Market researchers have the challenging assignment of looking ahead while also paying attention to the present and the past. To get a sense of how the Internet could look in 20 years, think about the immense magnitude of change since 1995. As Jonathan Swift observed, “Vision is the art of seeing things invisible to others.” A key component in this ongoing market research challenge is the ability to grasp the Internet of Things — IoT.
IoT Meaning and Big Data Analytics
For the world of market research, the Internet of Things — also known as the Internet of Everything — especially involves the evolution of how data is transferred over networks. In this article, Research Optimus explains IoT and how it is significant to market researchers.
The world of “Big Data” has daily ramifications for businesses and market researchers — big data best practices, and big data applications play an expanding role in market research surveys. The Internet of Things also plays a supporting role in these conversations because connected algorithms, sensors, and devices represented by IoT are directly operating in ways that involve massive amounts of data.
Of course, collecting data is not enough — data processing and data analysis must occur in short order. When IoT is operating as intended, the Internet of Things helps to create a seamless transition that ideally leads to businesses improving and operating more profitably.
With the evolution of market research progressing more towards digital interaction, traditional methods are becoming increasingly insufficient. Modern market researchers need to adapt and consider new methods to keep up-to-date with customers and their consumption habits. One aspect that may assist researchers in progressing in their field is the use of IoT.
Can IoT help in Collecting More Market Research Data and Customer Feedback?
Put, the answer is ‘yes.’ However, there is a multitude of factors to consider before relying solely on IoT for data collection. Market researchers need to consider whether they are asking the
right question and whether customers respond honestly and accurately. Furthermore, they need to consider whether businesses are prepared to listen to advice and act upon the results of the research.
The IoT is a rapidly expanding world of connected tools, techniques, devices, and opportunities. This provides a multitude of solutions for all research questions and budgets. For example, gathering information may be done via Voice to Voice, Smartphones to Surveys, Artificial Intelligence to Intelligent Articles, Wearables to Wi-Fi; Beacons; Bluetooth; RFID; and NFC. This list is constantly growing and could become even more accessible in the future.
For market research to be valuable to a business, it must be actionable, accurate, and affordable. A business should be clear about the data requirements and base all decision making on real-time insights, which will make business performance more transparent. The business’s activities after that will be valid, and customers will be more inclined to remain loyal. It is important, therefore, to collect usable data, and IoT customer feedback solutions are the easiest way to find said data. IoT data is more reliable, and thus, more beneficial to researchers.
IoT and the Connectivity in the Future
Current projections dictate that, by 2030, approximately 125 billion devices will be connected to the Internet, and used daily. IoT is, therefore, becoming more common in the digital world. With the adoption of 5G, IoT is becoming more accessible and usable as consumers embrace connected devices. CSG conducted a report regarding IoT and found some interesting results.
As devices are becoming more convenient, consumers are starting to wear IoT technology. From fitness trackers to Smartwatches, 45% of surveyed consumers said that they own and use a wearable device. 40% of consumers responded that their wearable device was the most important to them of all their technology. This information can help businesses to understand the market for wearable devices.
The Survey revealed that, presently, only 23% of consumers use smart home devices. However, 36% indicated that they were interested in purchasing and learning more about home devices. This data could be useful to businesses that are looking to invest in an emerging market
Although advanced technology is being brought to the lay-person market, these types of advancements can seem daunting and insurmountable. 60% of consumers indicated that, while advanced technology interested them, they were more inclined to want technology that made their lives easier. Practical application, therefore, is more important to consumers that theoretical advancements.
The Growing Demand for the IoT
There is a large potential market for the Internet of Things, with annual revenue estimated to exceed $470 Billion by 2020, according to a research firm, Bain. Furthermore, investments in the industry are expected to exceed $60 Trillion within the next 15 years.
This level of growth is to be expected, given that connected devices are becoming more popular, with the scope for invention growing rapidly.
Many consumer goods companies are eager to enter the market but are failing to consider or understand their consumers’ views and attitudes. This can be a high-risk investment. Businesses who are serious about investing in this growing industry need to figure out that novelty for the sake of novelty should be avoided, and priority should instead be placed on making the customer’s life more convenient. There are three ways in which consumer feedback can help companies to grow in the IoT market.
- Firstly, companies should only launch useful and truly smart products. Consumers tend to purchase products more consistently if they feel that they truly need them. It is advisable, therefore, to introduce products that fill a need gap or make a current needed product more useful.
A recent study conducted by Scripps Networks indicated that 75% of consumers require Smart home devices that will help to keep their families safe and comfortable, with particular emphasis placed on kitchen devices. Product teams, therefore, require real-time consumer intelligence to provide direction of innovation, which is something that IoT offers.
- Secondly, businesses should seek to improve current products. Recent studies have indicated that a large portion of consumers have started to abandon their Smart devices because they are not useful enough and because they present data security risks. It is important, therefore, to constantly consider customer feedback to improve products to customers’ changing needs. When customers are happy with their products, they are more likely to influence the market positively by word of mouth.
- Finally, businesses should drive marketing and sales messaging. A majority of consumers tend to find devices too expensive and inaccessible, and they feel as though consumer goods companies are not communication latent value to customers. It would require, therefore, a strategic marketing approach to change current perceptions about devices to reflect consumer views better.
To increase value, companies need to identify ways in which Smart devices can make consumers’ lives more convenient. Consumer feedback is an essential resource that can assist companies in changing their sales and marketing strategies, thus increasing their return on investment.
The Internet of Things is growing rapidly, but will soon stagnate if businesses fail to deliver on what consumers need and want. A more mature market is more competitive, which is why it is important to establish and develop a business in Smart devices while it is still in its infancy. By developing a close relationship with IoT consumers, a business will be able to use consumer feedback to apprehend consumer needs, leading to greater success in the future. Ultimately, success may not be determined by having the best technology, but instead by effectively combining innovative technology with ongoing assessment of the consumer.
How the Internet of Things helps in Market Research?
Having already established that IoT is important to consumers and businesses alike, the next question is: How does it help market research? To answer this question, one needs to consider the various areas in which IoT holds influence.
- Tracking Consumer Habits As previously stated, the Internet of things involves multiple interconnected devices that work through the internet. This is not limited to computers and Smartphones but has grown to include automobiles, refrigerators, and even medical devices. The collection and exchange of data are enabled by sensors, software, and electronics embedded in connected devices.
As devices become more integrated with consumers’ lives, they will be able to assess consumer habits. This data can be used, therefore, to improve consumers’ lives even further, and remove the aspect of human error from market research and innovation.
- Next Level of Customer Analysis The business world is rapidly changing to integrate technology to adapt to digitally empowered consumers. Business to business marketing strategies should recognize that older forms of consumer engagement are becoming outdated and will soon be replaced with digital data gathering. The Internet of Things is a valuable tool in tracking a product’s performance, lifespan, and consumer interaction, without the worry of consumer dishonesty or human error. Traditional surveys can only gather basic information and are often vulnerable to mistakes or misinformation.
The IoT offers advantages in terms of consumer behavior, and it will ultimately change the way products are marketed, sold, and serviced. Even more importantly, it will tell B2B marketers how to improve devices in the future.
- Predictability Will Increase Sales IoT market research can assist in perceiving and ultimately predicting consumer behavior and needs. Knowing what kind of decisions, a consumer may make will give many opportunities to preempt the market requirements, giving them a competitive edge. Contextual marketing allows businesses to provide specifically to consumer needs, rather than having to release a product and wait to establish its success. For example, a smart car will know when the tire of a vehicle needs replacing. It’s reasonable to assume that its driver will be looking to purchase a new tire.
IoT technology will consider the consumer and present them with tire specials in their immediate location, thus marketing to their specific needs.
- Reducing Environmental Impact United Parcel Service (UPS) uses big-data analytics and sensor data to lessen environmental impacts while also improving efficiency and saving money. UPS delivery vehicles have sensors that monitor engine health, number of stops, mileage, miles per gallon, and speed. As reported by UPS, these sensors are present on a fleet of 80,000 vehicles and capture more than 200 data points. Harmful emissions, fuel consumption and idling time have been reduced by these measures.
- Understanding Consumer Behavior Disney World’s MagicBand is a sensor-laden and wearable wristband that accompanies vacationers during their Disney World experience. It facilitates checking into hotel rooms, buying lunch, going through the turnstiles, and reserving a place at some attractions. As a result, Disney World collects data on visitor movement; staff rides more effectively and regulates inventory at both shops and restaurants.
Internet of Things is the Future of Market Research
It is imperative for market researchers to consider the foundations of market research, but to work towards the future. The Internet has changed immensely in the last 20 years, which indicates that its future growth is exponential. Using the data taken from IOT can assist market researchers in knowing the consumers and their habits, allowing them to deliver reports to companies that contain accurate and actionable information.
Consumers need goods that are innovative and make their lives easier. Companies who are not willing to adapt to the changing digital world increase their risk of becoming irrelevant. Market researchers, therefore, need to ensure that they are up-to-date and adaptable.
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