Data will become the backbone to the emerging market of what many call the Internet of Things, as it continues to spawn new ideas for businesses. At Dell it presents opportunities and challenges. For the industry it will create a new form of advertising, per Dell VP/North America Commercial Marketing Bryan E. Jones. The advertising model he outlined to Data and Targeting Insider -- one in which advertisements need to do a better job of educating consumers -- sounds a lot like the one Google's co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page described years ago.
DTI: Based on data from devices linking together the Internet of Things, what does the advertising model look like in 2016?
Jones: Education. I think 2016 will bring on a new form of advertising that has more of an educational and an informational approach. It's based on data. As marketers, we're trying to be at the forefront of that change.
It's a huge opportunity. I think about advertising on a personal level. As a consumer, I want to be educated on the new trends. I want to stay informed about what's happening. I want to see the information when it's important and not become continually saturated in it. Education in advertising means coming to me with the right information at the right time. Rather than feeling like I'm seeing a bunch of advertisements, I will feel more like I'm being helped.
DTI: What new opportunities do you see at Dell in IoT?
Jones: We want to be the infrastructure. As our customers come up with interesting ways to collect data and connected devices that collect that data, we want to provide the infrastructure. We have a couple of gateways out now, but will be introducing a series next year centered on emerging protocols.
We put our Internet of things initiative within the OEM division because it's where customers come to us when they want to embed our technology in their devices. I'm in charge of marketing for that division and IoT. We have more than 150 proof-of-concepts in the market, but many take longer than the customer anticipates. So we are working with customers to get the products to market faster.
The ability to collect, analyze and use data to support clients will become a must have, rather than nice to have. That will extend down to smaller companies. Data-driven marketing will give a mid-market company the ability to play on the world's stage alongside companies the size of Dell. Using analytic and customer data, you can short-circuit the need to be a massive company with a large budget.
DTI: What challenges do you see in IoT?
Jones: It brings a new level of social responsibility to protect the data. It will change the ethical dynamics pretty radically.
I worry about the hype of the Internet trying to take over the cloud and how big data creates this swirling effect. When it's done well, it gives companies the opportunity to get behavioral patterns to make better business decisions. It may be as simple as optimizing the infrastructure in an oil refinery to get more production, all the way to second-screen capabilities around people and processes in the transportation and the healthcare industries.
Another thing that will change is that agencies and brands will think differently about customers as either being B2B or B2C. They aren't. None are strictly one or the other. They may go in and out of those personas maybe 25 times daily. The next big thing will become connecting both sets of data in one linear stream to gain a better picture of what customers want overall.