US advertisers prepare for IoT with ‘data excellence’ centre
Internet Advertising Bureau

US advertisers prepare for IoT with ‘data excellence’ centre

IAB has set-up the IAB Data Centre for Excellence, showing that marketing is ready and waiting to take advantage of the Internet of Things.

You know an industry sector is becoming ‘a thing’ when the advertising and marketing world starts to offer services targeted specifically towards it. And when memberships bodies start to do this, well, then we know the thing has legs.

So it is with interest that we note the US Interactive Advertising Bureau has set up the IAB Data Centre for Excellence.

What is the Internet Advertising Bureau? It’s a membership body for the online advertising industry which does things like carry out research, develop standards and big up digital marketing by “educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing.” It has 650 members who account for 86 percent of online advertising in the US. So, it is a Big Cheese.

The new IAB Data Centre of Excellence has as its mission “to help advertisers and marketers operationalize their data assets while maintaining quality, transparency, accountability, and consumer protection.”

To that end, it will:

  • Gather industry thought leaders to set the data agenda
  • Fund industry research to provide benchmarks and actionable insights on data management across platforms
  • Create educational materials including certification, videos, and webinars
  • Host data focused events that feature industry luminaries
  • Develop industry best practices, guidelines, and standards for privacy, data security

If all this feels a little top heavy, consider what the CMO of one of our top ten IoT companies to watch in 2016 – EVRYTHNG, Andy Hobsbawm has said – that the IoT will change the marketing landscape, taking it into a third age – and moreover making ‘things’ marketing tools.

He blogged that we’ve been through ‘brand voice’, essentially the age of mass media, to ‘consumer voice’ which is characterised in part by social media.

The IoT allows for a new age – ‘product voice’.

“For the first time, products can talk directly to people and systems along the supply chain, while data talks back to the brand with real-time analytics, letting them know who their customers are, what they engage with and how interaction drives sales,” he said.

“A product can tell you what and where it is, how and how much it is being used and allows its authenticity to be verified. Consumers can ‘friend’ their stuff for personalised digital services and experiences, while businesses can ‘follow’ products in real-time from factory floor, to high street to living room. In other words, products are becoming dynamic, web-connected intelligent objects – and they get to have a say in how they are made, sold and used.”

It’s not such a big step from a situation like that to a world in which products tell users what’s coming next and why the user really needs it. Not just ‘product voice’, but product as marketing device.

For all that, the principles of what makes good marketing are likely to remain unchanged in an IoT focused ‘product voice’ age.

Internet of Business asked Ian Hood, co-founder and managing director at Babel PR, a tech agency with offices in both the US and UK about IoT marketing and he told us: “If marketing does not first educate as to the applications, benefits and advantages of a product or service, it will either not succeed or will be slow for end users to adopt.

“Marketers must speak to consumers in a language they understand, and use creative storytelling, imagery and brand advocates to create engagement and emotion from the target audience.”