The marketing environment continues to grow ever more demanding. As the speed in which business is conducted gets faster, we marketing professionals need to keep up. We must get better and better at showing customers that our goods and services provide for their needs and wants.

Technology can help us do that. Of course, this is much easier said than done.

Not only must we master the technology that consumers use, and use often, but we also are obligated to our executives- whether clients or the C-Suite- to show that our efforts are not merely fancy, but effective.

Now especially with calls for more “transparency”, brands and clients are expecting to see higher sales results with data proving that marketing is the direct stimulant.

But how?

If we are keen on using the Internet of Things (IoT), the products and services that connect the consumer to the world around them, we can accurately and gleefully present marketing return-on-investment (mROI) to those who demand it.

The IoT culture can display marketing return on investment due to:

  1. Engagement
  2. Convenience
  3. Brand carryover
  4. Measurable Data

Engagement
The exciting premise with tying IoT to marketing metrics is the fact that consumers willingly and actively engage with the devices and products with little influencing. Seeing how and why they interact with their gadgets, and gathering information will help marketers see what may have triggered them to purchase or not to purchase, visit sites on a tablet, smartphone or laptop, and much more.

Convenience
The average consumer hates making difficult choices, so if the IoT can help them make the decision-making easier, then it establishes a path of least resistance (PLR) to the products or services at hand. This is a fantastic way for marketers to see how quickly a consumer relies on the information and advertising provided to them, and to observe what they do. Imagine a consumer playing a video game, orders a pizza in the game, and is then able to watch the delivery person come to the house from their phone. Or, imagine a parent is out of town and gets a notice from the fridge that the kids are running out of food and is sent coupons based on past purchases. The parent acts on the promotions, and the babysitter can run out to the store and meet the waiting cashier to grab the groceries. And ALL that data is captured and reported.

Brand Carryover
It is hard to see how our marketing and advertising activities truly affect a customer’s purchasing decisions. An ad that a consumer sees 4-5 days ago, could influence their purchase much later. Using the IoT however, could aid in assigning the credit to which ads and activities helped. Picture a runner is using MapMyRun to track her miles. After 6 months, her mileage counter shows she hit 300 miles. After that, a display ad of the new Under Armour Speedform pops up. Two weeks later, she’s in her local running store and purchases a pair of Speedforms using AndroidPay. With the IoT working together, marketers will be able to attribute the UA ad on MapMyRun as the initial purchasing touch point.

Measurable Data
With all the mentioned examples, one can see that the marketers are entering into a new era of data reporting. No longer can marketers cling to TV ad numbers like coverage and eyeballs and hope for a slight percentage increase in sales. Using the IoT, marketers can prove, with scary accuracy, the mROI. And for marketing as an industry, that’s a good thing.