As every marketer knows, online marketing is a field that moves fast, so many marketers and advertisers pay close attention to future developments. Most of these developments, such as wearable technology and big data have already begun to show their hands.

But the biggest changes have yet to come.

The Internet of Things Will Feed Big Data

Wearable technology is really just the beginning of the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things refers to the coming wave of communications technology that will interconnect virtually every mechanized device that we live with.

From cars to smartphones and from watches to homes, we’ll find ourselves surrounded by technology that can and will be used to gather and analyze data on an unprecedented scale. This data will be used to provide analytics and marketing data on both large and small scales.

A highly personalized marketing campaign, for instance, could be developed on an individual scale for individual customers. A smart refrigerator, for instance, could provide the individual customer with food recommendations, issue notifications when the milk is about to run out, or offer meal suggestions based on what ingredients are inside.

This type of data could be aggregated by the appliance company or a data company, which could then be turned over to grocery stores, food manufacturers, farmers, and so on. Advertising networks possessing this type of information could target and market based on the direct feedback and hard data provided by large demographics.

Taken on its own, a smart refrigerator may not seem like much, but add this data to other similar data-gathering mechanisms:

  • A home security system which can offer detailed information about how often people are home or even where people spend their time.
  • Utility systems that track and analyze energy usage, water usage, gas usage, and so on.
  • Other smart appliances that track and report usage data.
  • Cars and other vehicles that track and report usage data.
  • Wearable technology, smartphones, desktops, and so on.

This example could go on, but also consider that it is strictly limited to the individual home environment. There are many more types of technology that will be implemented on a large scale, from traffic monitoring to data gathering systems in shopping outlets.

Marketing: From Present to Future

Currently, big data, the Internet of Things, and even online marketing are only in their infancy. When the Internet of Things becomes a reality, we will see massive changes in the level of detail and efficiency advertisers are able to achieve.

Here are a few ways that advertising and marketing will change significantly in the coming years:

  • Big Data in Detail – Everything that can be computerized probably will be computerized. “Smart pants,” for instance, which tell you when you need to lose weight, have already been invented. And anything that is computerized will be able to gather and report data. This information will be used to develop sophisticated marketing that profiles customers psychologically, physiologically, and emotionally.
  • Personalization – The result of such detailed big data, which will undoubtedly become integrated into advertising networks and platforms, will be unprecedented levels of personalization. When wearable technology becomes more standard, its intimate, detailed information will be able to coordinate with other data troves to provide customers with exactly the right advertisements at exactly the right time.
  • Prediction – This type of marketing – which knows what you want before you do – is often called predictive marketing. If a personal assistant app such as Google Now, for instance, knows both your history of dish detergent purchases, it can offer you a sponsored product relevant to your interests right before you run out.
  • Automation – Marketing automation has already become a staple of online marketing. Algorithms optimize campaigns, optimize rates, and find the best ad space to display ads. The future of display advertising will rely on sophisticated automation tools and specialized ad networks that target specific industries.

No New Channels for Advertising Networks

From in-app ads to ad space on a website, marketers will soon be swimming in an ocean of big data that they can use to improve their campaigns.

It is likely that most advertising will be conveyed through devices, while other smart objects will serve as sensors that connect to those devices through apps. A pair of smart pants that tell you to stay away from that cheeseburger, for instance, would likely send the message through your smartphone or another device.

The same goes for smart refrigerators, security systems, and so forth. Handheld or wearable devices will likely continue serving as the mediums for advertisements, while the Internet of Things acts as the data-gathering network that fuels those advertisements.

This means that advertising networks will likely focus on a few select device types, such as smartphones, watches, and glasses, rather than fragmenting into smart objects such as refrigerators or smart shoe ads.

Then again, technology has always had a way of innovating new and unforeseen mediums. The next time you open your closet, your shirt may be flashing a display ad for the next anti-virus utility.

Keep up with changes in the marketing world so that you know what’s around the corner before it arrives.