In 2015, 25 billion devices will be connected to the Internet, predicts the networking giant Cisco. And it’s not just smartphones. Everything from our coffee makers to carbon monoxide detectors could be controlled with the swipe of a mobile app.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a game changer for consumer products—and for the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that make them. For their part, consumers will love the convenience, as long as products are easy to use and bring tangible benefits to users. But for OEMs, the data captured from connected devices will revolutionize the way business is done. Data can empower better relationships with customers, reveal opportunities to cross-sell, and help OEMs understand how products are actually being used.
Sounds great, right? Not so fast. Before attempting to collect consumer data from IoT-enabled devices, OEMs should first ask three critical questions.
- How will you convince customers to share?
Sure, capturing usage data sounds exciting … to OEMs. But how will your customers feel? After all, their habits—like what time they take their first cup of coffee in the morning—might feel very private.
When it comes to wearables (think “smart” watches), four in five consumers say they’re concerned about privacy, according to a survey conducted by Acquity Group, a marketing agency owned by Accenture. Another study from security vendor Fortinet revealed that if connected, in-home devices were secretly collecting information and sharing it with third parties, 62% of consumers would feel angry, even violated.
However, about 40% of consumers are willing to share personal data captured by connected devices—as long as they’re getting a coupon or discounts in return. Compare that to a mere 9% who would share without incentives. So, which kickbacks are they looking for? Think location-based offers for frequently purchased foods or recipe ideas.
For example, Char-Broil and SABER will soon add smart grills to their lineups using DADO Labs’ IoT platform. The gas grill and smoker makers could use data about the frequency of outdoor cooking to trigger coupons from nearby grocery stores. The information could also tell them which customers are more likely to need accessories or upgrade to a newer model a few years down the road.
- Who will control your data?
As strange as it sounds, just because an OEM makes a product doesn’t mean it controls the data it collects. That’s because most OEMs need to work with an IoT platform vendor to produce a fully connected device. Everything from the product’s circuit board to the mobile app comes from this vendor—and some of them call dibs on the data.
DADO is the only IoT platform that lets legacy brands control their own data. That means no surprises for OEMs once they need to access those valuable details. Which brings us to …
- What will you do with all that information?
So you’ve launched a smart product, and you’ve made customers feel good about sharing their data with you. Now what?
Some OEMs may not have the capabilities to manage the large amounts of data they collect. If this is the case, a dashboard can make analyzing information easier. OEMs that use the DADO Platform get a basic analytics and visualization package as part of their platform as a service (PaaS) subscription. By making insights about how customers are using their connected devices, OEMs can improve targeted offers or product design.
OEMs that are just starting to think about connected devices have many options in IoT platform vendors. DADO Labs offers a single-source OEM integration platform that includes hardware, software, and mobile solutions. Best of all? It makes customer data easy to collect, while offering a great user experience. To learn more, visit DADO Labs.