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.