The Internet of Things (IoT) is one vague concept that has been lurking in the shadows of the interwebs for years now. Yet many still fail to grasp its impact and role as a valuable business asset.
Bane or Boon?
IoT is poised to create a whopping $421 billion economic value for cities worldwide in 2019. However, Vint Cerf, hailed as one of the founding fathers of the Internet, admitted that he is, at some point, terrified of the Internet of Things. And he’s not alone. Others though are also quick to point out that there’s nothing to panic about IoT’s hauntingly omnipresent nature and its threat to privacy.
For entrepreneurs, small business owners, and marketers, what exactly does IoT bring to the table?
Marketo, one of today’s marketing automation leaders, aptly described the Internet of Things as:
The Internet of Things: What Is It Really For Entrepreneurs?
Here at Founder’s Guide, we love helping entrepreneurs and small business owners like you who are lost in the sea of intimidating terms such as Big Data, Analytics and the Internet of Things. Before diving head first without a solid, robust plan, here are three ways to make the IoT work for you!
For many, automation implies a lack of human touch. It means delegating work to cold and calculating algorithms. It translates to fewer human-to-human interactions. But this is totally untrue.
Brian Christian, author of The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive, absolutely nailed it when he wrote how automation can truly elevate the human touch in businesses by not wasting your uniquely human talents on assembly line-like tasks.
On closer examination, automation helps you understand your prospects better such as predictive lead scoring, and subsequently deliver a more human-centered approach to marketing and sales.
Take targeted email marketing for example. This helpful automation trick makes you less of a spammer because you are sending out those emails to users whom your data reveals are the people to most likely benefit from it the most.
Founder’s Guide is a huge proponent of the Kaizen philosophy — continuous improvement in bringing your business forward. With data readily available as a result of interconnectivity, a more agile way of scaling your business growth is easily accomplished through analytics.
There are many ways to harness analytics and become more Kaizen in your approach — from contextual targeting to behavioral segmentation. Take Amazon for example. They can track which products you’re frequently browsing during those afternoon lulls at work. With this data, a more personalized experience awaits the next time you visit their website. What’s more, the next time you use Facebook, you’re most likely to see an ad luring you into making a purchase of (you guessed it right) products closely similar to what you earlier browsed on Amazon.
The real-time nature of the Internet of Things provides new opportunities to streamline operations, resulting to unparalleled efficiency.
Construction businesses provide one good example of IoT technology done right. By installing sensors in their machinery that can detect possible breakdowns, machinery maintenance is scheduled before an actual breakdown occurs. Farewell to frequent costly repairs!
These days, it’s not a question of whether or not the Internet of Things is a boon or bane for entrepreneurs. The challenge lies in how would you strategically employ it to deliver more value to your prospects and customers, and consequently scale business growth.