Every year, the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to impact a variety of industries. Whether it’s healthcare, telecommunications, cars or home electronics – bottom line, it fundamentally evolves the way we manage our daily lives, how we communicate, and yes… advertise.
In fact, a continued cadence of smart(er) devices creates a longer runway of opportunities for brands, many of whom see new technology as a conduit for building more meaningful and engaging relationships with their customers.
This is no surprise, as the average number of connected devices in an American home continues to increase at a rather quick rate year over year, with 10 devices per home as the new baseline.
If there’s anything we have learned over the last few years, and dare I say decades, is this: we are endlessly trying to solve for the same marketer challenge time and time again… connecting brands to consumers.
While it may sound like the start to another ‘back to basics’ spiel, it is not. We have evolved as an industry, it’s just that consumers have become more discerning over time as their sophistication and more importantly, expectations, have increased.
With the more intuitive, endless way consumers utilize devices 24/7, the real advertiser opportunity isn’t on a smart toaster. It’s understanding the type of consumer who may be investing in those smart devices.
What is their propensity to spend and which devices are being utilized that enable marketers to be more efficient in reaching them.
We already know people are on board – they are integrating smart home electronics and connected TVs (CTV) into their homes at a rapid rate. By the end of 2020, a combined investment of $3 trillion on IoT and smart home devices will be made between homes and businesses.
And, as a result, it’s no surprise that brands already see the massive potential of smart home devices. Amazon, the current IoT dominator in the market, sees smart home devices as important drivers of it’s long term growth strategy.
In 2017, Echo smart speaker owners spent $700 more per year than Amazon shoppers, and $400 more than Prime members on Amazon.com. It’s not lost on anyone that Amazon is working hard to enable a more direct path into consumer decision making mindset through a variety of services and devices.
And the good news is that as IoT and smart home technology in the home evolves, new data sources and the insights that come with them will increase exponentially.
As a result, marketers will be eager to access this data, and activate that data on ad campaigns. However, with opportunity comes responsibility.
Knowing the current climate with privacy, data management and the advantages of cross-device identification – while we can anticipate the scale of opportunity, we must also proactively create consumer-safe strategies for the value exchange.
We will have to adapt, refine and develop new methods of working together to ensure we have the best interests of the consumer in mind – not only benefit from this impending smart device boom.
What is exciting is the potential to extend knowledge across a number of devices or digital IDs in a world that is more open and where digital identity resolution is more readily possible.
While there are a ton of unknowns at the moment, two foundational challenges will need to be assessed. First will be gaining access to IoT and smart home device data, and second, in establishing trusted and uniform privacy-safe controls across the ecosystem.
An open ecosystem will require uniform privacy measures. To get there, we will have to collaborate across companies to establish privacy controls, and ways to ensure consistent compliance. It will take a village, but everyone will benefit from a more open, transparent ecosystem.
As we work toward a unified digital ecosystem, we work toward more marketing value to brands, and to ultimately benefit consumers.
Personalization has always been the El Dorado for marketers, and with massive amounts of money wasted on misplaced ads, there always has been a sense of urgency in the industry.
As the volume of devices grows to include not only cell phones, tablets, laptops, CTVs, but also digital assistants like Google Home, Amazon Echos, Apple HomePod – user experiences will be radically optimized.
With that, plus enhanced campaign performance for brands and marketers – this future world of brands connecting with consumers more efficiently, will bring the entire ecosystem closer to the promise of even value exchange (and maximized return on investment) than ever before.
Embracing his Nordic roots by steering the Tapad ship, Oslo native and CEO, Sigvart Voss Eriksen, has nearly 20 years of experience in digital advertising. Sigvart first joined Telenor Group’s Mobile International and worked his way up through the company’s operating divisions, becoming CMO of Telenor Pakistan, Hungary, and Thailand.
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