Over the next few years, entertainment marketers are poised to be leaders in leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT). The growing tsunami of data and insights generated by consumers’ connected devices will change the marketing landscape. Mobile phones are quickly becoming conduits to a host of devices and services that deliver information about our physical presence and how we live our daily lives.
Our phones today are already enabling brands to push us relevant information via beacons, such as nearby movie theaters and screening times followed by payment options for tickets via Apple Pay or Android Pay. And this is just the beginning.
The infrastructure required to instantly deliver personalized content, advertising, and customer service to consumers across screens is becoming a reality. But IoT is going to require a more subtle approach to marketing and sophisticated infrastructure that can deliver context-aware consumer experiences. Successful brands will make use of connected devices, apps and data to deliver real-time value to consumers, increasingly without their active involvement. Smart technologies will usher in new consumer behaviors, and it’s important for marketers to understand how and when to best connect to them.
Apps already employ beacons to deliver timely experiences and these will evolve through the plethora of devices that are coming online. At home, your IoT connected lightbulbs might be set to automatically “rise” where they light your room at a time of your choosing and your digital speaker system will share your schedule for the day and any important messages while you prepare for the day. You are reminded that it’s your niece’s birthday the next day so you voice-activate a retailer’s app and order a birthday gift. On your commute to work, you make a pit stop at your normal Starbucks and the barista shares your favorite coffee order when you drive up. Notice that in this scenario you haven’t looked at your phone once since you left the house.
Media and entertainment marketers are actually poised to take the lead in capturing the attention of the today and tomorrow’s connected consumer. As an industry, they are among the fastest adopters of sophisticated data sets, masters of storytelling, and they constantly experiment with creating immersive experiences. In order to capitalize on the IoT opportunity, there are three simple questions to consider:
What are the new consumer experiences that you want to power: Entertainment marketers will need to determine whether they can truly provide brand utility and how they can best utilize the additional data collected to engage their audience, moving from big data to smart data, before diving in. A prime example is Disney’s MagicBand. While it’s not the right solution for all Entertainment brands, it provides Disney’s visitors with information and perks that lend to their experience, while the company receives data about their activities in return.
What consumer input do you need: Consumers will demand more control in this new environment and will want to guide and shape the way they engage with brands across their devices. Brands have an opportunity to connect to a consumer’s entire physical life, throughout their waking day, to create meaningful experiences. In order to create successful engagements, brands will need to thoughtfully empower the very users they are targeting.
What partnerships do you need to enable: The majority of IoT marketing thus far has centered on collecting consumer insights, rather than creating moments of consumer engagement. For entertainment marketers in particular, early dialogue between content providers, marketers, designers and platform partners will help create cohesive infrastructure that will enable new brand experiences. Sketch out what your future consumer experiences should to look like so that you can determine the elements you’ll need to add to your existing marketing infrastructure.
We are in the early days of truly leveraging IoT in powerful ways for marketing. In the end this will be a marathon, not a sprint, and many lessons will be learned. However marketers that focus on early trials will be more apt to experience the benefits from the IoT surge sooner.