THE INTERNET OF THINGS
Anthony Baker, Associate technical director, R/GA
In my opinion, the Internet of Things is about every digital device becoming capable of being connected to the internet and to other devices.
From a digital industry perspective, brands are starting to see the potential of engaging with consumers through these devices in different ways. Making them connect allows us to read and feed data that is contextual. When information is contextual, it is relevant, accurate and useful to the user - and that creates a positive reaction, a better experience overall and a more engaged relationship between brand and consumer.
People are getting tired of the flood of information and broadcast-like campaigns that use a single voice to tell everyone the same message. As devices improve, people become used to being able to pick what they like - the personalisation phase. Brands are now realising that by creating different channels of connection, serving information that is actually useful, they can change the way people experience their brand. The relationship is becoming more intimate.
The Google Outdoor campaign is a great example of the Internet of Things concept.
It saw 175 marketing screens around London showcasing Google's Search app for iOS and voice control. Each screen delivered relevant local mini guides and inspiration.
The challenge was that the screens were not connected to the internet and not interactive, so we could not get information about the users passing by. However, with Google data searches, we did a good job at predicting the type of people and the type of information they needed. With this data, we created a big pool of different contextual scenarios. It's about crafting stories based on real dynamic data. You may not end up serving data that is completely personalised, it might not be a one-to-one conversation, but it is very close to having that conversation.
By serving relevant information that was useful, the campaign appeared smarter and more engaging. Users want to interact with their environment if it helps them, but if it happens without them knowing, it's creepy.
We are getting to a point where brands need to be more transparent about the way they capture consumers' data and what the consumer can receive in return. They can get so much more information by being open.
The focus will be on creating 360 degs interactions. The ability to use data to predict behaviour, as opposed to analyse performance, will become bigger. The problem with analysing data is that it tells you what it was, not what it can be.
My question is, what is beyond the screen? We are too focused on the screen and we will get bored. We will start to think about how we used to create technology-based interactions without it.
The Internet of Things is about making spaces connect and work harder for the brand and user. It's all about experience - if it's good, they will remember it. Ultimately, using data to provide contextual, relevant information for brand experiences is the top notch in the intersection between digital and physical.
Previous topics this week: Experiential Marketing Trends for 2015: Immersive experiences
Tomorrow, Mark Davy, founder and chief executive of Futurecity, will discuss cultural branding.
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