But as we talk incessantly about new technologies, we may overlook the fact that it isn’t really technology that’s driving this revolution, but the data and the insights these technologies create. With this data we are able to better understand what interests people and motivates them to engage with a brand and buy their products, and we can also use this data to innovate products that are a perfect fit for our target audience. Let’s discuss how data and analytics underlie the true value of the technology we are so obsessed with.
Internet of Things (IoT) and Wearables
IoT and wearable technology are the hottest trends in the enterprise, IT, and communications landscapes. We want smarter gadgets, smarter homes, and smarter offices — where every object “knows” us, and exchanges that knowledge with smart sensors and devices to create an ecosystem of hyper-connectedness, or the IoT.
When someone is hungry after a long day at the office, they want their smart band to notice and offer suggestions and directions to the nearest snack bar. They want a voice activated mobile app to pre-order meals and drinks while driving, and then deliver a notification when the order is ready. The whole example might have a futuristic ring to it, but as smart devices and applications learn about our wants and needs, they generate data to help marketers serve customers better. Beacons at a retail store, smart vending machines, and data sensing appliances are all designed to provide compelling business benefits using real-time data, while also offering customers what they want. It’s a win-win.
Social media is one of the biggest contributors to the ever-increasing mass of big data. Essentially unstructured, the data generated by millions of social media interactions grows by the minute. Social media data is a veritable goldmine of critical business information: Customer behavior, purchase patterns, customer satisfaction, and even an indicator of upcoming trends. It is this data that helps us understand how our customers are engaging with our brands, as well as our competitors’ brands.
Cloud Computing and Mobility
Cloud technology and mobility are currently dual waves sweeping over the business landscape, transforming the way we do business, market, and sell. Cloud is fast becoming a ubiquitous storehouse of data, leaving on-premise storage to take a backseat, while mobility is improving connectivity and collaboration among enterprises, irrespective of time and location, facilitating the seamless exchange of data.
All the major technologies mentioned here overlap and intersect at one point – data. As these tech trends are proliferating, they are simplifying people’s lives and the way they communicate. Marketers benefit from the consistent ability to measure and monitor the data and ‘behavior’ trends garnered from these technologies, providing them with insights that can be used to tailor strategies to their targeted customers. The ability to gather this data from our offices, our boardrooms, the coffee shop, our cars, and our homes is one of the most exciting things about technology. As our ability to collect and analyze the data becomes more sophisticated, I believe that technology will rise to an even greater level of sophistication. The future truly is wide open for marketers.
How do you think analytics and big data will impact tomorrow’s technology? I would love to hear your predictions.
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