Coming soon: An actionable internet of things for marketers


Coming soon: An actionable Internet of Things for marketers

The Internet of Things (IoT)—the practice of capturing, analyzing, and acting on data generated by networked objects and machines—is a widely discussed business topic. The IoT may be a boon to marketers because it presents opportunities to create compelling new products, services, and experiences for consumers. And the data it generates can be a source of valuable customer insights. For some marketers, IoT applications have been too theoretical, too costly to implement, or speculative in terms of return on investment. This is starting to change.

Two emerging trends are about to broaden the reach of IoT:

  • First is the emergence of new wireless communications networks specifically designed to support IoT devices and applications. Known by the term lower-power wide-area networks (LPWA), these networks have lower connectivity costs and higher penetration rates in dense areas.
  • Second is the arrival of edge analytics, which allow IoT applications to analyze and act on sensor data closer to the source, thus avoiding communication bottlenecks across networks.

When combined, these two trends will lower the cost of some IoT solutions, extend their range, and make them more responsive to consumers.

Marketers should take note of these trends because new IoT applications will soon be introduced that were previously not practical or cost effective. Potential benefits of these solutions include new ways to engage with customers, access to better data and insights, tools that will enable marketers to be more responsive to consumers, and opportunities to create new products and services. These technologies are also well suited for a range of uses in many consumer sectors, including automotive, consumer electronics, health care, retail smart cities, and more.


Lauren Johnson, Big tech firms are ready for the Internet of Things, even if marketers are not, Adweek, February 25, 2016, accessed March 7, 2016.

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