Internet Of Things – Fueling Marketing Revolution With Connected Life

In our everyday life, we come across various technological revolutions that impact everything we do. However, how many of us have actually been impacted with a new gigantic wave which has completely changed the entire technological realm. Today’s topic of discussion revolves around one such gigantic advancement that has provided marketers with countless opportunities to create a WOW experience for customers.

Internet of Things (IoT) is driving every marketer to bring some smart revolutionary changes in the technological sphere. According to recent research, IoT ranked as the second most important area in 2015 in many countries and would have the biggest effect on marketers by 2020. The installation base of IoT devices worldwide would rise from 4.88 billion to nearly 25.01 billion between 2015 and 2020. The UK Government announced that they will spend an additional £45m on developing Internet of Things enabled technology. Not only in technology, but IoT has successfully influenced other sectors such as insurance marketers for better engagement of consumers.

Internet Of Things (IoT)

IoT is the network of dedicated physical objects that comprises of embedded technology to sense and interact with external environment or their internal state. IoT contains an ecosystem that consists of applications, data analysis, things and communication.

What Can Be Currently Achieved With IoT, From Marketing Perspective?

The buzz is that every device will soon get connected to the internet, which will boost productivity and reduce energy needs.

Easy Availability Of Customer’s Data And Feedback

When every device can be programmed and tracked, it becomes easier for the marketers to collect and analyse the ever-increasing varieties of behavioural statistics of the consumers. The cross-correlation of data helps in revolutionising the targeted marketing of products and services. Marketers can now find the doors to any machine-to-machine derived information. They have enough opportunities to interact with consumers in new and exciting ways. The wealth of data can be utilised to deepen customer insights and optimise customer performance.

With new IoT devices being invented every other day, it represents opportunities to market new products and services. Marketers can deliver more personalised and engaging information to customers in the most relevant channels. Also with customer’s instant feedback, especially when a product isn’t living up to the expectation, retailers are able to cut their losses much sooner than later.

Smart Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

IoT when used in conjunction with CRM tool helps in gathering and organising client data. The technology embedded devices can streamline the buyer’s chain of command and decisions and help retailers understand where the prospects are in their buying journey. This enables marketers serve the right information and nurture the clients to close a deal.

It Is Not Just Banner Ads Or Pop-Ups Anymore

No longer will marketers have to rely on banner ads and pop-ups to let the world know about their products and services. The increasing numbers of connected devices fitted with sensors and constant network accessibility has entirely changed the face of advertising. With IoT advertisements, no prospects will be served with an advertisement that does not align perfectly with their interests, behaviours and past purchase. Not only will the consumers save time by being served with relevant ads but also the marketers save thousands of pounds after irrelevant advertisements.

The Smart IoT Devices And Marketing

With smart glasses such as Google Glass, marketers can display ads when users look at a particular item or take its picture. They can also deliver the right information at the right place and time especially when consumers use the device to check prices and research products while shopping.

Similarly, smart lighting system has enabled retailers to interact directly with visitors’ smartphones. For instance, it allows retailers to give shoppers directions to specific store items. Some of the LED system can also be connected with a mobile app that can be used to send targeted messages and coupons when customers are at a particular location within the store.

Most interestingly, if marketers can use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, it can present a number of potential opportunities for them. RFID serves as a tool to customise and enhance customer experience. Some retailers are using RFID smart tags to play tunes to the clothes that shoppers are trying on. They’re using the tunes or songs of celebrities that best match the style of the apparel. The aim is to put customers in the right purchasing mindset and help them imagine themselves wearing the perfect clothes. Undoubtedly, this creates an overall pleasant shopping experience.

A mass-market application of IoT in UK is the use of Hive. Hive is an app from British Gas that allows householders to control their central heating process via their smartphones. This innovation has substantially improved people’s everyday lives. The users can get hot water only when they need to, thereby reducing energy waste and saving money.

With data collected from the adopters of wearable tech, brands can better understand where and when shoppers might take action on a trigger. This is where the marketers can provide value and convenience to people using such devices.

How IoT Can Benefit An Organisation’s Business Goal?

As IoT can afford new opportunities in the next few years, it can drastically

  • Enhance customer satisfaction and engagement
  • Increase productivity operation and infrastructure
  • Improve product design and build new products
  • Reduce maintenance cost and system downtime.

Connected products provide brands with a direct, real time interface and interaction point with consumers. Marketers are looking forward to more limitless opportunities enabled by IoT. And with billions of new things becoming smarter with Internet Of Things, marketers will surely not let their marketing strategy remain ineffective.

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10 Killer B2B Lead Generation Tips

In the first part of this two-part series, I described some of the key challenges facing those in tech tasked with generating B2B leads. This article outlines some ideas to consider to help generate leads for your business. Read Part One, ‘Generating Leads In An Increasingly Difficult Environment‘. Read on for our 10 Killer B2B lead generation tips.

1. Nail The Product

Before you start, don’t ‘pass go’ unless your core offering is beautifully designed, easy to use, solves a real pain and offers significant value to a particular user group.

Today’s buyer is very sophisticated with high expectations as to the utility they require. Most undertake significant research online before engaging and will want the best solution for their needs. If your solution requires user training, or the need to read a training manual before starting, you need to talk to product development again. For the vast majority of applications the modern user simply does not have time to be trained on your solution (I am talking about general business/productivity apps here). This point is simply not negotiable.

Think Nest, Transferwise, Uber, Dropbox, Xero, and Workable.

2. Build A Personal Social Profile

Having an active LinkedIn and Twitter profile is vital for B2B lead generation. Take Twitter. Most people simply do not ‘get it’, using it largely as a broadcast mechanism, and bemoaning its inefficacy without realising how powerful it can be.

Build a personal Twitter account, follow those you can help and engage with them. Most Twitter users simply do not engage with business accounts (despite Twitter’s best efforts) but do engage with real people.

Publishing compelling content via LinkedIn Pulse can also get your name and offering in front of your target market (particularly when published in relevant LinkedIn groups). This content can be repurposed and republished elsewhere. Again the trick here is to engage and participate rather than just push content as a broadcaster. People buy from people, and personal accounts are a lot more effective than business accounts.

“Big companies understand the importance of brands. Today, in the Age of the Individual, you have to be your own brand”. (Tom Peters)

Think The Brand Called You (Tom Peters).

3. Test A Small Direct Mail Campaign

Personalised letters targeting a small segment can be very effective. I am not talking about an automatic printed label mass mail exercise here. Hand-written envelopes, plus tailored content that demonstrates a clear understanding of the prospect’s pain, can be very well received. Follow up with an email a few days later to try and secure a call or meeting. Targeting prospects in London? Why not include a £10 Starbucks card? While it pushes the cost of acquisition (CAC) up slightly, it is likely to help ensure your follow up receives a positive reaction. And assuming your Lifetime Value (LTV) exceeds the associated costs by some margin it is a valuable technique to test.

Think Personalisation.

4. Invest In Modern Low-Cost SaaS Tools

There are an increasing number of tools available that help source and manage leads through a sales funnel. These range from tools like Rapportive (a Chrome plug-in that sucks in details of people you are emailing including LinkedIn connections and Twitter handles) through to Mailtester (which is a great tool to use to guess someone’s email address). The range of CRM applications available for every budget continues to grow at pace, and newsletter applications like MailChimp and SensorPro offer a range of functionality as well as APIs into most CRM systems.

If you are driving traffic to a bespoke landing page, tools like Unbounce and CrazyEgg can help optimize conversions. Finally, a useful hack when assessing competitors is to take a look at their technology stack using Built With. The ‘analytics and tracking’ section is particularly interesting in terms of identifying what apps they are using to support their marketing efforts.

Be the ‘early adopter’ you want your targets to be.

5. Create Remarkable Content (Inbound Marketing)

Modern B2B marketing techniques rely heavily on the creation of remarkable content. The word remarkable is the key here. It is all too easy to produce low-brow content of little educational value (I hope the fact you are still reading at this point indicates some appreciation of remarkability). Remarkable content is content good enough that you want to share it.

The most effective content strategies start with a clear understanding of the customer and their needs (particularly the jobs they are looking to accomplish). It is designed to inform, amuse and educate, with the latter being particularly prevalent amongst B2B companies.

How do you know if your content is hitting the spot?

Measuring page views is a poor proxy. Depending on the platform used, the following represent better indicators: likes, comments left, click-throughs, retweet’s, time spent on page etc

Once the content has been published, the hard work starts as it is important to have a strategy in place to ‘get the message out’ using a range of channels (paid, owned and earned).

Think ‘Content Amplification’.

6. Capture Emails At Every Opportunity

Emails are the lifeblood of any B2B lead generation campaign. Not only do they enable you to push content directly to users, but you can schedule drip campaigns to help keep you ‘front of mind’. Email capture starts at the website with applications like Hello bars, scroll-triggered boxes and landing pages offering something of value (often white papers) in return for email addresses. The key to using these emails is to use them to provide value rather than to sell. You want to avoid a ‘one click unsubscribe’ scenario at all costs (where the newsletter recipients unsubscribes because it does not offer value).

Think Hubspot, Quicksprout and

7. Test A Referral Scheme

Assuming you have nailed the product as described above, and have evidence that your solution is offering real value i.e. you are gaining traction, have an improving cash flow and a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 9 or 10, you should look to encourage existing users to promote to peers by incentivising them to share.

Again it is a case of considering what is likely to work well for your own industry. Applications like Friendbuy can help you set up and run the scheme at low cost. Referral schemes are particularly important with marketplaces, and it is important that the incentive is strong enough to ensure virality. Dropbox offering extra storage to both parties for additional users you signed up represents the classic best practice case study in this area.

Think Transferwise and Dropbox.

8. Engage With Influencers

Getting on the radar of ‘influencers’ helps amplify your message and brand. Identifying the key influencers in your space is a critical first step and the approach will vary from sector to sector. Some will be active on social media and follower count and engagement level on Twitter will give a sense as to their influence (the likes of Klout, PeerIndex and Kred help assess influence). Others will publish interesting blogs (you can use Feedly as an RSS manager to track new content), while more still will be prominent on LinkedIn.

Engaging with these influencers by amplifying their messages (RT tweets), commenting on their blog posts, or offering them high-quality guest posts will help get you on their radar. The next phase is to move the relationship offline – meeting them in person so you can get a clearer sense of their needs and how your solution meets them. If your budget allows, and the LTV of your offering is significant, exploring tools like InsightPool’s social engagement automation tool will help you target key influencers at scale via a sustained campaign.

Think Engagement.

9. Optimize Attendance At Industry Events

Attending industry events represent a great opportunity to build upon your online activity. However, it is not a case of simply showing up on the day as increasing numbers of events offer mixed results to exhibitors as the costs can quickly mount and it is very important to ensure you are being strategic when attending them. Leading US VC Mark Suster offers some good insight into some of the things you should think about before attending including pre-event planning and post-event networking.

Some events also provide ‘opt-in’ delegate lists which can be marketed to, and others offer speaking slots, as well as the opportunity to market to delegates via packs.

Think Event Plan.

10. Keep Abreast Of The Latest Developments

In an ever-changing landscape, increasing numbers of inside sales and fields sales staff seeking to generate demand are testing new avenues. They read compelling blog posts from the likes of Gerry Moran (Marketing Think) Hiten Shah (Hubspot), Neil Patel (QuickSprout) and even Rand Fishkin (, outlining the latest techniques to use to generate inbound leads. As ever, the key lies in the execution. Those who marry a mix of different best of breed approaches, measuring, testing, learning and tweaking as they go, will prosper. Those not keeping up with the latest tricks will quickly get left behind.

Think Pocket.

About Alan Gleeson

Alan Gleeson is a digital marketing strategist based in London. Follow Alan on Twitter: @alangleeson

This article originally appeared here.

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