There’s a trend that’s spreading like wildfire, and it’s called the “Internet Of Things” (IOT). From medical aids to smart homes, IOT makes it possible to control almost every aspect of our lives using “Smart” devices that are hooked up wirelessly to the huge global information network we know as “The Internet”, and it’s a trend that shows no signs of slowing down. Sure, we should be careful not to get too sucked into the hype – Benedict Evans put it quite bluntly in a recent 16z podcast, essentially saying that the market is largely diluted with too many vendors pushing the same products wrapped in slightly different packaging. But on the other hand, we can be cautiously optimistic about IOT’s future – McKinsey predicts that the market is set to reach $11bn by 2025.
So here we are, staring down the barrel of a market with a ridiculously huge potential value, and it’s only a matter of time before AdTech and the lead generation channel makes its entrance to the space. So what should our next move be?
Here are three key areas you might want to start considering in terms of using IOT to your advantage:
1. Smart Watches
The adoption of Smart Watches has been slow, but it is increasing at a very steady rate.
Right now, Smart Watches are still in their infancy – tech companies are still toying with what to actually do with them, but they’re already becoming devices with real lifestyle-enhancing benefits.
As Smart Watches become more mainstream, we think they have the potential to make a massive mark on the lead generation industry. Imagine combining activity and offline interest data with the kind of metrics already available to you from a person’s smartphone?
2. Smart Homes
We mentioned Smart Homes in our opening paragraph, and for good reason.
Home systems are becoming a massively commoditised market, and with this comes huge lead generation potential. For example, imagine adapting Utility API to start live-streaming (with permission of course) actual energy consumption and costs to companies with an interest in making a competitive counter offer? If you were an energy supplier, you would be able to pro-actively market your products to customers where you already knew there was going to be a real cost saving before making first contact.
Travel is an area that is primed and ripe for the picking in terms of IOT and lead generation.
The key principle here is in the title: Travel. We’re talking of course about people who are on the move, and who for whatever purpose are trying to get from A to B. Applications where IOT is really starting to take off for travel include those built around NFC (“Near Field Communication”) – these allow companies to communicate with people who are on the move simply by way of proximity. For example, using your watch to pay for items at the checkout simply by tapping with your wrist. No fumbling in the pocket for wallets or bank cards that are safely stored away during your journey, just super-fast payment made very easy and efficient.
How does this apply to lead generators? Well, you will be interested to know that there are wearables that allow the user to opt-in to travel-specific offers while on the move. And that’s just one example.
The most popular attitude to IOT may be pretty bullish, and might not be firmly grounded. Sure, it’s on the rise, but is it really going to boom as huge as McKinsey predicts it will? Time will tell.
One thing is certain, though. Global innovation and research budgets are going to be pouring their hearts and souls into this market for a long time to come, and it is therefore definitely something all marketing departments should keep their eyes on – after all, first mover advantage has brought too many household names to fruition for lead generators to simply ignore this relentless trend.