Closing The Loop: What The Internet Of Everything Will Mean For Marketers

Closing The Loop: What The Internet Of Everything Will Mean For Marketers

A totally connected world is the inevitable future we’re headed towards, and Exponential’s head of strategy APAC Tyler Greer shared his views on what this means for marketing.

Tyler Greer
Posted by Tyler Greer

Long plane flights. That’s when I watch Avatar. Forget the big screen experience and try to focus on the ‘wipe another 3 hours off this nightmare’ experience.

I know that movie pretty well. But besides my now near fluency in Nav’i (Oel ngati kameie), what that film teaches is what a totally connected world might look like. Every element aware of every other, and acting to maintain a successful, cohesive environment.

And this, minus the blue people, is what the so called Internet of Everything is promising us.

At the heart of this idea sits connectivity – everything with an electronic pulse being able to communicate and coordinate with everything else of its kind. It offers a high tech ecosystem in which all things operate together for stability, functionality and rational results. This is truly a world wide web.

The concept is not tied to the internet as we understand it, which exists in its own space with gateways accessed via laptop, phone and consol. Internet of Everything (IoE)  means all things will be bonded – houses and their constituent rooms, workplaces, and entertainment points, along with industries such as healthcare, insurance and education, and so on. All points communicating.

Connectivity of this kind has been front and centre at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas with Ralph la Vega, CEO and President of AT&T’s Mobile & Business Solutions unit, calling it “the industrial revolution 2.0 as the company issued a report saying that it expects 50 billion things” (including connected apps and hardware) to be linked up and sharing data from smartphones through traffic lights and beyond by 2020.

One of the more frequently cited examples of what the IoE  will deliver is the driverless car, connected as it will be to a fully integrated grid which can comprehend traffic conditions across a city.

This ensures not only safety and relegates crashes to the junkyard of history, but the efficient flow of traffic between destinations. This is critical because it seeks to blend manufactured hardware with connectivity, without the intervention of us humans. It acts as an autonomous system.

But this also acts to illustrate what it might give to media. Beyond being another point through which to serve media to a traveler who can now watch a screen rather than the road, what the driverless car will provide is data based on real world actions.

Whilst the IoE will give media evermore windows through which to connect with people, the true value will be in closing the loop on the data that describes people and their behaviour. The IoE will offer brands a cohesive, 360” view of people the lifestyles they exhibit on their path towards brand consideration and purchase.

To some degree, mobile is already showing us the possibilities. While it’s been the Year of Mobile every year since 2005, it is perhaps only in 2015, when we can start to use the mobile device as a tool for tracking people’s movements to understand who they are and where they spend their time, that we can really appreciate the value of the mobile phone as a data provider.

Worries about privacy? Forget it; we had that choice long ago and decided convenience and the seduction of LIKES trumps it every day of the week. Greater connectivity will mean greater access for brands to map and record all our goings-on and we will happily allow them to do so.

The conversations for brands in the future will sound a lot like those of now. How rich is the data available for us to understand our audience; what is the best ways in which to connect with that audience; how do I measure the success of that connection; how do I move from advertiser to partner?

These are challenges which our current reality, the Internet of ‘Some Things’, is already presenting. But if we believe that the better the data about humans then the more effective and efficient the media, then we should be in for a very successful future. All we need to do is understand the road ahead.