I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that technology is leaping ahead at a scary speed. I spent my childhood watching Star Trek, marvelling at the replicator (not quite there yet), but I do remember seeing the first mobile telephone demonstration on Tomorrow’s World in the mid 1970’s which was reported with a healthy dose of scepticism and intrigue. Forward wind 40 years to 2016, mobile technology is here to stay. Advancements in IoT (The Internet of Things) and App data/insights may be about to change everything as we know it.
Many of you will be familiar with television advertisements for “smart energy meters” – so you can control your heating from your phone. I was amazed to read about a new Bra that is web enabled, it did make sense, I am a total convert to my wearable watch, a Fitbit which I received as a generous Christmas present. Since Boxing Day, I’ve earned a few badges including; walking the Penguin March 112 kilometres, then The London Underground, 402 kilometres and my latest award, 804 kilometres walking the Serengeti. I find myself competing to achieve my goal steps and joined friends and strangers in the workweek hustle, goal days and week-end warrior competitions, highly addictive and I love the benefits.
It was an email I received from the Geek Squad, that contained an article about a wifi enabled sports bra that got me thinking, the more I read, the more it made sense, the benefits included; monitoring a woman’s biometrics & activity throughout the day e.g. breathing, cardio and in real time through an App on your phone, so I was discussing with my marketing partner Sofia Dahlqvist that since getting my FitBit, I was amazed to see that I was actually getting about 6.5 hours of sleep per night and a fair amount of time I thought I was asleep but was either restless or being awake for short periods. What was more remarkable? I’ve started to see advertisements for Eve Bed mattresses and pillows when browsing the internet & Facebook I was impressed, in the back of my mind I had been thinking about changing pillows or perhaps it was time for new bed. So with real time data insight, does this mean that algorithms are the new technological way to ask questions about our buyer behaviour? And how can service providers capitalise on this growing technology?
I was keen to get her stance as a marketer and to get my head around the bigger picture of IoT and how this could potentially influence buyer behaviour. Sofia explained “this same strategy (data retargeting) can be adopted if you are selling services rather than products you can web enable. It’s all about your content strategy that will underpin all digital activities as well as engage with each of your segments for example; define what digital tools you will use with what message for maximum uptake. You can collect data to improve your insights and make it easier for customers to buy your services”
So what does all that have to do with wearing a Smart Bra or a Fitbit? Apparently marketers love it because they get insights into how each customer use their devices, when they use it, what data they consume and they can even identify key barriers to purchase – and so with the aid of internet, reduce barriers and increase sales and customer engagement, so these insights can help you with your key messages etc.
I do like the idea of a smart bra, especially for working out and general leisure activities, but it is early days so I look forward to seeing how the design and technology improves. This could have huge advantages in the promotion of health and wellbeing and yes I plan to buy the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi enabled smart scales as the benefits speak for themselves. What I find fascinating is that although technology can generate interest and provide the data, it is still your interaction with the buyer that will enable the sale, build the relationship and generate repeat business, so if a sales person from Eve mattress were to call me, they could easily get a sale, but at the moment, I remain an interested suspect, In the meantime, I go to bed half an hour earlier during the week and that has made a huge difference to my energy and sanity.
Sofia & I run workshops to help people align sales & marketing activities for new business development, one of the key elements, is the ability to ask your prospects strong open questions to qualify where they are in their sales or marketing process. I look forward to hearing about your experiences, thoughts & predictions about IoT.
Sofia Dahlqvist runs (55Connect) and specialises in supporting business growth with bespoke marketing strategies and campaigns www.55connect.co.uk