Go beyond mobile: embracing the internet of things

Think back to five years ago, when taking a mobile-first approach was revolutionary to marketing teams around the world. Today, consumers are spending 69% of their media time on smartphones, which means that mobile still takes the top spot as the go-to device for interacting with brands[5]. But with the emergence of Internet of Things, the number of ways in which consumers are choosing to engage is growing. This also means that there are more opportunities to interact with your customers, as long as you are ready to deliver relevant and optimized content. The rise in popularity of robo advisors among millennials is the perfect example of how brands are designing for today’s digital world.

Financial institutions are already realizing the potential of integrating services like Alexa and Siri. Some banks have already begun enabling their customers to interact with these virtual assistants on smart home devices. Customers can ask a range of questions about their accounts, balances, and spending, and receive detailed responses from a bot in real-time.[1] Working with these bots “as-a-service” enables businesses to be an even more integral part of their customer’s life.

As devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home make their way from a curiosity used by technophiles to widespread consumer use, businesses have the opportunity to transform the way they communicate with consumers. From ordering food to heating a home, from home security to conducting financial transactions, IoT will increasingly enable businesses to be ingrained in their customers’ day-to-day lives. The number of devices that use wireless technology to talk to each other – and to us as well – is growing at an extremely rapid pace, from 2 billion objects in 2006 to a projected 200 billion by 2020. That works out to around 26 smart objects for every human being on Earth.[2] By 2025, the total global worth of IoT technology could be as much as $6.2 trillion — with most of that value from devices in healthcare ($2.5 trillion) and manufacturing ($2.3 trillion).[3]

So, how might IoT look when fully realized? Let’s say my smartwatch knows I got less sleep than usual: I went to bed later and woke up earlier. My calendar is also aware that I have an extremely busy day with more meetings than normal. When I walk into the office, the coffee maker will automatically brew me a double espresso based on all these elements: the lack of sleep and the busy day = stronger coffee, without a word.

There is no question that mobile is still consumers’ go-to device and it is likely that that won’t change over the next year. As voice assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo grow in popularity, it’s important to optimize your customer experience for these new technologies. In fact, by the year 2020, there will be 75 billion connected devices in the world[4]. Be ready to adapt so that you don’t lose out on engaging your customers through rich omnichannel experiences.

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