The Internet of Things: Digital Convergence

In a recent report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the Internet of Things was the number one trend that senior marketers worldwide believe will have the biggest impact on marketing by 2020.

Digital convergence offers limitless possibilities amongst an infinite range of products and will change the way in which households are marketed to. In fact by using digital convergence, businesses could target each household differently, for instance tailoring the selection of adverts that they deliver, perhaps in a manner that resembles cookie-tracked advertising on the web. Obviously advertising on this kind of level is not possible with traditional television advertising, but converging television and the internet could make it possible.

I think the underlying dominant trend is towards personalisation of marketing; sending tailored  messages to individual customers which they can relate to and interact with on a personal level, rather than conventional advertising, which seems to almost just hope for the best when “blankly targeting” a large user base.

Once digitally activated, any product becomes a platform for content, experiences and digital relationships with consumers. Physical products that come with a digital layer of personalised interactive services can talk directly to consumers and back to the brand, sending useful information back to the business, allowing for personalisation and self-improvement of the product. Products may even be able to self-diagnose themselves if they are presented with a fault and you could receive assistance in real-time.

Converging multiple products together allows for the creation of eco-systems, such as in the home, creating new value for consumers and businesses alike.  This also offers potential for selling multiple products in groups to consumers and the more ecosystem connections your product holds, the more value it can create. For example, think if all your household items link up, and your fridge could detect what cooking equipment you have in your kitchen and suggest a recipe upon the basis of those findings!

However, processing all of this household data (which is expected to grown and multiply) in real-time from billions of devices, with end user-tailored controls and security measures poses a potential “big data” problem. And any computer down time on the businesses end could result in problems, such as security breaches. Just think, if your household doors and windows were controlled by an eco-system app, which happened to be compromised.

Indeed, a lack of trust in the Internet of Things is the biggest barrier preventing widespread consumer adoption.

I found the following articles of use whilst researching this topic;

This article detailed some very creative uses of the IOT (Internet of Things), and detailed how they could be used to tailor and improve the customer service for each end user. It also touches upon the data that can be recorded from gadgets such as wearable technology, about its users, to then be used in the marketing process.

This article discusses the difficulty in distinguishing between different brands with the rise of convergence, meaning that different products are now not just to be used exclusively on their own and can integrate with others.

Indeed many media outlets can now take advantage of features and benefits offered through other media outlets.


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