Why The Internet of Everything Represents A Huge Opportunity For Brands In 2015

January 12th, 2015

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iDevices Switch. Screenshot via iDevices.

We all know that consumers are connected with more data and devices in ways they never have been before. The big takeaway for marketers is that the Internet of Everything opens the door for creative and unexpected collaborations that could throw consumers off guard — in a good way — and inspire them to engage with your products.

unnamed (3)Connected-home devices, which will drive over $61 billion in sales revenue this year, give marketers vast insights into a consumer’s lifestyle. Meanwhile, connected-home device shipments will grow at a compound annual rate of 67% over the next five years, according to Business Insider Intelligence, which is much faster than smartphone and tablet device growth.

At CES, there were a number of companies showcasing products that leverage Apple’s HomeKit and Google’s Nest to control the home via an app. iDevice, a partner of HomeKit, showed off their “Switch” connected plug (pictured above), which lets people say a command to turn devices on and off.

In home automation, brands have an opportunity to find creative ways to engage with consumers. Cable channel SyFy, for example, recently launched their Sync app that connects to Hue lighting from Phillips. It translates audio cues into web-enabled lighting commands, which results in the bulbs changing colors with the on-screen action.

Now, think about opportunities with smart refrigerators, food and grocery shopping. LG’s HomeChat lets people remotely retrieve pictures of what’s inside their refrigerator while they’re out shopping. We could easily envision a CPG company tapping into that system to promote brand products and push consumers deals on certain in-store items.

“Smart devices in the home such as the smart fridge could potentially help us better understand consumer behavior,” MillerCoors Senior Director of Digital and Marketing Stevie Benjamin told the Wall Street Journal. “It could give us a new source of data that we didn’t have before. For example, if the fridge knows that consumers are consuming beer at 6 o’clock and not at 9 o’clock, that data could allow us to switch the timing of our marketing. What a consumer actually does is always better information than what they say they do.”

If investment activity, and mergers and acquisitions is any indicator of potential consumer demand, the Internet of Everything is a space to continue experimenting in right away.