Econsultancy has just published a helpful guide to the internet of things for marketers.

The connection of physical things to the internet, to each other and their surroundings throws up interesting possiblities.

Here are five opportunities for marketers.

To read the full list and to find out more about this maturing market or launching your own project, download A Marketer’s Guide to the Internet of Things.

1. Loyalty

The ability to hold consumers within a brand ecosystem, enhancing their interaction with a product or company may do wonders for loyalty.

As consumers build up historic data, they will be less likely to want to end an interaction with a brand and lose all their information.

Walgreens has used wearables in its loyalty scheme, allowing customers to link activity trackers to their account and gain 20 points for every mile they walk, run or cycle.

Although this is ostensibly to promote Walgreens’ health credentials, it’s easy to see how this kind of interaction could build loyalty.

walgreens loyalty and activity tracker

2. PRM or product relationship management

Brands may start to understand product lifestyles better and manage messaging to customers based on product usage and other contextual information.

An example comes from the world of beverages. Diageo created a Johnnie Walker smart bottle, rather simply using printed sensor tags to allow the brand to know if the bottle has been opened, drained etc. Diageo is then able to send timely cocktail recipes or offers on the next tipple.

3. Market research

Tracking the usage of a product or the behaviour of a customer can provide data with which to improve product development.

This has been happening in private research, such as Route, the outdoor media analytics company, tracking volunteers to better understand their exposure to outdoor media.

Public facing examples can be seen too, with Ford using its OpenXC open-source hardware and software to allow developers to create custom applications and modules for their cars.

people

4. New customer experiences

The ability for a previously dumb object to feed back information about usage or act as a two-way conduit for information has meant many companies now have to start thinking in terms of services and experiences, not just products.

SAP has run a pilot with BMW in which its Hana Cloud For Automotive is used to push offers at drivers relevant to location and driver preferences.

5. Faster than real-time customer service

Detecting emerging issues or customer frustration (e.g. a particular button continually being pressed), brands can offer customer service such as live chat or a video call.

Extrapolating this trend, there is the opportunity for devices to upgrade or ‘fix’ themselves. Tesla, another example from automotive, detects and reports issues with its cars to help with faults that may not yet have transpired.

Tesla car

For eight more opportunities for marketers arising from the internet of things (and much more), read our new report, A Marketer’s Guide to the Internet of Things.