Smart Cities: Saving Money, Opening Avenues For Marketing

The Internet of Things comprises many, many things that are smart.

This really just means that the devices can do at least a little something, such as being turned on or off remotely or automatically at any given moment.

There are smart things at all scales, such as smart watches, smart appliances, smart homes, smart buildings and smart cities.

The reality is that all of the smart things ultimately will, in one form or another, become part of the entire smart ecosystem.

One of the highest level of smart things is the smart or connected city, which includes such features as smart traffic management, smart parking and smart street lighting.

And based on a new study, areas such as those are attractive for investment because of the cost savings they can generate.

Smart electric grid technology alone will deliver $19 billion in cost savings in 2021, according to the report by Juniper Research.

But cost savings are but one aspect relating to smart cities and some of those other parts will impact marketers and consumers.

For example, driven by interests in safety and cost savings, cities and towns may be drawn to install LED lights, with their dropping costs and high energy efficiencies.

Those same lights can come with beacon technology built in, as Philips Lighting is doing inside retail stores in Europe and soon in the U.S., as I recently wrote about here (Smart Lights In Stores Can Pinpoint Shoppers To Within 8 Inches For Messaging).

Beaconing technology in lighting can trigger messaging to nearby smartphones or passively capture information from phones of those who have opted in.

Though there are several competing approaches, smart parking ultimately can alleviate some traffic congestion and offer more effective parking pricing.

In the case of smart lighting, marketers will be provided with a new dimension of consumer behaviors, especially relating to movement patterns. The smart lighting with beacons becomes one more location puzzle piece in the path to purchase.

Faster parking allows consumers more time to spend in stores or restaurants rather than making several trips around the block.

While smart city technology may be installed primarily to save money, the ultimate benefit for marketing could be even more impactful.

Understanding specific traffic patterns of consumers, from home to store to home, and everything in between, can paint a more accurate picture of where brands and marketers could be most relevant and add value.

Smart street lights and smart parking system will do a lot more than provide light and save time and money.

Smart things don’t live in a vacuum.


The MediaPost IoT Marketing Forum is being held Aug. 3 in New York. Check it out the agenda here

Next story loading loading..