Opinion: Internet of behaviours
Who run the world? No matter what the songs say, the answer’s actually technology, says the author
Sep 02, 2021 05:38:00 AM | Article | Mihir Joshi
Technology has changed our way of life in innumerable ways. With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), the world has become more connected with a simple swipe on a device. According to Statistica, there were approximately 250 million IoT connected devices in India by 2019. This number was expected to reach over two billion by the end 2021.
With these many devices comes the possibility of collecting vast amounts of consumer data. Every link clicked, every carousel post swiped, every web page opened by a person leaves behind something called ‘Digital Dust’. This dust is basically the remnants of your online activity.
This dust can be used for a number of uses, including modes of determining consumer behaviour.
This is an extremely important element in marketing, as the foundation of marketing and advertising is based in analysing behavioural science.What was once an activity restricted to physical surveys and in-person focus groups is now a vast, largely automated ecosystem of analytical processes that track, gather and attempt to interpret the huge amounts of data we generate through our activity on and with the internet.
Now that Google has announced that collecting third party cookies will become obsolete by 2022, we have to find new ways to continue gleaning information about our consumers. This is where the Internet of Behaviours (IoB) comes into play.
What is IoB
IoT is the base for IoB. The Internet of Things is a grid of interconnected devices that gather and exchange information and data over the internet. IoB on the other hand, takes this data, makes sense of it and attaches the data to coincide with specific human behaviours such as purchasing, or following a brand online.
You can think of the Internet of Behaviour as a combination of technology, data analytics and behavioral science. It uses devices capable of carrying out functions like location tracking, facial recognition and more, which can help provide a guide to mapping customer behaviour.
An easier way to understand the relationship between IoT and IoB is to imagine a pyramid. IoT forms the base of this pyramid, as it is the technology connecting devices and gathering data. This stored data is gradually converted into information. This stage is where IoB comes in. The Internet of Behaviour, uses this information and transforms it into knowledge about consumers. This knowledge is a treasure trove of individual behavioural quirks, which businesses can analyse and use it to:
- Gain a more holistic understanding of the consumers, and hence
- Make more effective decisions
How It helps In marketing
The Internet of behaviour technology has the potential to become the ultimate marketing and sales weapon in the hands of marketers and organizations around the world. Since this application helps in getting in-depth, personalised understanding of their target audience, the scope for improvement widens significantly.
In the last decade, analytics, tracking A/B testing and other methods are being used to design the user’s journey. But with IoB, companies won’t just be receiving insights to past performances, but will also help them get knowledge allowing them to guesstimate future consumer behaviour.
You can see this in action when using YouTube, which uses this concept to better curate our viewing experience by analysing the content we watch and creating suggestions based on this. This is also prevalent in Spotify, which uses your data to create personalized playlists that hit the mark.
Benefits Of IoB
We all know the foundation of marketing lies in analysing behavioural science. The more you know about your customer, the easier it is to design your communication and persuade them. This characteristic automatically makes IoB an immense force in bettering our methods of marketing.
Earlier industries have used A/B testing, SWOT analysis and other techniques to form their marketing strategies. And these have helped them to understand consumers to some extent. But this is a relatively time-consuming process. On the other hand, IoB will automate much of the processes and allow marketers to:
Examine customers’ purchase habits across a variety of platforms
Access important data about consumers’ interaction behaviour with devices and products
- Analyse consumers’ buying journey
- Derive real-time notifications for point-of-sales and target ads
- Identify and resolve bottleneck procedures
- Detect and resolve issues more rapidly
- Provide a more impactful user experience
Internet of behaviour is still in the infancy stage, so its scope is still unknown. But while there are so many advantages already presenting themselves with its use, there is also a flipside. The biggest issue is security. There are people that will try to steal information such as property access codes, delivery routes, bank access codes and use them for phishing. The bigger the network and the more detailed the data, the more lucrative it becomes as a target for cybercriminals.
But with our options narrowing considerably with the stoppage of third-party cookie collection, it is our job to explore every possible avenue to learn about our customers. IoB is just one such possible alternative that can help us with this. Till we find a better solution, it is advisable to learn as much as we can on safe applications of Internet of Behaviour.
(The author is co-founder, 1702 Digital)