Corey Haines and Daniel Smith joined forces in this podcast episode to talk about IoT (Internet of Things) and how companies can start preparing to take advantage.
Daniel Smith is the Technical Architect for Cordial and go-to guy for anything involving the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things has been a hot word the past few years. But when will it be ready for marketers to utilize? If you’d like to listen to the audio, you can find links at the top and bottom of this post.
The following is the podcast transcription in a question and answer format.
Corey: This is Corey from Cordial and you’re listening to be Cordial podcast where we share stories and insights on all things marketing and again I have with me Daniel Smith the technical architect of Cordial and so today I want to talk a little bit about the Internet of Things. Another buzzword yet again.
Corey: First, what is the Internet of Things? What does jump right into it.
Daniel: The Internet of things. So the Internet of Things is really a reference to connectivity to the internet or connection to the Internet being pushed into things that we interact with all day.
So we think of our computer or phone being connected to the Internet.
Internet of Things extends that into the thermostats, Air quality monitors, or anything any object that has any kind of purpose could be Internet connected whether it’s kind of a plant sensor, to see if you need to water your plants, any of those things could be Internet connected and so Internet of things just kind of encapsulates the idea of anything being connected to the Internet.
Corey: Yeah. And how does the internet of things connect to marketing?
Daniel: I think it’s ripe for data harvesting as really the primary component of how it connects to marketing. We look at every single thing that’s connected to the Internet as a source of data specific to a user.
And the more data that we have about a user whether it’s there their home, temperature, or maybe a door that’s ajar or something like that. The more data we have on the user the better.
And we can make use of those to supply algorithms to machine learning like we talked about in a previous podcast and use all of that data and all those algorithms to come up with a better marketing view of an individual. Yeah.
Corey: What kind of technology, what kind of math, algorithms, do you need to be able to 1) capture the Internet of Things data but also to 2) use it, to see it, visualize it in some way that’s marketable.
Daniel: Yes that’s going to be specific to a company, their use case or their product.
So we could we could use a thermostat as an example that if I’m a Hvac contractor, so heating, ventilation, air conditioning contractor, and I am providing a service contract to a company, it could be a large national organization that has a lot of thermostat’s, think of maybe like an apartment, like a company that owns a lot of apartment complexes across the country, where they could manage the data coming off of all of those thermostats and do some analysis on that and figure out where service may need need to happen proactively.
And so there’s an opportunity. If you look at that on a micro level instead of that macro nationwide level, there’s an opportunity for companies to market to the users of their products based on that data.
So as an example if I had air flow through an air conditioning system, I might be able to specifically market to somebody and say “hey you need to change your filter” but instead of having to deal with like “oh I haven’t my I haven’t run my air conditioning in three months. We live in beautiful San Diego. Sometimes you don’t run it for three months.”
And if you don’t run it for three months you don’t need to change your filter so you can use that data that we’ve never had before in order to make more intelligent recommendations about actions to take. And as a marketer you can more effectively sell your products because you have that data to work with.
Corey: On the practical side of it. What do you need to be able to do things like that. Do you need something that just bolts on? Do you need a whole new platform? Is it going to be expensive? What do you actually need as a marketer to be able to start taking advantage of internet of things?
Daniel: Yes so marketers who are thinking about IoT probably have some kind of idea of what they what they need or want and that is going to be dependent on their purpose so in a thermostat example, that part of the product would be handled by whoever is handling hardware and that side of things.
If you’re using an off the shelf product and accessibility to some kind of API to handle that data. And then ultimately data infrastructure storage like Cordial that can handle that data in whatever form it comes in.
One of the things about IoT data is it tends to be in large volume and it also tends to be unique in terms of what’s being provided. So every individual marking organization is going to have some set of data that is unique to their business.
And so either that’s going to be an ad hoc build of data storage for that company or using a flexible platform like Cordial to that can ingest that data in whatever form it’s in and provide insights and actionable insights on the data as it as it lies. So without any type of effort on the users part to manipulate that information before it enters the system.
Corey: And as a consumer, let’s say that I shopped at a supermarket and I store everything in my fridge, obviously I wanted to stay cold and fresh, and then let’s say that I run out of milk. How soon is it going to be that my fridge recognizes I’m out of milk. I need to buy more. Some company sends me an email with a milk coupon, let’s just say for example.
Daniel: Ah give me a tough example to describe. So you know milk usage is interesting because as a device you would have to have some kind of sensor on the milk carton itself to understand whether you were out of milk.
If the fridge is connected I think there’s a huge opportunity to use computer vision and analysis there to figure out what’s happening. There still needs to be some trigger in life to figure that out whether that’s opening the door to the refrigerator or something like that.
So ultimately there’s some amount of data that needs to come out of whatever device is connected. And if that’s a refrigerator, that refrigerator could provide data. Whether it’s a refrigerator that has cameras and could provide an image or a refrigerator that has a button that says I’m out of milk.
I mean both of those things could be considered IoT if they’re connected and ultimately can provide enough data to make a decision and take an action as a marketer.
Corey: Yeah let’s talk about monetization. Can you monetize the data? I’m talking about just shipping off and selling it, repurposing it. Do you want that data to actually inform your messages and your marketing. Are there other ways you can monetize IOT?
Daniel: Yes so monetization of the data is a little bit difficult. It becomes a bit of a privacy issue in some cases. Go to my mom as an example. My mom is the kind of person who turns the location services off on her phone, doesn’t use any map app because she doesn’t want to forget to turn off the location services. And on the completely opposite side, I personally just don’t care.
I mean I don’t care if somebody knows that I’m running my AC at 74 when it should be at 76 or whatever the number is. It doesn’t bother me too much.
So on Cordial’s side, we would enable that by allowing data to be extracted from the platform. But ultimately our goal as a business is to monetize the data in a way that is kind of twice removed where we’re looking at the data doing analysis, figuring out a better way to deliver marketing and/or a product on top of your marketing organization that ultimately drives revenue but maybe not directly tied to the data itself.
When marketers are thinking about marketing to different generations… we have five generations with us right now. Obviously they all want different customer experiences, they all expect different things, they’re all looking for different things.
They all behave very differently.
Corey: Is the Internet of Things going to be something to look for in the future for marketing to these next generations?
Daniel: Definitely, it was funny, I look at my four year old son and even at 4, the aptitude that he has for navigating technology even blows my mind.
I have no doubt that the millennial generation, and actually for him it’s going to be I think it’s Gen Z, they don’t have a name, maybe it’s post-millennial, they are going to expect a certain level of service based on the data they’re providing.
I think Facebook is a great example of where individuals are willing to give up privacy for service, whatever that is. And my expectation is that will extend even further. And for the Gen Z, they don’t know the world without iPhones, they don’t know the world without the Internet.
They are going to have a certain expectation that all of the data that they’re providing, whether they know it or not, is used in a way to give them a customized experience.
I think even more than millennials, they’ll have a need to be individuals, and individualized. And ultimately content will drive that. And so there’s a huge need for developing more content. And then because there will be so much content, the need to use all of the data that you’re collecting across any type of Internet connected device to drive actual experience for that generation.
Corey: Yeah. Well Daniel again thank you for your time and for all your wisdom and you’ve been listening to the be Cordial podcast. Until next time.