Commentary

Marketing Disruption in Customer Relationships Projected

The Internet of Things may be at its peak for what is expected, at least in terms of hype.

And the stage following the hype is generally a realization that the promise didn’t live up to the hype, based on a new report.

The latest version of Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies is an attempt to identify which technologies are emerging and use the concept of digital business transformation to identify which business trends may result.

From a marketing standpoint, the report suggests a transformation in customer relationships is coming, which strikes me as quite logical as more connected objects impact what messaging consumers receive based on a host of sensed actions around them.

The hype cycle has five stages: innovation trigger, peak of inflated expectations, the trough of disillusionment, slope of enlightenment and plateau of productivity.

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The latest hype cycle puts IoT at the top of stage two, the peak of inflated expectations.

It then has to pass through the trough of disillusionment, where augmented reality currently resides, according to Gartner. Virtual reality and gesture control already are past that stage and now in the slope of enlightenment part of the curve.

In the area of digital marketing, one of six business areas on which the hype cycle deals with, Gartner sees the emergence of four forces: mobile, social, cloud and information.

And in the arena of IoT, the recommendation is for marketers to focus on new and more sophisticated ways to reach consumers who are more willing to participate in marketing efforts to gain greater product and service value.

The digital marketing technologies forecast for mainstream adoption within two to five years include gesture control, advanced analytics with self-service delivery, machine learning and autonomous field vehicles.

One of the most interesting insights regarding digital marketing is the projected disruption in deeper customer relationships, which is the marketing promise of the Internet of Things.

At the digital marketing stage of the cycle, Gartner sees the buyers of products and services having more brand influence than before.

The Gartner report suggests that companies start with smaller IoT initiatives to allow for learning.

Doing nothing will provide just that.

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