Infographic of the week: The Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT, or the Internet of Things, is a hot topic right now. Earlier this month, in fact, it was revealed that the combined power of big data and IoT is projected to boost the UK economy by £322 billion by 2020.

Our infographic of the week below (courtesy of Gartner and Lucas Blake) explores the evolution of IoT and its potential to impact almost every aspect of our lives in the coming years. As the infographic states, “…the possibilities truly are endless.”

The past

Supposedly first coined in 1999 by British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton (although reports vary), IoT embodies the connectivity of physical devices, services and systems. While this interconnection is certainly more discernible in the consumer space – from smartphones controlling our house lights to thermostats using real-time data to reduce energy usage – IoT’s contribution to the B2B sector is of equal importance.

In 2014, there were 632 million IoT units attributed to cross-industry business, rising to 815 million last year. According to CSGI, 94 per cent of B2B businesses have seen ROI on their IoT investments.

In terms of business cross-industry spending, investment in IoT has understandably ridden the same wave, surging from $115 billion to $155 billion between 2014 and 2015.

The present

According to the infographic, 6.4 billion connected ‘things’ will be in use during 2016. 6.4 billion, just let that sink in. No wonder B2B marketers need to be thinking, and taking action, on how they can exploit this ludicrous number. Furthermore, this is a 30 per cent increase from 2015, which demonstrates IoT’s global rise to power.

This year, 5.5 million new 'things' will get connected every single day, with cross-industry spend estimated to total $201 billion in 2016.

The future

It will come as no surprise that the rise of IoT is set to continue at a rapid rate over the next few years. In the B2B space, spending is estimated to rise to $566 billion by 2020, with 4.5 billion units projected to be in use. In total, over 20 billion IoT units will be in action by 2020, covering health to work, and travel to entertainment.

So, what can B2B marketers learn from this? Which areas should they be looking at investing in when it comes to IoT tech? Personalised marketing is an area where IoT tech can improve the timing and delivery of marketing messages, facilitating the hyper-targeting all B2B marketers crave.

IoT also affords marketers the opportunity to access product usage data that was previously restricted to customer surveys and laborious data collection practices. Marketers will potentially have instant access to where, when and how a customer is using their product.

B2B Marketing Infographic of the Week - Internet of things IoT

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