Four ways to drive service innovation with the Internet of Things

| March 1, 2016

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"The Internet of Things is not technical—it’s transformative. Billions of devices and objects (“things”) are being embedded with sensors and chips. As these “things” gain the ability to communicate using the Internet, the resulting information networks deliver an exponential increase in insight about customer behavior.
Organizations can use this insight to create new operating and business models, improve business processes and reduce costs, strengthen security and manage risk, and manage the change that comes with a dynamic environment."

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Automotive Sales: Improving the Customer Experience Using IoT

Article | April 7, 2020

Customer touchpoints throughout the automotive sales cycle are prime candidates for IoT innovation. Across the board, the data derived from these IoT applications have the capability to provide insights and actionable outcomes which can significantly improve the customer experience. When a customer arrives at a dealership, it may be difficult for the dealer to know if they have what the customer is looking for. For instance, a customer might be coming in to see a particular vehicle, test-drive a car they’ve already seen, or to casually browse their options. Without any data behavior on the customer beforehand, sales personnel or the dealership may not be properly equipped to handle the customer’s request. Perhaps a requested car is no longer on the main show floor for immediate display but instead buried somewhere in a backlot. Maybe another car that was requested for a test drive may not yet be properly serviced for operation. These are only a few of the challenges associated with automotive sales that IoT is capable of helping to improve.

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How to Refine Your Market Strategy with IoT

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. Data-driven Decisions 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. Case Studies 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. 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5G in IoT Starts to Crystallize in Industrial IoT Market

Article | February 19, 2020

Much of the attention on 5G technology centers on a future of smarter phones, drones and self-driving cars. But 5G’s role in next-generation industrial IoT applications bears watching as well. While 5G may be one among many evolutionary steps, it is important in the development of new industrial IoT use cases. 5G connectivity, is the fifth generation of cellular technology. It is designed to increase network speed, reduce latency, and improve flexibility of wireless services. 5G technology has a theoretical peak speed of 20 Gbps, while the peak speed of 4G is only 1 Gbps. 5G improve the performance of business applications in various context, such as factories, self-driving cars and in handheld devices for field technicians.

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AI + IoT = Automating and Analyzing Data Collection

Article | February 18, 2020

IoT is huge, but AI has the potential to supercharge the technology even more. Gartner predicts that this year 80 percent of all enterprise IoT projects will include AI. One area where many have been critical of IoT is a lack of good security. When coupled with AI, that could be improved, but some worry that AI can also be used as a tool to defeat IoT security. Dean Chester, cybersecurity author, wrote that “AI can be used for IoT security, or it can be used against it.”Melvin Greer, Chief Data Scientist, Intel Americas , said that “AI and IoT are no longer in separate swim lanes. AI closes the loop in an IoT environment where IoT devices gather or create data, and AI helps automate important choices and actions based on that data. Today, most organizations using IoT are only at the first ‘visibility’ phase where they can start to see what’s going on through IoT assets. But they’re moving toward the reliability, efficiency and production phases, which are more sophisticated and require stronger AI capabilities.

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Spotlight

Synchronoss Technologies

Synchronoss Technologies is the mobile innovation leader that provides personal cloud solutions and software-based activation for connected devices across the globe. The company’s proven and scalable technology solutions allow customers to connect, synchronize and activate connected devices and services that empower enterprises and consumers to live in a connected world.

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