The Future Series: Smart devices give companies direct access to customers

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In this week’s article, we’re taking a look at smart devices and how they may impact your business’s marketing and branding practices. If you want to smarten up and figure out how to make smart devices work for you, read on to discover more!

With Google Home, Alexa and their counterparts creating intelligent homes everywhere, we figured it was time to have the smart conversation. Are you and your business truly prepared to access your clients on a whole new level? From technologically intelligent shoes to chandeliers, the future will undoubtedly include more technology than ever before. However, if you’re not a tech company, it’s easy to think that the smart device industry doesn’t have much to do with your business. But did you know that the Australian smart home device market grew 55 per cent in 2017? With stats like that, ignoring this trend will risk you getting left behind.


With home devices becoming more prevalent, it’s time to realise that tomorrow is already here. From making your coffee to turning on your house’s heating before you get home, these smart speakers with intelligent assistants can act as a central hub for all your smart devices. Plus, you can easily google something by yelling at a device from across the room – bonus!

On the topic of bellowing at our devices, it’s important to remember that most people won’t be typing their Google searches in the near future. With over 1 billion voice searches per month, it’s time you upgraded your Google AdWords to reflect this. For example, while you may type ‘public relations Brisbane’ when searching by hand, when you’re speaking you’re more likely to phrase the question as “OK Google, are there any great PR firms in Brisbane?”.

One of the key advantages of these devices is that you can listen to the news, motivational speakers, and podcasts from when you first wake up in the morning. For this reason, some brands produce regular podcasts. This is where companies can slip right into your customer’s morning routine as easily as they slip into their slippers. Free podcasting services like Soundcloud or WordPress (free with a business account) can help you get started. Then, simply link it to Google Play and Alexa Skills via your RSS feed. If you’re short on time, you can employ a service such as omnystudio or our personal favourite Anchor to do it for you automatically.

Not-so-distant future:

Technological integration is making it harder and harder to switch off. Soon enough, we’re going to see smart devices that we didn’t even know needed to be smart. For example, pens are already being upgraded with USB connectors, audio jacks and built in speakers. With this in mind, what if you could do a giveaway and offer a smart device for your customers? The value of this comes from one vitally important aspect: big data. In case you missed our article about what big data will look like in the future, go back and read it now. Essentially, if you are able to bring in more data about your customer, you will be able to access them on a whole new level.

Say you are a consulting firm wishing to sell software to architects. What if you gave them a free paper sketch pad and e-pencil to track how long they spend sketching? Suddenly, you have the opportunity to offer a personalised campaign to your customers. Notify them that they spent fifteen hours sketching this week, so it would be better value for them to ditch the paper sketch pad for a digital sketch pad that comes with your software already installed. The core of this strategy is to think about which kind of data could assist your business, and what the ideal product would be to collect that data. You never know – the technology might even already be out there!

Maybe one day:

Extending further into the future, we can only predict that smart devices will permeate our lives more and more. As customer feedback becomes easier to procure through use of apps or smart devices, we can expect that it will drive a lot of developments in the tech industry and others. Businesses should therefore take advantage of this ability to receive large amounts of feedback and aim to increase sales through increased customer satisfaction.

When all our home items go smart, it will be interesting to see how certain services become automated. The new Samsung smart fridge can already order from Woolworths for you, so perhaps in the future your toilet will order from who gives a crap, and your shower will order from the Soap Bar. You might even be at the risk of getting hacked, and suddenly you’ll have 2,000 unsolicited toilet rolls at your front door! For B2B organisations, making people’s lives easier at work will be just as important as making their lives easier at home.

When it comes to your future marketing strategy, offering genuinely helpful information will always win over customers. Between how-to guides and top tricks and tips, it might feel like you’re giving away every last one of your trade secrets for free. However, it will be worth it when your dream customer ends up Googling “how do I make sure I don’t ruin my business’s reputation?” and Google answers “by calling Cole Lawson Communications”.

Although we may not be able to predict everything that the future holds, we do know that content will be king and making customers’ lives easier will be a ‘must do’. Join us next week as we discuss Augmented Reality and its role in marketing. As always, we’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to comment or message us your ideas of what the future may have in store for your business.