As more devices become connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), our already hyper connected lives are becoming even more immersive. But the connected device space is still struggling to find heterogeneity. 

Marketing and advertising, while not the only industry waiting for a fuller convergence of devices and platforms, certainly stands to gain much from the endless stream of data that is produced by the myriad devices used in homes, offices and anywhere else.  

Marketers and advertisers want to leverage this information to entice us into purchasing an array of goods and services. 

But is the industry ready for this seismic change?

Creating New Models

There is no question that approaches to advertising and marketing with connected devices will be different than the ones that now exist. Today, marketers use banner ads on our mobile phones and web browsers and commercials on TV, a market which technology like the Digital Video Recorder has changed somewhat. 

With many connected devices, there is limited or no screen real estate on which to advertise.  The key here is really to utilize available data to construct a personalized and timely offer and then find a way to put it in front of the user so he can take advantage of it.

Finding that delivery method will be the key.  How can advertisers and marketers let potential customers know that they have needs? Or, better yet, that a customer is about to have a need and that they have a deal that can service that need?

In many cases, a device such as a smart phone will act as a digital gateway for many of the connected devices in the home and on our person. Marketers could utilize this device to communicate their offer with the user. That is, of course, assuming that the platform being used to interact with the home or wearables has an open API that marketers and advertisers can gain access to.  

Learning Opportunities

Twin Albatrosses

Of course, when you talk about using data from connected devices for any reason, there has to be a conversation about security and privacy.  Will consumers trust companies that want to sell them something with this data? And what policies will be in place to protect the privacy of users?

With large scale data breaches taking center state in the news over the past year, this issue will only be more visible going forward. 

Ultimately the data from connected devices in our homes, on our person and anywhere else will be a potential gold mine for companies to dig into. 

As more devices begin to work together, scenarios where advertising becomes more tailored to each person and instance will become more robust. Your fridge might see that you are almost out of milk, but information from your scale shows that you have been steadily shedding pounds over the past few weeks, which correlates with the exercise data captured from your smart watch. Seeing an opportunity based on this data, your refrigerator may send a notification to your phone offering you a discount for a specific brand of skim milk.  

It’s this type of advertising — specific to a person, instance and time — that advertisers and marketers will be able to tap with data from the Internet of Things. I'd call it a game changer, but it's really more than that: It's going to change everything.