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Internet of Things: A driving force behind digital transformation in marketing

Perhaps nothing better exemplifies the pace of Digital Transformation than the Internet of Things (IoT). More and more everyday objects (‘things’) – from heating systems to the humble toothbrush – are being connected to the internet, allowing them to continually collect and transmit data.


Indeed, the internet has become such a part of our everyday life that we no longer need to consciously access it, rather it continues to runs in the background without us giving it much thought. One example that is now familiar to most of us is wearable technology, such as fitness trackers, which constantly send data about vital signs and activity levels to a server for evaluation. Only the device is visible, but its connectivity is active all the time, automatic and unnoticed.

The value of a product will therefore no longer be judged solely by its material or emotional value, but also by how well it networks with other ‘things’ on the internet, thereby benefiting its owner. By networking, such products become known as “smart objects”. So-called “smart homes” contain smart thermostats, smart lighting, smart music systems and so on, all connected to the internet – and all controllable at the touch of an app.

Objects become “digitally transformed”

Connectivity lends objects a digital character. In this way they undergo a sort of “digital transformation”. A finely crafted IoT project, no matter how small, can become a symbol of digital transformation for a company. A recent example from the healthcare sector is “lumind”, a prototype desktop light connected to an app that reminds people with diabetes to check their blood glucose levels regularly. Pulsations and changes in colour very simply inform the user (and their family) of their glucose status and need for a check, helping to keep their diabetes under control.

This is article 2 of our “Digital Transformation in Marketing” series. The other five articles of the series cover the following topics: Digital Transformation, Customer-Relationship-Management, Marketing Automation, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality.

Our author Thilo Kölzer is a member of the board and responsible for Digital & Mobile, Performance Marketing and the Internet-of-Things at antwerpes ag.

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