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By Noelle Brooks

The Internet of Things (IOT) is expected to explode in 2018, solidifying the communication shift between brands and customers.  And if you have no clue what the Internet of Things is, this is the year is to figure it out. To put it simply, the Internet of Things refers to a network of connected devices powered by the Internet. By 2020, this network will include 24 billion connected devices.This means millions if not billions of consumers creating and sharing data. To make the most of this monumental development (okay, monumental is pretty dramatic, but this is pretty important),  here are three ways to use the Internet of Things:

Streamline Operations

One of the best ways to use the Internet of Things is streamlining operations.  First, think about the devices you currently use. This would include smart phones, laptops, and tablets. Review features, enabling everything each device has to offer. Then analyze pain points within your organization. For example, if keeping up with inventory is an issue, low-cost inventory apps can track and maintain merchandise. If you are tired of high utility bills, maximize energy savings with a Nest Thermostat and smart light bulbs. The Internet of Things can also improve workflow. Using cloud-based platforms such as Slack, employees can access information from any where at any time. This sort of flexibility means higher productivity, quicker turnarounds, and ultimately more satisfied customers.

Simplify the Customer Experience

Most organizations have multiple touch points. This offers a variety of ways to connect with prospects. However, it also creates more opportunities to lose them. The Internet of Things makes it easier than ever before to track the customer journey. You can use comprehensive systems such as Evrythng to streamline processes or add mobile-friendly plugins on your site for quick sign-ups. These features typically include built-in code to monitor and track engagement. Use QR codes so customers can easily download information or scan coupons for deals.  Email alerts are another great way to stay connected. Most people receive emails on their smart devices, placing your brand at your customers’ fingertips.

Market-Based On Real-Time Behavior

Instead of relying on focus groups and surveys, learn how customers actually use products and services.  Budget-friendly sensors can be added to products, providing data about performance and usage. Platforms such as Streamr offer a data ecosystem that tracks behavior in real-time. The beauty of Streamr is that the data is monetized, compensating participants for the information that’s shared. If used correctly, your brand can effectively target customers when they are most likely to purchase. Additionally, anyone can use the service. This means that even a small business or nonprofit can maximize their marketing potential.

While the Internet of Things offers a wealth of opportunities, make sure to address privacy concerns. Make sure any data that is used has been provided willingly. Be honest and upfront about your practices and respect your customers’ wishes. The last thing you want to do is alienate your customers by invading their privacy. No one wants to buy from Big Brother.

Ready to harness the power of the Internet of Things? Create an onboarding program using promotional products. Contact Choice Premiums at 478-741-8888 or 

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