The concept of connected things is not new to us – if we look at nature, existence of connections between and within species, and their relationship with the environment is absolute. Similarly, when we talk about Internet of Things (IoT), we are basically referring to the ability of physical objects to communicate with each other and with their surroundings.

Today, businesses are using this concept to engage more effectively with their consumers. Internet of Things allows them to seamlessly converse with their consumers over any digital device, at any point of time and at any place. Consumers are continuously leaving their digital footprints and IoT enables businesses to build contextual intelligence by collecting this overwhelming amount of data and analysing it.

In order to gain more perspective on how businesses can use IoT to connect with their consumers, let’s look at some examples.

Provide dynamic personal customer experience: McDonald’s is now able to dynamically personalize its customer experience as it expanded its mobile app to include contextual information and social engagement data. Now, when customers use their Mc Donald’s app, they get customized content based on the time of day, the weather, their location and their purchasing habits. This has greatly enhanced their customer experience as it allows them to listen and respond to the consumers in real-time.

Create customer loyalty: Nike, with their FuelBand – an athletic gear band, is able to garner more customer loyalty through data sharing and community building. Customers using FuelBand can compare their performance with that of the other customers using the same product and see the change in their performance over time or plan their next fitness challenge. This gives their customers an unparalleled experience that allows them to be loyal to Nike’s brand.

Enable new business models: Allstate has created the next-generation car insurance product which measures mileage, braking, speed, and time of the day when a customer is driving. Using this data, it calculates a driving discount for each customer, giving them a customized insurance rate.

Staying relevant in the digital age can be challenging – IoT is the new wave that allows businesses to steer ahead of their competitors by effectively connecting to their customers and being more responsive to their individual needs.

We’re all witnessing businesses transform themselves faster than we can say ‘Joe Black’– chime in if you have seen similar examples of dynamic customer experience, enhanced customer loyalty or new business models through IoT. Would be interesting to gather anecdotes! #IOT

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