It used to be that mobile activity was limited to just three devices: laptops, smartphones and tablets. The ease and convenience of connectivity on these devices enabled more people to be online virtually all the time. Then came the introduction of smaller, wearable smart devices, like glasses, watches, wristbands, fitness trackers and more. The much anticipated launch of the Apple Watch is expected to propel these wearable accessories into the mainstream.
Now we’re entering a new era in which ordinary objects can be connected to the Internet using sensors and controllers. Such advanced connectivity, often referred to by the buzz phrase “Internet of Things,” is reshaping the way consumers interact with brands, and vice versa.
For marketers, it’s opening up a host of new opportunities to deliver omnichannel experiences that engage consumers in the right place, at the right time and with the right message. For instance, since wearable devices are aware of location and context, marketers can target individuals with relevant content or promotions based on where they are and what they’re doing. After a workout, for example, an individual might find an ad for a pair of sneakers on his/her smart watch, or a consumer could receive a specific coupon or offer based on his/her location in a shopping mall. Moreover, marketers can design these promotions so that individuals can easily share them via their social networks, helping to amplify the brand and extend its reach.
Revolutionizing Measurement & Optimization
So how will advanced connectivity impact marketing measurement and optimization? Since wearable tech and other Internet-connected objects act like laptops, smartphones and tablets, brands will be able to incentivize consumers to identify and share information about themselves through sign-on environments and branded apps. This will enable marketers to directly connect all of the media touchpoints to which an individual was exposed – from initial awareness through to the final conversion – for a holistic view of each customer and his/her interactions with a brand.
Combining this end-to-end view of each customer’s journey with advanced measurement technology will enable marketers to precisely quantify the impact that every touchpoint experienced by every individual has on their overall marketing performance – and move away from the trappings of last-click based measurement and inaccurate metrics that only include a portion of the entire customer journey. By mitigating the cookie limitations with cross-device tracking, advanced attribution technologies enable marketers to accurately measure and optimize performance based on actual people, rather than cookies.
As more and more objects and devices connect to the Internet, the potential for marketers is huge. And by ditching antiquated measurement techniques for more advanced methods, they stand to gain substantially. With a holistic view of the customer journey and how combinations of channels, campaigns and tactics influence purchases and other conversions, marketers will be able to make more informed decisions about where to spend their media budgets, and realize the omnichannel vision of reaching consumers with the right message at the right time and place.
Anto Chittilappilly is the co-founder, president and CTO of Visual IQ. He is responsible for the company’s overall engineering and technology strategy and is the visionary behind the company’s IQ Intelligence Suite. Anto is a recognized expert in marketing mix modeling, marketing attribution and cross channel marketing analytics. He has spoken at industry events such as ad:tech and the DMA Annual Conference; authors a monthly column for Online Metrics Insider, and has written articles for iMedia Connection, Target Marketing and BtoB Magazine. He is a member of the American Statistical Association and sits on the Research Council of the IAB.