The internet has changed the way customers approach brands, and the way brands approach customers. Just a short 50 years ago a billboard that could be casually seen from the highway was considered innovative. Jump ahead to about 15 years ago and a billboard that directed you to an online website was interactive. Today, those platforms are completely outdated due to the emergence of the Internet of Things and personalization.
Things like billboards and print advertising are now considered brand presence tools, whereas interactive brand tools are more likely to be apps, an active social media experience, or tailored push emails. You don’t have to hope your customers drive by these days because you can usually directly speak to them via personalized digital tools and IoT.
What are the Internet of Things (IoT) and Personalization?
These days the Internet of Things almost sounds like a catchphrase, but it really is a simple term that describes interrelated objects that connect to the internet and gather and transfer data over wireless networks without the need for human facilitation. So to break it down, it refers to any piece of technology that collects data in the background of your life from your computer to your mobile phone to an Amazon Alexa that automatically re-sends goods when it notes you are low.
Personalization on the other hand is exactly what it sounds like, individualized marketing campaigns that are targeted to individual consumers. A great example is push emails or push notifications that are sent to your phone via apps. These messages are tailored to match your usage or browser exhibited needs. Have you looked at a grocery store website? There is a good chance Meijer might send you a customized shopping coupon via a push notification in an attempt to steal your business. This is a great example of how the IoT and personalization are changing the way you perceive brands and shop and a great tool for businesses to instantly address your needs and shift your attention towards them.
How IoT and Personalization Can Boost Customer Engagement
80% of customers report that the experience they have with a brand, matters just as much as the experience they have with the product or service offered by the brand. What that means for you is that you are no longer selling just a product or service- you are selling an experience. In today’s digital world, customers can purchase anything they want from multiple suppliers in seconds, so if you want their purchase you need to give them something in exchange.
Take for example Shutterfly which brilliantly integrates IoT and personalization by actively using customer data to create products that are hard to turn down in its advertisements. When you download the app you give it permission to access data and photos on your phone, which is logical since it is a photo company. However, the app cleverly takes this usage to the next level by creating highly personalized adverts and push messages that feature products with your own pictures imprinted on them. The result: customers couldn’t resist buying the gimmicky products in droves.
While you may not sell personalized products, you can sell personalized experiences by using data from IoT to get to know your customers and provide them with personalized attention, messaging, advertisements, and coupons. Deliver the right message at the right time, and you can rest assured you will attract new customers while happily maintaining your relationships with older customers.
Synergy Between IoT and Personalization
As you may already be observing throughout this article, IoT and personalization are really two sides of the same coin. IoT collects the data that you need to create personalization tactics that can then be facilitated to create new opportunities for your brand. Without one or the other, the brand marketing strategies falter, so it’s important that you pay equal attention to the data that is gathered and the way that data is interpreted and then redelivered.
The bottom line: toss your consumers a cookie and they will bite down on it. IoT and Personalization are the ingredients you need to craft that enticing cookie, so use them wisely to create irresistible results that boost your customer retention rate and overall conversion rates.