Beacons and buttons and talking appliances… oh my! Welcome to the world of the Internet of Things. Unfamiliar? We previously talked about the Internet of Things (IoT), and how it will change your marketing strategy.
As marketers, we should be jumping at the opportunity to incorporate the IoT into our campaigns. It brings us closer to the ultimate marketing objective: delivering the right message, experience or solution to our customers at just the right time. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so let’s take a look at how the pioneers of this new evolution in marketing are embracing the Internet of Things to boost sales and customer engagement:
Beverage giant, Diageo, created a Father’s Day campaign that connected over 100,000 bottles of Johnnie Walker whiskey to the internet. Consumers could send personalized one-to-one digital video messages to their fathers along with the bottles of whiskey. Using the IoT, Diageo enabled its customers to create an incredibly effective crowd-sourced advertising campaign. Immediate sales increased by 72 percent leading up to Father’s Day, repaying the cost of the campaign by five times over. Additionally, Diageo positioned whiskey as the perfect Father’s Day gift for years to come.
Remember when we continued to use the phrase “thing-related problems” in our last post about the IoT? Amazon nailed the solution for these consumer issues, by creating the Tide Dash Button. These buttons connect to your home wi-fi and link directly to your Amazon app. Whenever you’re running low on Tide detergent, you simply press the button, and voila – two days later a brand new bottle of detergent is at your doorstep. With this innovative, yet simple solution, Amazon and Tide have met their consumers exactly where they are with exactly what they need.
One of our personal favorite uses of the IoT is the partnership between Uber and Spotify. Users can now link their Spotify account to their Uber app, and play their own music during their Uber ride. Here we have two apps talking to each other, then talking to the car…talk about connectivity. This immensely improves the customer experience for users, increasing brand loyalty for both Uber and Spotify.
We’ve all been there: aimlessly searching for a specific product at the pharmacy, wishing we could Ctl-F the product and get out of the store as quickly as possible. Now that’s possible thanks to a partnership between Aisle411, Google Tango and Walgreens. A new mobile app allows users to search and map products in a Walgreens store, while also using personalized offers and loyalty points. Walgreens is changing the definition of in-store advertising by meeting its customers at their phones, where they already go to look for information.
Using geo-targeting and the IoT, Taco Bell partnered with Pandora, Waze and weather apps to advertise to its customers based on their location. It specifically chose to promote its 12-pack product every Saturday morning, targeting people who were most likely on their way to watch college football games. Taco Bell then repeated this campaign on Sundays during the NFL season, advertising its Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos.
Home Depot has previously tested augmented reality through its mobile app, allowing users to see how certain products would look in their homes. Taking it a step further and incorporating the IoT, Home Depot is now piloting a program that connects a customer’s wish list and online shopping cart with their in-store mobile app. Using this data, Home Depot can serve their customers who are part of the Pro Rewards program the most efficient route throughout their store based on the products they shopped for online. Maybe a little creepy, but also very helpful.
Michael Hibbison, VP of marketing and social media at Home Depot, defends the program by saying, “Loyalty programs give brands more rope when it comes to balancing risks of creep. The way we think of it is we will be as personalized as you are loyal.”
Using an app called Target Run, Target is leveraging in-store beacons to create hyper-local content and serving it directly to customers. Those who have downloaded the app and turned on Bluetooth will receive product recommendations in the form of push notifications or a newsfeed on the app, as they browse through various departments in the store. Furthermore, the app connects with other social sites so as a customer is browsing the clothing department, they might receive notifications about styles that are currently trending on Pinterest.
While the Internet of Things provides an awesome opportunity for marketers, we understand that it can be intimidating for brands to jump into right away. The good news is, there are no rules. Just a wide open drawing board for brands to connect with their consumers in a more engaging way. Keep reading up on what other brands are doing in the space, start testing out your own strategies, and don’t be afraid to fail.
Tell us below…how have you incorporated the Internet of Things into your marketing strategy?