From Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to Product Relationship Marketing (PRM)
The term “Internet of Things” (IoT) marks a new era in marketing and in communications specifically. Laptops and PCs are increasingly being replaced or supplemented by connected devices. Today there is a variety of devices and applications available and used already. In addition to the well-known smartphones and tablets there are for example wearables (like the Apple Watch), in-car communication systems, as well as household appliances with smart functions in use. This results in completely new communication channels and touchpoints for marketers. The new conditions can be summarized as “Marketing of Things” or Product Relationship Marketing (source EVRYTHNG).
The importance of these innovative technologies is also reflected in the fact that more than two third of consumers are planning to add connected devices to their home by 2019. In addition, by 2020, an estimated 90 per cent of all cars will be connected to the Internet. Currently, the IoT technology is mainly used successfully in B2B sectors, for example in manufacturing or health care. However, there are first companies that successfully use Product Relationship Marketimg (PRM) in B2C as well. Therefore, where the connected consumer and IoT technologies cross paths, the world of marketing of things begins.
Things start to communicate
Things (Physical Objects) are no longer dead objects in IoT. Through intelligent functions, they are not only able to collect data, but also analyse and exchange them with other devices and solutions via the cloud. The data collected is especially used for monitoring, management, optimisation and automation according to Professor Michael Porter. New touchpoints in the Internet of Things, also mean new opportunities for marketers to connect and engage with customers. And this of course results in new ways to do better cross- and upsell. In 2020, each second 57,000 new “things” ie. devices and connected objects will be added to the Internet of Things. This not only means we are living in a connected, but also in a hyper-personalised world. We are just at the dawn of a revolution. But marketers need to get familiar with new technologies, channels and devices today, to stay in touch with their customers tomorrow and keep up with the enormous pace of innovation. The personalised approach in a connected world is a prerequisite for the marketing of things.
Marketing of things — new opportunities in customer communications
In a connected world, in which things are linked to people, the Internet of Everything emerges and touchpoints inevitably multiply. New touchpoints mean new opportunities for marketers. Focusing on the customer lifecycle and maintaining consistency will result in better experiences throughout the whole customer journey, thanks to personalisation, contextual messaging and real-time marketing. For example, relevant and tailored offers will be sent to a customer in real time through their SmartWatch based on their current location.
Absolut Vodka — The “Connected Cocktail”
Some companies have started leveraging IoT within their Marketing initiatives: Pernod Ricard is about to speed up the digitalisation. For their largest brand Absolut Vodka, the company is making the transition from a static glass bottle to a product that interacts with the consumer. Through exchange of data, the company wants to learn which services perfectly fit their respective consumers, in order to provide them with personalised offers. For example, these can be cocktail recipes adapted to the personal preferences, or even a taxi service which is offered after a long night of partying. This aims at strengthening customer relationships and build up new business models and services.
Renault — The perfect link to customers
To create experiences across all touchpoints in a connected world, companies need campaign management systems that give them a 360-degree view of their customers. These solutions also have to ensure consistency in terms of content, channels and execution. With Adobe Campaign, Renault centralised existing marketing channels like direct mail, email, online, and SMS. The campaign management solution also supports the distributed marketing model of the French car manufacturer. With a single management solution and improved integration with its central customer database, the company can better track individual customer journeys. In the near future, these journeys will also include touchpoints out of the Internet of Things. Renault plans to integrate Adobe Campaign with its connected car system—called R‑link—to provide service reminders to customers. Today the brand achieves a better understanding of each customer on each touchpoint and in each geography.
So Marketing of Things offers new opportunities to engage with customers and to connect products with services and experiences. These experiences need to be personal, relevant and in real-time. But as stated before marketers need to gain knowledge to keep up with the pace. The personalised approach in a connected world is a prerequisite for the marketing of things. Do you have what it takes to create experiences in a connected word?