By Andreas Knoor – Chief Operating Officer & Digital Strategist at e-Spirit
The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly changing how C-suite marketers deliver seamless omnichannel brand experiences. Research firm Gartner estimates that by 2020, over 20 billion connected IoT devices will be in use across a range of industries. Similarly, consulting firm McKinsey & Company estimates the economic impact of those IoT devices will be between $3.9 and $11.1 billion annually through 2025. That growing diversity of customer touchpoints presents a tremendous business opportunity for marketers if they are prepared to reap the benefits.
At the heart of the matter is how to deliver quality, personalized content across all channels to customers that relates to their interests. The IoT, whether services or devices, requires a continuous stream of fresh content in order to connect with customers. That proliferation of channels and content can wreak havoc on marketing organizations that lack the necessary tools to support it. The days of formatting content and pushing it to each individual channel are quickly disappearing. What’s needed is a more agile method of content delivery, one that delivers content wherever it is needed. Traditional content management systems for the most part simply aren’t up to the task.
Content-as-a-Service (CaaS) is a disrupting trend in the content management space. Think of CaaS as more like a digital content hub or virtual content repository than a pure play content management system. It gives marketers the ability to deliver content to and from any IoT channel, such as wearables, smart home devices, and digital signage, and present it instantly in the optimized format designed for each. For example, CaaS allows marketers to deliver personalized ad content to an IoT device at the precise moment a customer uses it. The content is pulled to each device when needed, unlike conventional CMS technologies which are not designed for this type of delivery.
Where it gets really interesting is when multiple channels come into play simultaneously. Taking it one step further, marketers can more easily influence customer buying behavior by customizing experiences based on location and IoT device. Digital signage is a perfect example. When coupling a location-based mobile app with digital signage, marketers can offer location-based content through digital signage in the form of promotions, discounts, or services as each customer moves through a store, bank, hotel, sports venue, or even as they drive down the road. Digital billboard signage can even be used to drive in-store traffic by notifying customers of store proximity based on their location, and offering special product promotions to draw them in. These strategically based promotions perfectly illustrate how marketers can use CaaS to engage with their customers across all channels.
Once you understand how CaaS works, it’s easy to see the endless possibilities for how to turn your content into new revenue streams. Marketers can instantly drive customer engagements and upsell services by offering relevant and engaging content across any channel, whether website, mobile device, app, or IoT thing.
Here are a few examples of CaaS-driven business cases:
And the list goes on and on. CaaS promises to inspire a host of new marketing strategies and IoT lines of business that capitalize on consumer behavior and location to deliver completely connected end-to-end customer experiences that will keep your brand top of mind in your customer’s head. It opens the floodgates for new content-driven business models, allowing companies to monetize content in unprecedented ways.
The biggest challenge organizations face is how to keep pace with the growth of IoT as it continues to evolve. New IoT technologies crop up every day and that growth is only accelerating. Traditional CMS technology requires time and resource-consuming integrations with each new channel added. CaaS eliminates that problem completely, eliminating the need for costly integrations, making organizations more agile by allowing them to add new channels to their mix with speed and efficiency. The reduction of man hours for both marketing and IT can also be an enormous cost savings.
The possibilities for turning IoT content into continuous revenue streams are truly endless. Unlike competitors who stick with outdated technology, those marketers that have the right tools will secure a competitive advantage since they can greet new opportunities with speed and agility, and meet customer demands for omnichannel interactivity. It can be a real competitive advantage.