As our world becomes increasingly connected through WIFI and Bluetooth technologies, real estate brokers should keep an eye on the Internet of Things (IoT).
The Internet of Things is a term describing the current and forecasted interconnection of all kinds of devices to the Internet and to one another.
Anything with an on and off switch can be connected to the IoT, including communication devices, household appliances, wearables, machine components, and more.
How is the IoT being used by companies?
Experts at the Gartner analyst firm predict that by 2020 there may be anywhere from 26 billion to over 100 billion interconnected machines comprising the IoT.
Another summer 2015 report, by the International Data Corporation, put IoT sales at $600 million and estimated an increase to $1.7 trillion by 2020 – and that data didn’t even count sales from desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets!
Marketers are now leveraging the IoT
A study by 2nd Watch released this July also reveals that marketers are beginning to leverage the IoT, and data collected from it, towards their digital marketing efforts. Over 500 marketing executives were surveyed about their usage of the IoT.
Six out of ten executives reported that they were using machine data (information collected from connected devices) and the IoT for digital marketing purposes.
Most, or 40 percent of the total respondents, said they were in the “beginning stages” of using the IoT, while another 19 percent said they were using it “very aggressively,” suggesting that many marketers are just getting started using the IoT, and if all goes well, will probably continue investing more and more.
Why are they using IoT data?
When asked why they were using IoT data for their marketing campaigns, about a third responded that they wanted to “better understand customer preferences.”
Others were using the IoT directly to communicate campaigns and promotions to customers, or to create “customer-facing web and mobile apps.”
A full 32 percent said they were engaging in all three of these activities, suggesting great potential for the IoT to be utilized in a number of different ways.
But were these efforts effective?
While 26 percent of respondents were satisfied that their IoT marketing efforts had met their goals, another 43 percent felt their efforts were “quite successful” for increasing customer engagement and demand for their products, and another 27 percent reported that using the IoT had proved “extremely” effective, and that they could quantify an obvious return on investment.
Overall, this adds up to a strong case for using the IoT for digital marketing, with the real estate industry being a burgeoning space for these technologies.
There are so few industries like real estate where practitioners touch so many potential IoT technologies, and using them to market, but further, knowing about all IoT options in homes is soon going to be the new metric regarding how “tech savvy” a Realtor is and will become a new path for revenues.