Earlier this month in Atlanta, we hosted an event on Connected Retail with our friends from Mogean and IRI through the Technology Association of Georgia. So, it seems fitting that this week we follow up with some thoughts on how customer marketers should look to leverage IoT (Internet of Things) in the new year.
IoT is disrupting all industries, exploding across new facets of behavior and putting customers in the driver’s seat. It has set new customer expectations that most brands are struggling to meet. Today’s CRM efforts must harness the power of IoT to deliver unmatched customer engagement and experience. Here are a few key tips to consider in your new CRM strategy, powered by IoT:
1. Understand that it’s not about the things, it’s about the customer behind them. At rDialogue, we call it the IoMe. Companies must tie all of that tracking back to the individual customer and build actionable insights that the brand can then use to personalize the customer experience and forge a more intimate relationship. Identity-based marketing is fast becoming the new norm. Stop interrupting and start listening.
2. Add machine learning to your strategy (and eventually AI) – it will be a critical piece of the puzzle for making sense of the flood of data unleashed by IoT. We think of it like the PC before it was connected to the phone (and, thus, the internet). IoT is really only useful when you have a tool on the other end that can make sense of all the data it produces and respond in real time. Leading brands will take that a step further and provide predictive personalization.
Not so sure this AI stuff is here to stay or think it sounds just a little too Sci-Fi? Just take a look at recent headlines. At CES in January of this year, Under Armour announced its partnership with IBM Watson. Starbucks invested and became an anchor customer in Takt's personalization platform this summer and just this week Uber announced the creation of Uber AI Labs. The question is no longer will AI become a reality, but how will your brand use it?
3. Use IoT as a tool for delivering relevance. Context is powerful. The context made possible through IoT has ushered in a whole new set of customer expectations. Likewise, it’s empowering marketers to finally be in the right place at the right time in ways previously unimaginable. Leading brands will find ways to tie into the emerging platforms that will allow contextual commerce to drive sales.
4. Use payments to build an easy, habit-forming, friction-free customer experience. It is a critical component for delivering convenience and saving customers time. As the VP of Payments for Amazon, Patrick Gauthier, recently said, “check-in is the new check-out”. Amazon’s new Go store format drives that point home.
In short, IoT enables entirely new ways to engage customers through relevant dialogue. We hope you will use these tools to pay attention to your customers and act accordingly. No doubt, your customers will thank you.