How IoT is changing marketing

Nowadays, we’re used to the fact that customers are placed in boxes. Young marketeers are still being taught that segmentation is a crucial part of the sales process: determining the target group and then offering a product or service that is specially designed for that group. IOT marketing enables marketeers to target their preferred audience a lot more efficient.

Many online advertising models are still based on targeting a wide audience. For example women, 25-35, in a relationship and this target group sees advertisements for pregnancy tests, ovulation tests and sanitary towels. Annoying and not very useful.

From target groups to personalization

The past few years, the focus has been on how you can put together a target group as accurately as possible. Extensive segmentations, including purchase intent and attitude towards certain marketing expressions were the go-to-terms for the average marketeer.

If customers express a purchase intent, it doesn’t mean that is immediately a done deal. It is precisely then that it is necessary to address the customer in a personal way. Personalization is therefore crucial.

Marketing Personalization

Examples of current applications of personalization include e-mails that are filled with recommendations based on your recent purchase and retargeting (yesterday you search for a flight to New York and now we offer you a lower price with hotel options). But is this really personalization and not just repeat marketing? Thanks to Internet of Things, marketeers have a new range of options to interact with the consumers. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?

Segment of one

Nike has been designing your own shoes online since 1999. In the past few years, this process has become much more interactive and smarter. They are working on the development of booths that not only show you all the possible options, but also completely adjust the shoe on your foot. The ultimate goal for Nike is that all this input is processed directly in the booth, so that no actual stock or shoes are needed anymore. You simply choose your personalized shoe, pay and the shoes are automatically delivered to you home.

Do-it-yourself shops and other stores that mainly supply parts are exploring the options regarding 3D scanning and 3D printing techniques. This enables stores to produce a required product or part exactly to the specifications of the client, often while he is waiting at the shop.

Facial recognition

Facial recognition is already being used for marketing analyzes, where they use eye-tracking to find out what a customer looks at first, what stands out and how long he looks at it. But it doesn’t stop there.

Douwe Egberts for example, has developed a smart marketing campaign through the use of face recognition. The company installed a coffee machine on the International Airport in Johannesburg. The machine registered when passers-by yawned. Of course, once people realized how the machine worked, it became very easy to get a free cup of coffee. That didn’t matter, because the effect had already been achieved: everyone was talking about that magical coffee machine.

Non-stop touchpoints

The Internet of Things Convention provides a constant flow of touch points. Once the consumer is using a smart application, he delivers a huge amount of data for marketeers (apart from a few privacy requirements). This way a marketeer learns a lot about his product or service. How, when, where, how often and in what way. There are two advantages of smart applications. The constant feedback of the consumers can be used to further optimize the application in the future. But it is also easier to market to the individual user. After all, we know exactly what consumers are looking for and we can offer exactly that. Upsell end cross-sell have never been easier.

Privacy VS Personalization

The “magic” word has been dropped a few times. Privacy. It remains a hot issue. After all, we all want such personal offers. And we all continue to be very annoyed by mismarketing. But that “automatic” recognition of what we want and that insight into what we need exactly – that is a major step further.

Although it remains an absolute concern to ensure privacy at all times (use of anonymized data, multiple encryption of collected data, decent storage), it is increasingly assumed that it does not have to run that fast. After all, research shows that new generations are becoming more and more willing to give up data if this means that they can be offered a better offer.

Marketers are therefore advised to invest time in IoT and smart applications. Not just because it’s hot now. But precisely because it has the potential to turn their entire working area upside down.


Heida, M. (2018, August 20). Retreived from Internet of Things Nederland: