Every new technology is a complete surprise. Immediately after launching, people realise that they could not even imagine about it before. The Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Blockchain are among the latest technologies that organisations can use to boost sales and marketing.
IoT is a technological wave that will revolutionise everything that human beings do. The change will be so gigantic to the extent that its impact on the face of technology as we know it today will turn out to either be ugly of beautiful.IoT is a system that links several devices that can use wireless communication technology connected to objects, locations, or people or to the internet. This allows a direct and seamless sharing of data. It will also have an impact on the way the traffic, weather, pollution, the way of monitoring the environment, and the way of gathering data. IoT comes in various forms such as Nike Fuelband, Google Glass, Fitbit, and iWatch from Apple. Soon it will bring smart refrigerators, environmental alerts, and wearable technology.
The dictionary definition of AI is “the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision making, and translation between languages.” It is an area of computer science that creates intelligent machines.
Blockchain is a decentralized database system with ledgers that store transaction data and that distribute across many nodes. Blockchain has also been described as “an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”It is possibly not easy for many people to figure out what blockchain really is, but with time, it will become familiar through its uses, such as marketing, payments, identity verification, among others.
How IoT helps in sales and marketing
IoT has special application in sales and marketing. Some of the ways in which it helps sales and marketing are as follows:
1.Easy exchange of sales data
Businesses need information about how, where, and why people buy and consume their products. This enables marketers to tune their marketing efforts towards a specific consumer group. The smart devices underIoT can collect the data and distribute it to all the stakeholders in real time without the need for any professional effort. The same system provides customer feedback immediately. Marketing managers would be able to identify non-performing products early enough for them to take appropriate action either to salvage it or to drop it altogether.
2.Smarter Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
When a good CRM tool complements IoT, it will be able to provide services beyond simple data collection and organization. It would go on to analyze the data in an efficient and accurate way, and it would proceed to make relevant recommendations.
IoT can streamline the challenges associated with buyers’ long chains of command and delayed buying decisions. It would pin point where a buying prospect is thus helping a marketer to provide specific information that would resolve any issues and to finally clinch a deal.
3.Devices deal with their own problems
One of the special aspects of smart-enabled devices is their ability to diagnose and maintain themselves regularly. IoT helps them to do this faster than before. With the IoT technology, there is no more worry about device down-time because the devices can police their own functions and in case of any problem, it reports to the technical support for necessary action. In case the problem is beyond repair, the IoT device can order its own replacement.
IoT devices also understand that most users have unfounded fears about upgrades and that some of them are just lazy. So, instead of subjecting the devices to unnecessary security vulnerabilities, it quickly takes up the responsibility of searching, downloading, and installing new upgrades purely on their own.
4.Leveraging social media
Earlier on, not many marketers thought that social media has very good prospects for marketing. Nowadays, most of them appreciate the power of social media in increasing traffic to a website. Investing your marketing efforts on social media can bring about miraculous results.IoT already leverages the social media. It allows the devices to generate automated posts and shares on a regular basis. This leads to the development of online communities that depend on users of certain devices.
If marketers can foresee the development of the online communities on social media, then they would be able to focus their marketing efforts to them. Consequently, they are able to find potential customers that were not available before. Therefore, with social media, IoT devices enable marketers to explore emerging markets.
5.There are prospects of 100% Click Through Rate (CRT)
Both marketers and consumers should expect advertising to get a new face. One that is smarter and more relevant to the target market. Devices are increasingly getting network connectivity and are therefore becoming IoT compliant. This implies that the era of interruptive mass targeting advertising is coming to an end.In its place, IoT will usher in advertising that is more relevant and that aligns 100% with the interests, behaviours, and the purchase history of consumers.
How AI helps in sales and marketing
Businesses usually have sales and marketing as one function, but with different responsibilities. Whereas marketing has the responsibility of generating customer leads, sales then proceeds to close the leads. In the event that the business is not performing as expected, the sales and marketing teams often engage in a blame game. AI has brought about chat and email tools that improve their understanding of the target market. The following is a sample of some of the specific ways in which AI helps the sales and marketing teams to deliver better on their respective responsibilities, thus enhancing their productivity.
1.It improves the way marketing teams learn about their leads
AI now empowers the teams with knowledge about their potential customers more than it did before. For instance, the teams can now get an insight of the identity of their website visitors and they can easily judge whether they were fit for their products. The AI technology is also capable of highlighting the new uses of a product and even product problems, if any.
2.It can assist sales teams to convert more leads
Nowadays, sales teams can distinguish between website visitors who are to purchase their products from those who are not, thanks to the intelligent LeadBot in Rapid miner. The use of this intelligent qualification process helps the sales team close the leads generated by their marketing counterparts. This makes both teams happy.
3.It provides the much needed help at all times
Helping is key to sales and marketing. People need help on the way products can satisfy their needs. So they need someone who can answer their questions at the time of need. The sales and marketing staff cannot afford to offer 24/7 customer service that effectively answers customer questions and respond to leads. AI provides an “intelligent assistant” that can answer questions within the shortest time possible and at all times of the day throughout the week.
How Blockchain help in sales and marketing
Apart from the common application of Blockchain in Finance and Cryptocurrency, a variety of other functions such as sales and marketing have an equal chance of benefiting from the technology. Here are some of the ways in which marketers can expect to use blockchain.
- It verifies the delivery of an advertisement to the target person. Promotion contractors can confirm that the advertisement got the eye of a real person and this proves the fulfilment of their contractual obligation.
- It can verify the way target persons engage with an advertisement or the performance of any advertisements delivered to the target individuals.BitTeaser is an ad network that aids marketers to accomplish this.
- It can prevent advertisements from being over served to the targeted individuals, and thus ensure optimal frequency.
- The technology can facilitate the payment of publishers, tech companies, agencies, contractors, and other stakeholders who require compensation for the creation, delivery, performance of advertisements, or other services offered.
- Consumers whose indirect data such as behavioural and psychographic data can receive pay by the help of the blockchain technology.
- Consumers who provide direct data such as personally identifiable information, interests, and purchase plans can also be rewarded by use the technology.
- It promotes transparency in the manner in which an advertiser uses consumer data.
- It gives consumers an insight into how marketers are using their data in aggregate.
- It helps when paying consumers for the use of their already created content such as photos or videos of a brand.
- It assists in rewarding consumers for their contribution of new content to an advertiser’s campaign.
The combination of IoT, AI, and Blockchain results in something that is more than the internet. These are the concepts that have remained permanent in the management agenda and they may remain so for a long time into the future. The concepts ignite excitement and they seem to have endless promises for business. Sales and marketing have been among the first to benefit from these promises.