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- September 23, 2016 - Edition #770
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3. Mobile Marketing
of How the Internet of Things Is Already Disrupting Just About Everything
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is one of the buzziest terms at present. Many developing technologies are part of this space. The IoT is a network of physical objects (the “things”) embedded with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity. These elements enable objects to collect and exchange data without a need for human interaction. Each of these technologies relies on the IoT in a different way, providing a competitive advantage or differentiator.
One of the most well-known IoT applications is found in retail. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) uses wireless tech and electromagnetic fields to transfer data, automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects. The tags -- commonly a sticker or other label -- contain electronically stored information. This has huge benefits for retailers. Those who use RFID tags can expect approximately 99 percent inventory accuracy, a 50 percent reduction in out-of-stock events, a 70 percent reduction in shrinkage and sales increases ranging from 2 percent to 7 percent.
Here are several more examples how the Internet of Things is changing our everyday lives and disrupting industries around the globe.
An emerging branch of IoT, wearables appeared on the scene in 2015. The term includes a broad range of smart devices worn by people or even animals. Using a wearable alarm button and other discrete wireless sensors placed around the home, dedicated products can track daily routines. They also can send an alert when notable deviations are detected. For example, family members can be notified when an elderly loved one fails to turn on the usual morning kettle.
Animals can benefit, too. Lions living in southern Kenya wear collars capable of connecting to GPS and GSM systems. This allows researchers and conservationists to track their movements and better protect endangered populations.
Google Glass straddled the line between wearables and augmented reality. It's widely reputed as no longer active, but it's possibly not yet totally abandoned. Google Glass could provide retailers with flash-reporting displays that pop up as managers scan the store to compare product plans vs. actual sales. Retailers also could scan bar codes to view inventory counts and other extended product information.
This application already is starting to appear across various products from certain vendors. It holds enormous potential for not only consumer convenience but also retailer revenue. Imagine pressing a button on the wall of the laundry room whenever you run out of detergent, and a system automatically ordering a new box or bottle for home delivery from your favorite store.
Generic buttons could be configured for different products and placed strategically around the home. Connecting home automation to e-commerce sites could be the next wave of retailing. Consumable products such as ink cartridges could be capable of self-ordering replacements when current levels fall below a certain threshold. Fridge and cupboard items also could detect when supplies are low and it's time to restock.
3. Wireless sensing and tracking.
Many might think wireless tracking exists only in individual stores, but this version of the IoT also can connect chains with multiple locations. Bluetooth beacons can help track smartphones throughout the store and thus record path-to-purchase data that later could be used to enhance store layouts.
Here's where it gets really interesting. Sure, this technology can focus on shoppers as they move around the sales floor, transmitting special offers and other information. But coupled with GPS tracking, IoT tech also can sense if a customer is within a certain radius of any store in the chain. Take it a step further, and retail centers can push information that contains offers tailored to a customer's previous buying habits.
Of course, all this reach extends to the checkout registers, where shoppers can use credit cards equipped with near-field communication (NFC), Apple Pay or other alternatives.
4. Health and well-being.
Wearables are aiding the rapid trajectory of the enormous growth in this key market. Using internet-connected devices, people can monitor their exercise levels and weight. They even can review a log that details how long they spend brushing their teeth.
Analytics mine the data for patterns and provide suggestions for improvement. I'm sure it won't be long before retailers start offering to analyze this data to better diagnose and prescribe products, remedies and services that can help people attain their health goals.
5. Home automation.
Home automation has been around for a while, but it’s getting much more sophisticated -- and homeowners are more eager than ever before to adopt this IoT technology. Retailers stock “hub” products that bridge the protocols across different vendors' products. It allows users to combine everything into a single neat, controllable portal or application that functions much like a command center. Via a single smartphone app, homeowners can control their hot water, lights, closed-loop cameras, heating and cooling, ovens and much more.
A team of bee-keeping enthusiasts created downloadable, printable beehives that can be enhanced with sensors. Their aim? Solving the problem of bee-colony collapse. Internet-connected sensors now in development can log data about the causes behind bees' worldwide disappearances. This data can be used to study colony health, build hard evidence to determine the problem's causes and generate change based on informed solutions.
Farmers are implementing irrigation technology that combines smart sprinklers and a mix of data about their land's crops and soil conditions. Tapping into a variety of public weather-information sources allows them to determine how closely, deeply and frequently to plant seeds. It also helps them make informed decisions about use of spray herbicides on a given piece of farmland.
Consumer variations of this technology exist, too. Weather and soil information can help determine the perfect amount of water to dispense for plants and grass, saving as much as 90 percent on residential water bills and avoiding the very common mistake of watering right before a rain.
8. Hospitality and tourism.
Hotels and resorts use beacons that communicate in real time with customers onsite, offering up all sorts of information: resort maps, daily events, kids-club timetables, food and beverage specials and spa-treatment bookings, to name a few. Guests can make in-app payments or submit reviews and other feedback. Industry leaders use technology to enrich the guest experience and create a competitive advantage in their market.
9. A thriving, expanding industry.
With the ubiquity of connected networks, inexpensive sensors and cloud-based data-storage capabilities, technology is a key player to enable innovative disruption in nearly every industry and daily activity. Businesses with the imagination and vision to put these emerging tools to use will differentiate their organizations from competitors and reap the benefits.
Nathan volunteers for an Australian wildlife foundation, rescuing and rehabilitating injured or displaced native wildlife with the aim of releasing them back into the wild. He’s a wine buff and motorsport fanatic.
What does it really take to succeed online?
1) It takes work.
2) It takes time.
3) It takes commitment.
4) An Autoresponder, Ad Tracker, Capture Pages, personal support
4. Feature Article:
for Creating and Using a Great Event Hashtag
When creating a hashtag that will represent your brand, your community, or your event, think of it as dating: You want excitement, you want intrigue, but you also want something that will last, at least for a while. If you're looking for a one-night hashtag, you're probably not trying to build real relationships with your audience.
Just as in the dating experience, you want people to get to know who you are. To do that, you've got to stop chasing what you think your date/market will want to see, and instead switch the camera to selfie mode. Who are you? What are you all about? That may seem like a daunting exercise at first, but the exploration can be fun. Hopefully, you'll find that you're fundamentally proud of and empowered by what you're trying to share via your event hashtag.
Consider these five tips while you're active on the hashtag scene.
1. Use the hashtag as an ice-breaker
Casually throw in the hashtag to start conversion. On Twitter, for example, ask your followers a question that incorporates your hashtag. People will respond using the hashtag, because they know it will increase the visibility of their response.
As more people respond, it will spread; and, before you know it, there's an entire community surrounding your hashtag—and ultimately, your event. You can even encourage people to use the hashtag to connect with and meet other attendees at your event.
Your ultimate goal is to get people to feel comfortable using that hashtag so that it spreads.
2. Don't come on too strong
You want people to feel comfortable, so you mustn't be overbearing. People naturally shy away when they're bombarded by up-front demands.
It's awesome to be enthusiastic, but just be sure to avoid pushing your hashtag in an annoying way: "post on Twitter!"; "post on Facebook!"; "don't forget to use our awesome #hashtag!" Such requests, rather than encouraging participation, will come across as impositions.
The more you allow a hashtag to function as a natural conduit that authentically helps your audience to learn and connect, the more people will use it.
3. Steer clear of oversharing
Dating rule No. 1 (hashtag rule No. 3). In the offline and online worlds alike, less is more. People's attention spans are short. They want the gist, not the saga. Just tell people what they need to know; then, if they want to learn more, they'll ask.
That keep-it-short-and-sweet phenomenon is even more prominent on social networks, where the amount of text people can share is often limited. Use that fact to your advantage; let it guide you to a memorable phrase or word that truly represents your event.
4. Make a lasting impression
The most effective hashtags live on. A hashtag that begins as a catalyst for creating buzz around your event can naturally go on to define your brand, your community, and your future events.
As in the world of dating, it's a matter of quality: The time comes when you've got to see the stuff your hashtag is really made of in order to understand whether it can add value to your cause. That means coming up with hashtags that don't just describe something in your event... but speak to a larger, more universal attribute of your brand or community.
5. Get a (dirty-minded) friend's advice
Before you saunter out the door with your fresh new hashtag and a glimmer in your pound sign, get a quick second opinion.
On the scale of cutesy to racy, there's a nice medium. To achieve that essential balance, you'll want to ask your most immature friend (you know who we're talking about) to take a blunt scan of your hashtag to see if they can make anything awkward out of it. Why? You don't want a repeat of SNL Celebrity Jeopardy's #analbumcover. (Poker face).
* * *
The bottom line in rocking the hashtag scene: don't let those precious octothorpes go to waste! Use them to epitomize what it is that you want to share, and make sure they warm your audience up to your brand/event, not turn them off. So it's essential to craft a hashtag that piques people's interest and naturally stimulates conversation.
Be a bit mindful to not push your audience away with too many demands, overwhelming information, or inappropriate content. Be memorable, be yourself.
In the spirit of Gandhi, #BeTheHashtag you want to see in the world.
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