IoT paves way for consumer engagement in the real world: Avinash Jhangiani

Avinash Jhangiani Chief innovation officer, Omnicom Media Group
IoT as a technology lends itself to customisation and hence brands should be careful to put in the required filters to ensure that only relevant messages reach a select audience, Avinash Jhangiani tells Sangeeta Tanwar.

How is IoT (internet of things) helping advertisers and media planners redefine rules of brand building and consumer engagement?

IoT (internet of things) offers huge opportunity to organisations to drive revenue and improve efficiency. Today, IoT is all around us. According to various industry reports, globally, we will have 50 billion connected devices by 2020. The existence of connected devices is going to create a lot of brand building and marketing opportunities for organisations. At the same time, the growing number of connected devices is creating a lot of clutter. Therefore, merely looking at the huge volume of data generated by connected devices is not going to give organisations the right results. Instead, organisations have to mine huge volumes of data and look for real and meaningful insights to drive brand engagement with the audience.

Creating experience is crucial for brands. IoT and VR (virtual reality) need to be leveraged to create unique and engaging consumer experiences. Using IoT, brands need to move away from buying impressions to creating impressions. The moment brands adopt IoT, they need to move away from share of vision (SoV) to share of experience (SoE). In other words, brands need to move away from advertising to creating experience. IoT is a great enabler for creating experiences. In order to create the right experience, brands need to understand what consumers are looking for in the name of brand experience. IoT along with digital technologies, holds the key to consumer experience as these technologies are non-intrusive.

What are the key advantages of using IoT to create consumer experiences?

IoT devices give brands an opportunity to reach and engage their target audiences without creating an app on mobile devices. This helps brands bypass an additional layer of barrier between the end consumer and the message. Brands can simply use IoT to create alerts and encourage consumers to click on videos to access interesting offers and product-service related information. The technology does away with the need to open up a web page. To create IoT-led experiences, advertisers only need GPS (global positioning system) and bluetooth.

How can advertisers using IoT address data-related security and privacy concerns of consumers?

A lot of user data is being captured through IoT devices and there are legitimate privacy and security-led concerns. In terms of technology, there are a lot of security layers and safeguards available to brands that can help them guard sensitive consumer data. What needs to be watched out is recognising consumer preferences and offering them relevant communication messages. Brands have to be careful not to alienate consumers by bombarding them with irrelevant brand and service offers. IoT as a technology lends itself to customisation and hence brands should be careful to put in the required filters to ensure that only relevant and useful messages reach a select audience. Like all other devices, IoT devices too have a hardware as well as software level. Hardware is a simple chip. The moment you switch on bluetooth and GPS, the hardware helps the advertiser reach targeted mobile devices. It is the software that helps advertisers filter the message and decide as to who are the selected consumers who will be receiving a particular notification.

A lot of players in the fast-moving consumer goods, food and beverage, and hospitality industry are taking to IoT and using applications stored on cloud to engage audiences. IoT is opening up multiple ways for brands to engage with consumers in an offline mode. The biggest advantage of IoT is that it allows consumer engagement in the real world.

How can organisations build internal capabilities to integrate IoT with various consumer facing proceses?

To engage and reach out to the end user effectively, brands need to implement IoT in the right manner. They need to build in intelligence in various applications used in-house to create the right kind of lead. Since organisations generate a lot of data in-house, they need to start activating this data using bluetooth. From our experience, what we see is that there is a distinct need for organisations to merge their addressable media data with CRM (customer relationship management system). A lot of structural changes need to be made at the organisational level and this calls for upfront involvement of the information technology (IT) team. Going forward, with the growth of IoT, we will see present day demarcation between advertising and CRM teams disappear.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel