If you’ve heard the term “Internet of Things” (IoT), it might have been related to controlling your home’s heat while you’re away or dimming your bedroom lights with a smartphone. IoT refers to inter-connectivity between the internet and everyday devices, so these are certainly two examples. Yet with $772.5 billion projected to be spent worldwide on the IoT in 2018 and 31 billion devices projected to be connected in 2020, they’re just the beginning. And this hugely growing trend has the potential to drastically impact consumers and businesses.
The IoT’s Impact on Consumers
New developments in IoT technology promise to add convenience, efficiency, and automation to many aspects of consumers’ lives including what we wear, how we interact with our homes, how we shop, how we work, how we get from place to place, and how we experience travel. What if your shirt could adjust to your body heat? What if grocery stores could completely eliminate checkout lines? What if your hotel room could lead you through a morning yoga routine on a full-length mirror? These are just some of the questions leading-edge companies are asking and, using the IoT, developers are bringing solutions to fruition.
The IoT’s Impact on Business
The IoT is also having a drastic impact on businesses in every major industry by providing constant access to a huge amount of data and allowing for even greater automation of tasks. In the healthcare realm, for example, the rise of wearables and remote monitoring is starting to help patients become more involved in managing their health and is allowing for more collaborative doctor-patient relationships. In financial services, the wealth of data from IoT-connected sensors and devices has the potential to disrupt everything from retail banking and to digital payments to consumer lending, investments, and wealth management—not to mention the revolutionary potential of the intersection of blockchain and IoT.
The Internet of Things is seeping more and more into human life every day, impacting how we experience life at home, work, and everywhere in between. How can you harness the IoT in your daily life to benefit from its key advantages: convenience, efficiency, and automation? And how can your industry and your company leverage what the IoT offers to businesses: a constant stream of data and automation of tasks?
Learn more about how the IoT is impacting consumers, healthcare, and the financial industry by downloadingthe full report.
In conversations with our clients, we hear a lot of similar pain points about marketing to B2B audiences. “Our target is extremely busy.” “Decision makers are hard to reach.” Attention lies at the heart of the challenge. How can you capture the eyes and ears of B2B buyers? Think about it as a one-two punch. First, take cues from existing buyer behavior. Second, embrace the fact that bold, breakthrough creative may be required to drive awareness and consideration.
Meet buyers where they are. How do buyers want to interact? In person? Online?
For search and discovery, buyers prefer to interact online. According to Demand Gen’s 2017 Buyer’s Survey Report1, 61% of B2B buyers initiate their research with a broad web search. Boston Consulting Group (BCG)2 research adds that “[m]ore than one-third of all customers expect the supplier’s website to be the most helpful channel.”
Only after a prospect has completed the original search and discovery phase do personalized interactions become relevant; at this point, the prospect is further down the funnel and into the phase of serious consideration. According to BCG2, more than 75% of all B2B buyers say they have only limited interaction with salespeople. However, it is imperative that the sales team is able to prove their worth, as 64% of B2B buyers said the sales team’s knowledge and insights were very important when choosing a solution provider, according to Demand Gen’s 2018 Buyer’s Survey Report.3
So, invest time in your digital experience to ensure it’s a great resource for users at the top of the funnel. The content and design should clearly and simply communicate what your company offers and why it’s better than the competition. MailChimp, for example, does an excellent job of sharing their capabilities in a simple and straightforward manner.
A little creativity goes a long way.
Once you’ve developed informative digital content, aim to engage buyers in new and creative ways to break through the clutter. Creativity can be inserted throughout your strategy, whether it be through using a tactic that’s new to the industry, catching attention through creative design elements or creating unique experiences.
For example, Rayner, a British intraocular lens manufacturing company, launched a new device called RayOne in 2016. Along with the product came an eye-opening (pun intended) B2B campaign. The campaign, titled “Not everyone can do this,” featured a contortionist, whose bendy body brought the product to life. The contortionist was featured at one of the company’s key events and drew in hundreds of surgeons. In fact, so many requested product demos that CEO Tim Clover had to step in and assist as the interested surgeons far outweighed the Rayner staff4,5.
In an era when information is on overload and prospects have the world at their fingertips, it is important for marketers to make an impact during the search and discover phase. Engage in a way that your prospect will appreciate, make the smart tactical moves to capture their attention, and then wow ’em with your creative thinking. From there, it’s time to pass the reins to your sales team and allow them to seal the deal!
You’ve probably heard the term “writer’s block.” Well, we can assure you that that feeling of getting stuck isn’t limited to those of us tossing around nouns and verbs all day. From our researchers and strategists to our accounting team and designers, we’ve all found ourselves staring at a blank sheet of paper or flashing cursor. So what’s the solution?
Inspired by our new Insight on Rapid Prototyping, we asked our fellow Fusion Hill-ers what they do to get unstuck. Here’s some of what we heard:
Change locations – By far our most popular solution, going to a coffee shop, outside, home or even another part of the building for five minutes, gives us the reset we need. Emily Sauer – a director of creative and strategy – notes, “The newness of my surroundings helps ‘restart’ the way I was thinking about the problem I was trying to solve.”
Pick up some inspiration – Reading a favorite magazine, scrolling through Pinterest or walking around a museum – an idea from senior designer Sara Rubinett – can provide just the inspiration we need. Designer Erin Stahel refers to this as “switching out of creating mode and going into ‘soaking’ mode.” Sarah Nelson, a strategy intern, shared the idea of an inspiration walk.
Make a list – Adding more things to your to-do list might seem like the last thing you want when you’re feeling stuck, but Danielle Bender – a senior research strategist – finds it’s exactly what her brain needs. “I start a list of the other stuff I need to do and try to get a few of those things done and actually feel productive. Then I can come back feeling fresh and accomplished and maybe even have some ideas from my time away.”
Make some noise – Listening to music, a podcast or the Headspace meditation app are all great ways our team resets. Jessica Helvey – a director of creative and strategy – says, “I listen to my favorite ‘magic’ song that fixes everything and makes me super creative!” Just what is that favorite song? We’re curious too.
In our quest for ways to get unstuck, we heard praise for funny memes, hot showers and even roller-coaster rides at the Mall of America. But one thing was clear: While it can be tough to take a break when we’re facing a deadline, stepping away for a bit makes us a whole lot more productive and creative in the long run.
What are your favorite ways to reboot? We’d love to continue the conversation. Visit our Insight Library to download the full report.
Think about the last time you flipped through a magazine, saw an ad for a gym or visited your favorite retailer’s website. Did you see anyone who looked like you? And did you see various races, genders, ages, religions and even disease states represented as well? If you answered yes to the second question, the brands you’re engaging with deserve a high five for their representation efforts.
The concept of representation refers to speaking or acting on behalf of someone – typically those who don’t have a voice, vote or means for being seen by those making decisions that impact them. And when it comes to marketing, the imagery we choose is an important first step.
Little choice, big applause
Slack – a project management and communication platform – recently made a seemingly little decision that got a great deal of positive attention: It chose a dark-brown-hand illustration for its “Add to Slack” button. Kaya Thomas summed up why it matters in a tweet: “It may seem like a small thing but when you see graphics over and over excluding your skin color, it matters.”1
Emojis continue to evolve
A few years ago, emojis moved from the standard yellow to including different skin tone options, and later additions included variations such as red hair. In a review of 1 billion tweets, researchers at the University of Edinburgh found that use of skin tones has been largely positive. Dr. Walid Madgy noted, “The introduction of skin tone choices for emojis has been a success in representing diversity and their extensive use shows that they meet a real demand from users.”2 Recently Apple submitted a proposal for 13 new emojis that would represent people with disabilities. The new designs include a prosthetic arm and leg, hearing aids, people using sign language, and a wheelchair.3
Marketing takes note
Cannes Lions – a major festival and awards for the creative and marketing communications, entertainment, design and tech industries – took on the topic of representation by announcing the Glass Lion: The Lion for Change award, which recognizes work that challenges gender bias and stereotypical images in marketing. The award was launched with the support of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In organization,4 and in 2017 the “Fearless Girl” statue installed on Wall Street received the top accolade.5
So how can we be mindful of representation in our own work? In our latest Insight, we explore how next-gen is leading the way with a look at apps, social media and mental health companies. Check it out and, as always, contact us anytime. We’d love to continue the conversation.
If you’ve headed out for a round of golf lately, you may have noticed the gender gap on the greens. Men are far more likely to pick up – and stick with – the sport. Golf app 18Birdies asked Fusion Hill to explore the journey of female golfers through ethnographic research, with the goal of figuring out how to attract and retain them.
Through one-on-one in-home interviews, group interviews at Top Golf, and time spent with golfers on the course, we identified the primary motivators and barriers for women. This research serves as the groundwork for a recently announced partnership between 18Birdies and the LPGA whose aim is to promote women’s golf. Fusion Hill also designed an infographic that details the results and recommendations from the research.
The partnership and research have been featured in Forbes, in GolfWRX, and via various social media platforms across the golf world.
Want to explore a gender gap in your industry? Give us a call to start the conversation.