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Psychology and marketing with the Internet of Things

A number of my previous blogs have focussed on how technology will affect the way consumers are marketed to in future, in both positive terms and negative terms.

Well this week the Internet Advertising Bureau held its Mobile Engage conference and their resident psychologist, Dr Simon Hampton, delivered a speech about how brands need to consider the psychological impact on consumers of the Internet of Things.

It’s nice to have some kind of validation to my rants from an expert, I must say!

So, this got me thinking (yet again) about where we are heading with marketing technology. Not too long ago there was a lot of media coverage about Samsung smart TVs being able to eavesdrop on conversations going on around them. This kind of information could indeed be gold dust to marketing agencies. Admittedly they wouldn’t want to have teams of researchers listening to hours upon hours of irrelevant household conversation, but there will no doubt be software available in the near future (if it isn’t already) that can decipher all the key words and consolidate your hours of conversation into a compact, personalised marketing strategy. Not to mention they would also be building up demographic profiles of the entire household just through viewing habits. Match the viewing habits with the conversations and any big data company would be rubbing their hands together with glee, forming ever more detailed profiles of the consumer.

Then couple this with the fact that, as time goes on, the Internet of Things will gradually be connecting EVERY product in your home. While you’re asleep at night all the devices will no doubt have a sales conference together, plotting strategies about how they can influence your buying decisions and ensuring your hard earned cash is flowing in the right direction for their marketing overlords.

But the wiliest of marketers will be focussing on developing wearable tech – for example, connecting your footwear to the Internet of Things.  As soon as you put on your shoes, they will force you to march down to your nearest retail outlet and then your watch will deliver electric shocks to your wrist until you pick up whichever brand the devices at their secret conference (that happened while you were sleeping, remember?) decided that you need . Then your IoT enabled wallet will debit your contactless card (or the equivalent in BitCoins) whilst you tell yourself “well I must need this, because the marketers now know me better than I know myself .”

Resistance is futile! We are just one step away from The Matrix! But at least you’ll never have to make a shopping list ever again.

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