Article | January 29, 2021
If you’re struggling with creating a value proposition in volatile markets, you’re not alone. According to Neil Patel, 40% of marketers struggle to acquire leads by traditional marketing methods. As competition grows in each industry, even fairly monopolistic markets like tech are seeing rising competition in all areas.
To combat market uncertainty, as well as stand out amongst your competitors, you need a market strategy that not only offers a direction but actively targets your goals. A market strategy is your go-to plan when things get rough and it is a map for when the waters are calm. Moreover, marketers with a documented strategy are 313% more likely to report success.
We’re sure you already have a market strategy that is just right for you. But have you considered if it can be refined further? Thanks to emerging technologies like IoT, we now have access to the most mundane customer decisions that are taken on a day-to-day basis. This data is your ticket to a better market strategy without having to spend a bomb.
This is how you can refine your market strategy with the help of IoT.
The Internet of Things has offered us insurmountable amounts of consumer data. A caffeine brand can now access information such as what time consumers have coffee, whether it is at home or office, what flavors they prefer, how much they’re willing to spend on coffee, and what other alternatives they consume. This kind of data, collected on an IoT device such as a coffee machine, is instrumental in making marketing decisions. If you know that your consumer prefers to have coffee at work in peace rather than in a rush at home, you can target offices in the area with your product rather than targeting individual consumers.
IoT offers you the right information to make the right decisions. But you can also leverage this data to drive your market strategy. In the above example, the marketing team can account for campaigns geared towards workplaces based on the available data in the budget. Data-driven strategies prove to be more effective than otherwise, and as marketers, you must absolutely leverage any IoT data that may be relevant.
Respect your Customers
While IoT offers marketers a truly astounding amount of data, not all users are aware of what data is being tracked. This raises concerns for privacy and security among the users. Even though most of the users waive their rights to withhold the information when signing into an app or wearables software, they are not always comfortable sharing certain data.
As marketers, it is important to keep your practices ethical and legal. Using consumer data may be completely legal, but it is best not to offend your customers by overt use of data that they aren’t comfortable sharing. Make sure that the usage of data in marketing campaigns and strategy is limited to what data has been consciously shared by your consumers. This will bolster your goodwill, as well as make your customers trust your brand.
Offer Valuable Solutions
With the advent of Big Data and AI technologies, the internet of things is turning over a new leaf. As there is a vast amount of data that can be processed fast with AI, marketers can now target individuals rather than households or groups. With precise data available over consumer decisions and actions, it is possible to know if there are any unlikely customers that you have been ignoring so far.
IoT allows you to not only target these customers but also solve their problems. If we continue the caffeine example, the connected coffee machine can tell you when the coffee is about to be over, this can send you reminders to buy coffee, or in case of further automation, place an order on Amazon on your behalf. These solutions can be now hyper-personalized to suit individual needs through IoT.
IoT Based Campaigns
Your market strategy will have to account for campaigns throughout the year, but if you’ve noticed closely, the only marketing campaigns that gain significant traction are the ones that have a ‘wow factor’. A lot of marketers mistake the wow factor to be a subjective preference that customers have but it couldn’t be further from the truth. The wow factor is simply the effect produced when a business goes above and beyond to meet customer needs. IoT offers us the resources required to manufacture the wow factor in every single campaign.
A great example of this phenomenon is beacon marketing. Beacon marketing is considerably new in the marketing industry and uses Bluetooth technology to transmit information to nearby mobile devices. It is heavily used in retail across the globe and giants like Target and Walmart are already using the technology to market its services. Walmart places beacons in its lights across its stores and sends offers to its customers based on their location. It not only personalizes the shopping experience, but also saves a large amount of electricity bill for its stores.
Target Existing Customers
Many times, in a bid to appease new customers, marketers often forget about their existing customers. Your existing customers already know you, have tried your product or service, and are clearly interested in the product. A good product or service is often enough to keep the customers returning, but with the current levels of competition, customers often find themselves wondering if they should try new things. As a marketer, all you need to do is deter your existing customers from straying. You can do this by either providing an unparalleled service, which is quite unlikely in today’s market, or you give them a reason to stay.
Thankfully, targeting existing customers is much easier than targeting new ones. You already have their data over their preferences and habits. If you know that a certain firm updates their applications every second quarter, you can send them offers just before the second quarter starts and remain fresh in their memories when they decide to make the decision.
Allergy medication Zyrtec leveraged IoT when targeting their existing customers with a voice-enable application. Its users could just ask the application about the daily allergens and pollutants in their area so they could prepare ahead. The app offered a powerful solution to its users while making great use of its brand image and retaining almost all of their existing customers.
Leverage New Technologies
We have already discussed several complementary technologies to IoT that can help you make the most out of your market strategy. AI and Big Data are some of the strongest allies for IoT that can help change the norms across industries. But even limited technologies like voice-enabled applications, QR scanners, beacons and so can open up a lot of opportunities for marketers.
Consider adopting some of these technologies such as geofencing which are inexpensive and effective at the same time. Burger King is a great example of using geofencing for marketing. Geofencing is a technology wherein you can transmit messages or information to mobile devices within a certain area. Burger King set up their geofences across all McDonalds in the UK and as soon as anyone entered within a 500 m radius of a McDonald’s outlet, they received Burger King coupons and directions to the nearest store.
There are a lot of examples of IoT being used to enhance strategies or campaigns. Some of these examples are given below.
Diageo, a whisky brand in Brazil innovatively used IoT to run a father’s day campaign. They encouraged men to buy whisky for their fathers and placed a QR code on their bottles. Once the bottle was received, the fathers could scan the code which would play a personalized father’s day message by their sons. This concept was so loved by people in Brazil that Diageo saw a 72% sales uplift in the two weeks leading up to Father’s Day.
South East Water, CRM leveraged IoT by building an end-to-end IoT ecosystem powered by IBM’s Maximo. This helped them roll out an app that offered near real-time insights into customer requirements for over 80 engineering teams. This alone helped them ensure higher customer satisfaction and accelerated access to critical reports by 99 percent!
Uber and Spotify rolled out an IoT campaign together wherein you could access your Spotify playlists through the Uber app and once you were in an Uber, you could play whatever you liked through the app and it would play on the car’s speakers. This increased customer satisfaction for both Uber and Spotify users.
There are several examples of using IoT in marketing campaigns, and there is never a dearth of ideas. However, in order to appeal to your unique customer base, you need to innovate your product with IoT.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the IoT strategy?
IoT Strategy refers to an organization’s strategy to inculcate IoT in their business, whether as a marketing tool or as an integral part of the process.
How does IoT affect the marketing industry?
IoT offers a lot of insights and resources to marketers which helps them target their customers better and optimizes any marketing efforts, thereby effectively obliterating traditional marketing practices.
What is the best internet of things marketing strategy?
There is no one IoT marketing strategy that fits all businesses. Each business needs to identify its customer requirements and strategize accordingly.
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Article | April 14, 2020
Organizations around the world are coping with a variety of challenges related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Many companies are struggling to convert their processes from ‘in-office’ to ‘remotely accessible’. And, they’re scrambling to find new ways to “remote” tasks – with “remote” now becoming a verb. For example, we’ve heard from many customers that adding or expanding remote employee access capabilities is a hot topic. One such customer told us that they went from 9% of their workforce working remotely, to 52%. Wow! That’s not only a substantial change to operations and processes – it also directly impacts the company’s security posture. The challenge facing OT security practitioners is daunting. We absolutely must secure the people and systems responsible for saving mankind from an alien super-virus pandemic. But, while the bad guys are lobbing attacks from afar, the good guys are acting behind the scenes like NPCs (non-player characters). They’re bypassing the security systems we developed through years of hard work, like using Gmail or Zoom, or turning off anti-virus, in the name of getting things done.
Article | March 20, 2020
Workers in construction, agriculture and manufacturing are reported to have the highest incident rates, according to the 2018 research of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Medical expenses for work-related injuries are scoring millions of dollars each year. In recent years, businesses have increasingly opted for industrial IoT solutions that offer advanced monitoring capabilities designed to predict and prevent incidents. In many situations, smart monitoring can save lives in the event of equipment misuse or failure, inefficient safety regulations and health-threatening sites.
Article | April 3, 2020
IoT for manufacturing is disrupting the business process through analytical and cognitive capabilities. Connectivity of systems is allowing quality, operations, warranty and maintenance personnel obtain greater value from the manufacturing processes and assets.
The industrial internet will further disrupt the manufacturing industry as Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things will become more interdependent and data-driven throughout the whole product lifecycle. Industry 4.0 of course is one the major buzzwords these days as powerful AI based technologies are looking to transform the manufacturing process.
But as in any industry, a lack of real understanding remains a key obstruction for digital transformation in manufacturing.
Table of Contents:
What is IoT in manufacturing?
What is Smart Factory?
What are the principles that propel us into a new way of thinking about the industry?
How to adopt IoT in your manufacturing business?
What is IoT in manufacturing?
IoT or let’s say connecting devices in manufacturing is nothing new. Yet recent trends such as the rise of the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, and the convergence of the digital and physical worlds including information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT) have made the transformation of the supply chain increasingly possible. Adoption of interconnected, open system of supply chain operations known as the digital supply network, couldlay the foundation for how companies compete in the future. For this to happen, manufacturers will be needed to unlock several capabilities: horizontal integration through the myriad operational systems that power the organization; vertical integration through connected manufacturing systems; and end-to-end, holistic integration through the entire value chain.
This integration is known as Smart factory.
What is Smart Factory?
The smart factory is a switch to a fully connected and flexible system— one that can use a constant stream of data from connected operations and production systems to learn and adapt to new demands. A factory that can integrate data from system wide physical, operational, and human assets to drive manufacturing, maintenance, inventory tracking, and digitization of operations through the digital twin, and other types of activities across the entire manufacturing network. The result can be a more efficient and agile system, less production downtime, and a greater ability to predict and adjust to changes in the facility or broader network, possibly leading to better positioning in the competitive marketplace.
READ MORE:Smart manufacturing: don't miss out on the industrial revolution
What are the principles that propel us into a new way of thinking about the industry?
There are four principles:
• Transparent information — it is vital that a virtual copy of the physical world can be created, and this can only be done if data is freely available, from raw sensor data attached to machines all the way up to a higher-value, contextual information.
• Interoperability of components — the Internet of Things (IoT) underpins Industry 4.0 and allows for the various machines, devices, and sensors to communicate effectively with one another.
• Technical assistance — technology should not be invested in just for the sake of it, but rather because it provides clear assistance to humans, either in doing their job or making informed decisions.
• Decentralized decisions — by making information more transparent and readily available, it should move the decision making process closer to the point of action, with only exceptional decisions escalated up the hierarchy.
READ MORE: Transforming manufacturing with edge and IoT solutions
How to adopt IoT in your manufacturing business?
Here are 3 innovation plays along with suitable use cases that will help you clearly understand how to apply IoT in your manufacturing business:
1. Leverage data from a digital ecosystem
As companies build IoT-enabled systems of intelligence, they’re creating ecosystems where partners work together seamlessly in a fluid and ever-changing digital supply chain. Participants gain access to a centralized view of real-time data they can use to fine-tune processes, and analytics to enable predictive decision-making. In addition, automation can help customers reduce sources of waste such as unnecessary resource use.
PCL Construction is a group of independent construction companies that perform work in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and Australia. Recognizing that smart buildings are the future of construction, PCL is partnering with Microsoft to drive smart building innovation and focus implementation efforts.
The company is using the full range of Azure solutions—Power BI, Azure IoT, advanced analytics, and AI—to develop smart building solutions for multiple use cases, including increasing construction efficiency and workplace safety, improving building efficiency by turning off power and heat in unused rooms, analyzing room utilization to create a more comfortable and productive work environment, and collecting usage information from multiple systems to optimize services at an enterprise level. PCL’s customers benefit with greater control, more efficient buildings, and lower energy consumption and costs.
However, the path forward wasn’t easy.
Cultural transformation was a necessary and a driving factor in PCL’s IoT journey. To drive product, P&L, and a change in approach to partnering, we had to first embrace this change as a leadership team.
- Chris Palmer, Manager of Advanced Technology Services, PCL
2. Develop a managed-services business
Essen, Germany-based Thyssenkrupp Elevator is one of the world’s leading providers of elevators, escalators, and other passenger transportation solutions. The company uses a wide range of Azure services to improve usage of its solutions and streamline maintenance at customers’ sites around the globe.
With business partner Willow, ThyssenKrupp has used the Azure Digital Twin platform to create a virtual replica of its Innovation Test Tower, an 800-foot-tall test laboratory in Rottweill, Germany. The lab is also an active commercial building, with nearly 200,000 square feet of occupied space and IoT sensors that transmit data 24 hours a day. Willow and thyssenkrupp are using IoT to gain new insights into building operations and how space is used to refine products and services.
In addition, ThyssenKrupp has developed MAX, a solution built on the Azure platform that uses IoT, AI, and machine learning to help service more than 120,000 elevators worldwide. Using MAX, building operators can reduce elevator downtime by half and cut the average length of service calls by up to four times, while improving user satisfaction.
The company’s MULTI system uses IoT and AI to make better decisions about where elevators go, providing faster travel times or even scheduling elevator arrival to align with routine passenger arrivals.
We constantly reconfigure the space to test different usage scenarios and see what works best for the people in the [Innovation Test Tower] building. We don’t have to install massive new physical assets for testing because we do it all through the digital replica—with keystrokes rather than sledgehammers. We have this flexibility thanks to Willow Twin and its Azure infrastructure.
- Professor Michael Cesarz, CEO for MULTI, thyssenkrupp
3. Rethink products and services for the digital era
Kohler, a leading manufacturer, is embedding IoT in its products to create smart kitchens and bathrooms, meeting consumer demand for personalization, convenience, and control. Built with the Microsoft Azure IoT platform, the platform responds to voice commands, hand motions, weather, and consumer preset options.
And Kohler innovated fast, using Azure to demo, develop, test, and scale the new solutions. “From zero to demo in two months is incredible. We easily cut our development cycle in half by using Azure platform services while also significantly lowering our startup investment,” says FeiShen, associate director of IoT engineering at Kohler.
The smart bathroom and kitchen products can start a user’s shower, adjust the water temperature to a predetermined level, turn on mirror lights to preferred brightness and color, and share the day’s weather and traffic. They also warn users if water floods their kitchen and bathroom. The smart fixtures provide Kohler with critical insights into how consumers are using their products, which they can use to develop new products and fine-tune existing features.
Kohler is betting that consumer adoption of smart home technology will grow and is pivoting its business to meet new demand. “We’ve been making intelligent products for about 10 years, things like digital faucets and showers, but none have had IoT capability. We want to help people live more graciously, and digitally enabling our products is the next step in doing that,” said Jane Yun, Associate Marketing Manager in Smart Kitchens and Baths at Kohler.
As these examples show, the possibilities for IoT are boundless and success is different for every company. Some firms will leverage IoT only for internal processes, while others will use analytics and automation to empower all the partners in their digital ecosystems. Some companies will wrap data services around physical product offerings to optimize the customer experience and deepen relationships, while still others will rethink their products and services to tap emerging market demand and out-position competitors.
Many would argue that the IoT adoption in the manufacturing industry has fallen short of the expected growth rate but given the benefits of connected devices, its wide adoption is only a matter of time.
What might we be missing right now is the talent or the C-level willingness to bring about IoT transformation and steer us towards Industry 4.0.
READ MORE:Why artificial intelligence will finally unlock IoT.