In this digital age where devices are becoming more and more connected, the opportunities to use IoT or Internet of Things in marketing have grown exponentially. Technology developers are still working to create new ways to embed IoT into everyday objects.

I believe this is a good opportunity that paves the way for marketers to create effective stories about their brands and products to create meaningful connections with customers.

Smart devices have already revolutionized the way marketers create content. The SEO landscape has also changed dramatically over the past few years. Search lines have become longer, and voice commands are no longer a thing of the past.

Customers are increasingly using digital assistants to conduct searches on their behalf. For example, customers no longer type “car repair services in Delhi” using the voice assistant. Instead, all customers have to do is say, “Hey Google/Alexa, suggest the best auto repair services near me.”

Innovative product features require innovative marketing strategies, and marketers must meet this need.

Development of the Connected Devices Ecosystem
Industry reports indicate that IoT will revolutionize marketing within the year. More than 50 percent of leading marketers worldwide expect IoT to significantly change the marketing landscape by 2022.

The IoT market is expected to grow to $650.5 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 16.7 percent from 2021 to 2026. Data analytics will be key for marketers in evaluating and developing creative marketing strategies focused on customer behavior. Not only do IoT devices tell us more about customer behavior, but they also help open up an effective line of communication for brands to receive real-time feedback.

I think it’s a very important tool that brands should use to improve and deliver products and services, and offer customized advertising. So IoT is fundamentally changing marketing, and the wheels of change are already in motion. Needless to say, with the speed of trends and technology in customer behavior increasing, fast-paced marketing strategies are a must.

Brands will have to invest in technologies that will take the customer experience to the next level. Personal technologies such as wearables, smartphones and embedded smart assistants will play a critical role in how brands interact with customers.

How IoT is evolving the role of marketing
As the capabilities of connected devices grow, so do the opportunities to incorporate them into a multi-channel marketing approach.

For example, data collected from cross-device interactions can help a brand deliver relevant messages and improve personalized experiences that delight customers. Connected devices are changing the role of marketing, and brands and products are becoming channels.

Product development
The Internet of Things not only helps improve product quality, but also helps predict demand and plan new products. Access to data from IoT devices will enable businesses to make better and faster decisions.

The important role played by data analytics is also helping to understand customer needs, buying habits, how trends influence those habits and geographic location, allowing marketers to tailor their products accordingly.

IoT can provide more accurate data on customer preferences – I believe this is the gift of IoT that has made marketing more dynamic and will continue to do so. Smart devices allow brands to “read” customers’ minds. Smart devices provide vast amounts of data that help businesses better understand their customers.

Data from IoT devices can enable brands to identify popular trends and patterns among their target audiences, allowing marketers to create compelling and highly personalized content for social campaigns that will drive engagement and improve ROI.

What’s more, with IoT-enabled devices, brands can directly link usage to customer demand and eliminate irrelevant ad placements. For example, if a light bulb stops working in a smart home automation, the IoT network will record this and generate a digital coupon. This coupon can then be retrieved via smartphone, allowing the user to order a new bulb online. For marketers, this will make campaigns more relevant, cost-optimized and efficient by reducing unwanted advertising spend.

Relevant offers and a seamless solution at the right time
With connected products and services, brands can track usage in real time. By understanding how, when and where customers use products, brands can match offers directly to customer needs or interests at a particular time.

Connected services open up a two-way conversation between customers and businesses, providing faster ways to solve and prevent problems. With the ability to observe device behavior in real-time, companies can monitor performance, identify and fix problems as they occur, sometimes before the customer even notices.

As digital pioneers raise the bar on customer experience, consumers expect targeted, responsive and relevant communications from brands. In our competitive age, any breach can result in losing a customer to a brand with better service and experience.

For individual retail purchases, brands use location-based notifications of coupons and discounts through geofencing. As technology evolves and 5G rolls out across India, these tools will evolve to become more advanced and smarter.

Customer relationship management
The most important effect of IoT in marketing is the development of CRM (customer relationship management). With robust CRM software, marketers can collect customer data and uncover key insights about the customer journey.

Using this information, companies can adjust campaigns and marketing strategies. Such data can help brands understand the different touch points on different devices in shaping the customer experience and encourage customers to convert.

Bottom line
The revolutionary IoT technology trend is enabling a new world of connected experiences. It also has the potential to transform marketing strategies and functions, ushering in an era of creativity and personalization.

Therefore, to keep pace with ever-changing customer behavior, brands must adapt to ever-changing customer profiles and new needs of existing customers and make advanced solutions that help consistently meet personalized and precise customer demands.

The author is the Chief Marketing Officer of OPPO India. The views and opinions expressed here are personal.