Marketing in “The Internet of Things” Age.

We frequently read about The Internet of Things (some data: 50,000 million objects will be connected to the Internet in 2020) and how it is going to change our daily life, the company’s structure and strategy. We are a little bit tired of reading how important is the digital transformation and the need to innovate. Now, companies hire a lot of technical professionals to work in all this, and they are vitals, but we need to innovate for clients, to think about their needs and to do profitable projects and at this point is where Marketing is important.

Some weeks ago, I saw a presentation of a Fast Food Delivery Company and they have made a device for taking order only with a button. Thanks to this device, which has recorded all client data and the last order, clients would need only a click to eat. It’s nice but, do clients need really this? The Operations Director (who did the presentation) told us this device isn’t in the market yet because it’s too expensive to produce it and they don’t know if the client is willing to pay for this. I’m not sure but I have some doubts about this last aspect. If I don’t need a pizza every day, why am I going to need it? It’s cool to innovate and sometimes companies do this only to make people talk it, it’s frequent, but companies should innovate with common sense, focusing on the client.

So, what is the Marketing role in “The Internet of Things” Age?
  • Market & Client Research. On one hand we need to study other companies to build competitive advantages, and on the other hand we need to know client needs, as usual, but not focusing in the past or in the present (because this is a client satisfaction survey) if not in the future, what would our clients need? Or how could we improve the client engagement?
  • Test the idea: internal and external. It’s key to engage employees to these kind of projects since the begging (overall IT and Sales Departments) and test the idea with your best clients, without a lot of details, but you will know their opinion.
  • Business Plan: strategy, objectives and financial keys are important, but please, not only in the short term! All projects need time to return the investment.
  • To describe the project: user’s functionalities. 
  • To manage the project: together with IT or I+D Department, of course. And testing before launching!
  • Internal Communications Plan: doing frequent trainings and presentations and all internal processes.
  • External Communications Plan: finally communicating it to clients.  
If the company leaves the Marketing Department working only in the Communications Plan, they are going to miss setting up the project, its knowledge about clients and environment. And maybe, to have a very nice and cool device that no one needs or is going to use.


Is it possible to improve the ROI Campaigns?

The answer is YES. Yes, we can!! Let me show you some reflections.

We are going to review the ROI (return on investment) formula: revenues minus expenses divided by expenses. So, it’s logical that we need to either increase revenues or decrease expenses or even both, why not? We have to study our possibilities carefully and for sure we can find pulls to improve, it’s a matter of considering some different facts. 

To improve revenues has to do with increasing sales:

1) Increasing purchase frequency: have you studied your Data Base very well? Have you got a CRM strategy to remind your brand to your clients? It’s pretty important to have a CRM strategy and study the relation with our client to improve his experience. For example, when he asked for an item, are you really following this request? Are you offering an advantage for the next purchase? Are you really offering what every client needs?

2) Increasing purchase value: we have to work in cross selling actions, offer your client something else, but something really interesting for him, when he is buying, maybe with a discount or an advantage.

3) Obtaining new clients: maybe your problem is you need more clients, but where can I find them? Some ideas: Facebook campaigns (it offers a lot of segmentation possibilities), Member get Member campaign (with your current clients)….

4) Increasing client’s satisfaction: sometimes, we forget that a happy client can be our most effective campaign, he will speak about our brand to other people, and he will purchase again… And please, it’s not a matter of the Customer Service Department, it’s a company’s orientation.

To expend less, the key is reducing your campaign costs:

1) Use Inbound Marketing!! The results are not immediate but it’s the cheapest and most effective tool. Generate content, make your company specialize in something, your brand should be in the top of the customer’s mind. After that, use your own Social Media (Facebook, maybe Linkedin, Twitter, video campaign in Youtube, influencers…) to distribute your content. It’s not disruptive marketing because clients must look for you. It’s cheap because you don’t have to pay media, but you need a qualify team to generate quality content, client is exigent and he knows very well how to appreciate if content is good or not. Be careful about this.

2) Analyze all your campaign costs and results. For example, use long-tail keywords at SEM: I reduced 20% of campaign expenses in my first month working in a company thanks to this. It’s too expensive to pay for a keyword, and clients are searching by long-tail keywords more and more, and we can personalize more our message!

3) Personalize:
are you still sending the same email with the same products to all your Data Base? Please, stop! You could waste your money and burn out your clients. This doesn’t work anymore! Here, we have to go back to the first point where we talk about increasing purchase frequency, have you really studied your client’s needs? To have and analyse quality data, to study customer’s behaviour and to personalize our message allow us to improve our effectiveness.

Sometimes it’s not a matter of budget, it’s a matter of analysing and knowing what your client is like, is what we need to succeed. There are no secret potions for improving your ROI but you can be confident that it’s possible.