The Internet of Things to Revolutionize Marketing

Last week I attended a lecture with Ian Beacraft, a mobile marketing expert from Leo Burnett. The lecture was based on the phenomenon and movement of the Internet of Things, wearable’s, and geo-marketing used in mobile marketing campaigns. We learned where marketing is headed with this new technology and analyzed successful campaigns and how the internet of things will change marketing forever. Previously I discussed how advertising budgets were focusing on mobile advertising including, SEO, banner ads, display ads, and in app ads. But, now we get to look at mobile campaigns that not only deliver a message, but specifically target, engage, and interact with consumers using geo-marketing and wearable technology. In order for companies to differentiate themselves in the market they will have to be a front-runner in adapting this technology. Nike, Vail Mountain Resorts, and Apple are already ahead of the game using location based advertising and wearable’s to engage their customers and in return increasing ROI.

The Internet of Things ‘refers to uniquely identifiable objects or “things” that have a digital presence. There are two main categories of these objects: identified objects and connected device’. (Itzkovitch)

Wearable Technology—The Beginning

Wearable’s may have started with fitness trackers including Jawbone, Fitbit, and Nike Fuelband featuring a wearable wristband that tracked movements and then synced up to mobile devices to display statistics over time. But, Nike (creator of wearable the wearable fuelband) eventually realized people were buying the product, but were not using them long term (Beacraft). Brent Gilmore HighFive’s CEO and co-founder development HighFive 2.0 a technology enabling location-based advertising for Nike, a new technology soon to be followed my Apple with their new watch. Nike implemented this new technology into their stores to get consumers to make a purchase, and ultimate marketing campaign using location based advertising.

Even our refrigerators because of the Internet of Things now have (RFID) tags, a radio frequency identification, (essentially a bar code) can alert the grocery store to deliver us milk the next day, as soon as we are out. RFID tags will eventually be on all products and will be key for marketers as tags will give ability to be read based on location and then products can be marketing to you based upon location.  The networking giant Cisco predicts a world where 50 billion devices could be connected to the Internet by 2020 (Itzkovitch). Wristbands, video games, watches, car sensors, video cameras, and even pace markers will eventually be able to have the ability to track data, locations, and give feedback.

IoT and How Marketing Will Evolve in Retail

Retail stores will be able to place beacons in their stores and codes (RFID tags) on their merchandise and when someone has the app on their phone the store will be able to suggest other products, just like in an online store, but with the internet of internet of things brands can be more engaging. Are you in the shopping mall a certain distance away from the store? Retail brands will be able to know that and that target their products towards you. Nike for example, has done campaigns giving a certain percentage off a product if you get to the store within a certain time frame, customers love to play games and beat the clock. Other retail stores are beginning to be able to send you messages to suggest accessories or other products you may be interested in, and then where to find them. Beacons will also be able to provide better customers service and more enhanced security (Mikhailov). Usuing beacons of course means more companies will have to develop apps, when a customer’s downloads the app that is key so they can ‘opt in’ for future advertising.

Apple Watch and Android Wear to Revolutionize Marketing

Move over Fitbit, Jawbone, and Nike fuel band, hello Android Wear and Apple Watch. With these watches you will be able to specifically tell it what you want to do by simply saying ‘Okay, Google’, or by asking Siri to perform a command. You will still be able to track your fitness goals, but the watches will also hold other applications. You will also be able to tell your watch to open your garage, turn on lights, warm your car ect…because all technology will be connected through the internet of things. These wearables will be essential for marketers to jump on. More companies will want to incorporate geo-marketing strategies and implement beacons and RFID tags into their stores and merchandise.

Vail Resorts ‘Epic Pass’ a Marketing Mastermind

A case study to look at is Vail Resorts who owns 28 resorts and is the genius behind the Epic Pass, a card works has a ski lift ticket and engaged its skier and riders in games, contests, and other social initiatives. The Epic Pass uses location-based advertising and social media to create online conversation. Epic pass users can track how many vertical miles they have skied or snowboarded that day, can compete with other epic pass users, share their statistics, and create conversation on the web through location based services. Epic passes are a wearable device, location beacons are placed before you get on the chair lift and all statistics are connected to your mobile device. The Epic Pass has created online engagement and an increase in season pass holders and overall sales.

All of these tie in together because the Internet of Things is happening fast, wearables are becoming more advanced, consumers are downloading more apps giving companies the ability to target them through geo-marketing and create campaigns based on a specific target they want to reach. Between Android and Google we will be wearing watching that hold endless data about our personal preferences, shopping history, wear we eat, and what we do so ads, coupons, and promotions and be directed right to us. Vail Resorts is a great case study of a simple wearable they developed themselves that tracks activity in a unique way that engages their consumer with their brand. The found a wearable that is fun for their consumer and effective marketing for them. The consumer loves to know how many miles the skied and Vail resorts wants to know where the ski, for how long, and who they ski with. A win-win for all.

Bergen, M. (2014, April 1). Adland Ponders Ad Potential of Wearables | Digital – Advertising Age. Retrieved October 29, 2014.

Itzkovitch, A. (2013, September 18). The Internet of Things and the Mythical Smart Fridge. Retrieved October 29, 2014, from

Mikhailov, M. (2014, February 13). Reality of beacons: Separating fact from iFiction. Retrieved October 29, 2014, from

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