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BW Businessworld

Brands In The Connected Age

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Get set for a sea change in the way businesses and brands work as the Internet of Things kicks in. Marketers are already relying on Big Data to understand consumers and meet their expectations. But the data is currently coming through four or five screens — TV, mobile, tablet and PC. What happens when data pours in from, say, 32 devices all owned by a single consumer. At the interactive marketing and technology conference ad:tech, Pepsico’s D. Shivakumar’s prediction was: “Once the connected devices explosion happens, marketers will need to stop thinking screens and start thinking displays.”

According to him, the ability to unlock all displays at home (the electric meter, the microwave open display, the washing machine display, and so on) through one anchor device (it could be your mobile or a wearable) will be a game changer. But at the same time, the challenge for marketers is how they manage the proliferation of data. At the Adobe Digital Marketing Symposium, the thinking was that it would actually get easier in the IoT milieu — data emanating from one consumer through multiple displays will be unified as it would be one screen that will control all the displays — the consumer is only one and, hence, the data will futuristically be only one. For marketers, this has huge implications as this could mean the days of fragmented media plans will be over. From broadcasting, brands can increasingly start narrowcasting and personalisation. Another challenge for marketers in the connected-devices environment will be that the consumer will be interacting with these new interactive interfaces in new ways — through touch, gesture, voice and, perhaps, even thought! So brands will have to rethink user experiences. A campaign or content that’s tailored for touch may not work when a customer is accessing it through voice controls. For things to get easier for marketers in the hyperconnected world, a lot of hard thinking will clearly have to be done first.

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 25-08-2014)