IoT Marketing Strategy: Designing Success for your SMB

It’s noon. You’re famished. You head outside to find some lunch, but you can’t make up your mind about where to eat.

All of a sudden your phone vibrates.

It’s an alert from the sandwich shop to your right. You haven’t been there since you called in an order for a pastrami sandwich last month. But this alert is telling you that today’s your lucky day: the pastrami special is back, at half price.

This isn’t mind reading, and it isn’t magic. This sandwich shop has deployed a successful marketing strategy, using sensors embedded in the store to recognize your phone and send a personalized message to lure you back in.

As this simple example shows, the Internet of Things (IoT) provides businesses today the opportunity to create marketing campaigns that can function in ways that were never before possible. With the help of smart sensors, marketing campaigns can now be both engaging and highly personalized.

In the Age of the Customer, businesses that want to stand out should be considering how they can take advantage of IoT in their own marketing campaigns.

Accessing Customer Data

One consideration to make is whether or not your goods and services can be connected to smart devices.

For example, a sandwich shop can’t put internet-enabled meatballs into a meatball sub. But makers of Frisbees, bicycles or sneakers can easily insert chips that collect, send and track information.

If your goods or services themselves aren’t ideal for being connected (i.e., food), another way to take advantage of IoT technology is to create a mobile application that your customers can use to connect with your brick and mortar.

By making the connection with your customer via a mobile app rather than the product itself, you can easily aggregate customers’ data in order to create a more personalized experience for them in the future based off previous interactions. The Starbucks mobile app is a popular example of personalized recommendations and rewards, but has yet to enable the smart sensor aspect of IoT as part of their marketing efforts.

Building Buyer Personas

Another way to build your IoT marketing strategy is to take the data you compile and build a buyer persona that can help you create a cross-company campaign.

For instance, if you are the owner of a sandwich shop that is located across the street from a football stadium, there is a strong likelihood that the customers you see on Sunday are likely to be fans of the local team.

This gives your campaign another dimension of personalized marketing that takes the customer’s experience beyond the simple act of ordering and eating one of your pastrami sandwiches.

Even from within the stadium itself, your buyer persona could be used to push your marketing. Imagine sending out a message to all the phones of your customers just about to leave the game reminding them that if they come by the sandwich shop after the win, they can redeem their coupon and take advantage of the snack for the happy drive home.

Using IoT the Right Way

In order to fully take advantage of the multitude of marketing benefits that IoT can offer, the best thing you can do is to work with a business that has experience with user experience research, usability testing and big data.

Compiling information is one thing, but sorting through it in order to derive actionable insights that guide your marketing, is another.