The Internet of things (IoT), is the connecting of any electronic device to the Internet. We have smart homes where one can control just about everything electronic in the home from a mobile, computer, or tablet.
The collection of usage and behavioral data by these IoT devices to give insights to users’ behaviors, interests, and preferences. This is referred to as the Internet of Behaviors. This can reveal broader consumer behavior patterns as well specific consumer targeting.
Mining the data is not a new concept. Since the onset of the Internet, data has been essential in identifying who uses the Internet and what sites they visit. IoT simply gives much more data to collect and analyse. More data from more places will provide more insight into how users behave, and that data will be more accessible to marketers.
Marketers need to
- Stay atop of new behavioral insights
- Think about how it could redefine the value chain
- Know the data they have and how to use it to get an advantage
- Understand privacy & cyber security implications
Internet of Behaviors
Gote Nyman, retired Psychology Professor at the University of Helsinki in 2012, developed the concept that behavior can be data mined. Data mining systems are already answering the question “what is happening to the world” and making tons of money doing so.
Nyman believes that being able to see intentions of the human background to know what is about to happen in the connected world is doable.
Nyman believes the Internet-of-Behaviors (IB) is technically easy to do but very complicated psychologically. Statistical studies abound that map everyday habits and behaviors but fall short of fully revealing meanings and contexts of individual life.
Nyman thinks there are numerous possibilities for using IB in business, personal finance, the workplace, and so on.
Stephen Wolfram, a British physicist created WolframAlpha, a “computational knowledge engine.” Wolfram has been recording his own personal data for over three decades.
The data he has collected about himself includes hundreds of thousands of emails, thousands of documents, and every computer keystroke for 10 years.
Wolfram’s software can, in under a minute, generate a detailed account of a person’s activity on Facebook. Where one’s friends live, how many are married, time zone, and even what sign of the zodiac people were born under.
Wolfram believes that people or companies can get better through the personal analytics data collected.
Cyber Security and the Internet of Behavior
But beware the dark side – this behavior data can allow cybercriminals access to sensitive data that reveals consumer behavior patterns. Cybercriminals can collect and sell to other criminals hacked property access codes, delivery routes, even bank access codes, the potential is endless. However, more likely they can take ‘Phishing’ to a new level by being able to better impersonate individuals for the sake of fraud or other nefarious purposes.
The rapidly expanding network of IoT devices means that new cybersecurity protocols are in development and that businesses need to be ever more vigilant and proactive.
Impact for Marketers
- A lot of new data and analysis will be available (growing due to IoT) – make sure that you are aware of any consumer behaviors or trends so you can stay ahead of the curve.
- Data can be used to evolve or disrupt value chains – Uber is an obvious example. Essentially, they use IoT data about drivers, traveler locations and preferences to reimagine the end-user experience.
- You should consider what data you have access to and how to analyse it – many firms are looking at AI solutions to assist in data mining and finding insights.
- Be aware of your own data security
- if you have access to data and personal information be fully aware of Australian Notifiable Data Breaches regulation
- Make sure you have adequate cyber security protections and they are reviewed regularly
- Train your team – the most comment breach is people
Antonio Regalado. 2013 Stephen Wolfram on Personal Analytics. MIT Technology Review
Gote Nyman: (GotePoem) Blog. 2012 The psychology behind the Internet of Behaviors (IB)
Evans, Nicholas D., 2014. The IoT Meets The Internet Of Behaviors. CIO United States