We are surrounded by The Internet of Things (IoT), and we’re living in an age that’s more connected than ever. The universe you’ve created is customized to your personal characteristics, so take a step forward and reimagine the possibilities of your world tomorrow. You wake up to a hot cup of coffee powered by an app through your mobile phone, which notifies you when you’re running low on cream, because it’s also synced with your smart refrigerator, and sends notifications that automate your grocery list. Next, you head to work in your internet-connected car that knows your interests, so the music subscription service tied to your vehicle broadcasts customized content. Suddenly the messages you hear don’t sound like ads, but just a natural flowing conversation from brands that are relevant to you. With all these Internet-connected things that are working to improve our lives, it is important to think about the implications of the information gathered, as well as the opportunities they create.
Connected devices will only continue to see exponential growth. According to a study done by Gartner, the amount of IOT devices will reach at least 21 billion by 2020. With the world population estimated to be nearly 8 billion by the same year, that’s 2.6 connected devices for every person walking on the planet.
As the number of devices per consumer increases, so does the amount of data available to brands. But do today’s marketers understand where this data is being stored and how it is managed? More importantly, how will those brands ensure data protection, proper governance and privacy standards are being met?
In a recent report by Forrester, Fatemeh Khatibloo discusses how data privacy is becoming an increasing concern for marketers, the different categories of customer data, and the steps toward creating data governance for your organization.
Brands are eager to engage directly with consumers through IoT and the stage is set. A recent study done by Tealium and Tech Validate shines a light on how people actually feel about our data-rich environment. Three-quarters of consumers would readily share details about their age, gender, and personal history in exchange for technology making their lives better. Thus, a cultural pivot into a consumer-driven paradigm that data is the new currency has already happened. The amount of data this represents is massive and will only continue to grow. It is fundamental for marketers to harness this information to cultivate amazing opportunities for the consumer — experiences that resonate loudly. Organizations are more informed about their customers than ever before. With big data comes greater opportunities to create for the customer, but also bigger responsibilities to govern that information accordingly. The implication for brands? Protect the value of information and exceed consumer expectations.