With every human expected to own some 20 or more connected devices by the year 2020, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a phenomenon brands can’t afford to ignore. A world of interconnectivity grants any ‘thing’ a voice through the data it emits—it’s beautiful, it’s freaky, and it’s unprecedented. Digital, marketing, and product strategists are struggling to determine when, how, and to what extent to apply connected products and other sensor-generated data to the customer experience.
New research from Altimeter provides brands a framework for contextualizing the Internet of Things, and five definitive ways companies can use sensors to create mutual benefit for both brand and consumer through the entire customer journey. They are:
- Reward: through promotion, gamification and entertainment
- Information & Decision-Making: for shopping/evaluation, as well as navigation, monitoring, and news
- Facilitation: to enable transaction, identity authentication, conversion, and interaction
- Service: for proactive and reactive customer support, as well as sales and retention
- Innovation: to drive feedback, customization and rapid product
When people think of the Internet of Things, they think about a world of bright, shiny [connected] objects, yet our research finds that effectively applying sensors to consumer-facing programs isn’t about the technology; rather it starts with empathy and transparency. This report provides strategists the steps they need to begin crafting strategies and architecting experiences that leverage sensors to empower both brand and consumer —without creeping people out.
This research contains input and examples from a wide range of industry perspectives, from brands to vendors to agencies, and experts. But we’re only just getting started…
The impact of how digitalizing the physical world affects customer experience is an ongoing source of inspiration and imperative for continued research for me. I invite your feedback, insights, and collaboration as we (businesses, consumers, and citizens) work to better understand, define, and harness for good, a world of ever-expanding connectivity.