries and interests. Every customer interaction has the potential to trigger data collection, and digital commerce will become an “always on” exchange of information. Brands need to adapt to collect and analyze this data, so that they can make intelligent decisions related to how they market to their customers. Digital marketing has the potential to become hyper-targeted, to the point where we may soon be literally marketing to individual customers, one by one.

Innovate Early

In order for brands to remain competitive, they will need to continuously be aware of new digital marketing initiatives and strategies as they relate to the Internet of Things. Innovate and adapt early before your competitors, and you’ll have a terrific head start connecting with customers and their plethora of Internet-connected devices.

Do you have questions about the Internet of Things or digital marketing in general? We’d love to chat! Give us a call at 804-577-8679, or contact us below.

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About the author:

Christopher Rhines

Partner, Director of Development

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Christopher is the Director of Development and one of the partners at Torx. In addition to keeping Torx's Richmond office firing on all cylinders, he can often be found deep in the trenches, building custom content management systems and WordPress-powered websites. He still remembers how to write Basic computer programs on Apple IIs and Commodore 64s.