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Call for Insights: How to Enhance Customer Experience with the Internet of Things

Jessica Groopman

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As part of our open research process, I would like to extend an invite for your input, feedback, case examples, or any other insights you’d like to contribute to our upcoming research around the Internet of Things.

Today, the Internet of Things, or the realization of bringing the offline world online, is expanding at a dizzying pace, yet its application and data implications remain poorly understood by marketers and other consumer-facing functions. To this end, we will be conducting research on how brands can leverage the Internet of Things and emerging technological platforms, devices, hardware, etc. to enhance customer experience. Specifically, this research will focus on two primary pillars, or lenses through which to assess this question:

  • Primary use cases for customer-facing applications
  • Data, privacy, and personalization implications & best practices

The Internet of Things is a huge topic, and so to keep this report as scoped as possible, we will focus exclusively on consumer-facing use cases. That is, those with which customers interface directly; not on enterprise/back end-facing use cases such as inventory management, logistics, remote monitoring, energy recycling, etc.

Our hypothesis is that while there is tremendous opportunity in providing a ‘connected’ brand experience, there is also great risk in deterring consumers through over or ill-timed personalization and use of data. By contrast, brands that can strike the appropriate balance of value (i.e. convenience, utility, simplicity) and data when leveraging emerging technologies will quickly create the new baseline for what consumers come to expect in brand engagements.

To explore these areas more deeply, some of the questions this report will address are:

1. What are the primary use cases for consumer-facing IoT? How can we apply use cases to our greater digital strategy?

  • Monitoring/Self-Service
  • Location/Navigation/Proximity
  • Promotion/Advertising
  • Payment/Conversion
  • Information/Decision-making
  • Product Design/Customization
  • Loyalty/Personalization
  • Gamification/Brand Awareness

2. What are the risks of implementing these use cases and how do we avoid or overcome those risks? How do we design experiences that are not overly invasive, cumbersome, or creepy?

3. What is the role of data and how should we think about its use to instruct and optimize these engagements? When should and should not data be used to inform experiences? How can we wield data to drive business value to consumer and enterprise simultaneously?

This research will help digital strategists apply consumer-facing (e.g. marketing, customer service, sales, etc.) use cases across an ever-expanding set of interfaces, devices, sensor capabilities, and beyond-- all while avoiding the creep factor. But we need your input! Please feel free to reach out to me at jessica@altimetergroup.com, or leave a comment with any feedback, input, interview referrals you would suggest we consider.

Thank you!