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The internet of things (IoT) is expected to become a thing in 2015, and marketers are focusing heavily on the inevitable connected future.
In a December 2014 study by Millward Brown for Kentico Software, the IoT ranked as the second most important priority area in 2015 among US digital marketers polled, cited by nearly six in 10. Big data and cloud software, both related to the IoT, were also among the top five priorities, at 54% and 49% of respondents, respectively.
The IoT has a place in many marketing strategies, too, based on December 2014 research by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Among CEOs worldwide, 65% cited the IoT as a digital technology that was strategically important.
Marketers’ focus on the IoT will only get more intense. Looking further out, November 2014 research by the Economist Intelligence Unit found that CMOs and senior marketing executives worldwide believed the IoT would have the biggest effect on marketers by 2020, beating hot-right-now real-time mobile personalization by 1 percentage point. Wearables and virtual/augmented reality were less popular, but given their part in the IoT, their effects will likely be tied into the space as a whole.
Estimates released by Gartner in November 2014 put the potential of the IoT into perspective. The research firm forecast that the installed base of IoT devices worldwide would rise from 4.88 billion to nearly 25.01 billion between 2015 and 2020. Gartner defines the IoT as “the network of dedicated physical objects (things) that contain embedded technology to sense or interact with their internal state or external environment. The IoT comprises an ecosystem that includes things, communication, applications and data analysis.”
Indeed, the IoT boom is coming, and marketers who haven’t jumped on board better do so quickly—or risk being left in the dust by their prepared peers.
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