Elaine Fogel

Will the Internet of Things Be Good or Bad for You?


The newest buzz word in technology? The Internet of Things (IoT). Do you know what it is and whether it will have positive or negative ramifications for you and your business/organization?

What is IoT?

“Simply put this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other).” Forbes Leadership

What does it look like?

Your refrigerator, smoke detector, doorbell and air freshener may already be. Next, clothes, traffic lights and pedestrian walk buttons — and every part of a factory — and even your home’s windows, will all be connected, sharing information to make you healthier, your commute shorter, and everything more efficient.” CNBC

Why Should We Care?

According to CNBC, “Technology consulting firm Gartner projects that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide this year, up 30% from last year. And Gartner forecasts that number will grow by more than three times, to nearly 21 billion by the year 2020.”

Forbes contributor, Jacob Morgan says that the “IoT allows for virtually endless opportunities and connections to take place, many of which we can’t even think of or fully understand the impact of today.” No kidding. Can you even imagine what your retirement years will look like?

The Internet of Things will also present huge opportunities for marketers. Imagine being able to remind consumers to buy more X-brand of toothpaste when their alarm goes off in the morning?

But, as consumers, is this the picture we want? We are currently exposed to anywhere from 700-13,000 advertising messages a day. Goodness knows how many would bombard us with multiple devices and marketing channels!security-lock

If we think security is an issue now, I can’t even begin to envision what challenges it will present when there are billions of connected devices. Does this mean that someone can access your personal data by hacking into your refrigerator?

And, as Morgan claims, all of these devices are going to produce massive amounts of data. So I ask… who’s going to store all this data?

Companies need to figure out a way to store, track, analyze, and make sense of the vast amounts of data that will be generated.”

I believe that we need to keep an eye on the IoT and how things progress. As marketers, it may sound enticing to expand customer reach through more channels. But we also have a responsibility - to ensure that whatever technological advances come our way - we stay mindful of the impact on our customers.

We must never forget to ask them which communications and messages they want to receive and through which channels. This the key to retaining their interest and loyalty.

Do you think the Internet of Things will be good or bad for you?

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