No more remnant inventory: how brands have to change their marketing in an IoT world

How would Don Draper deliver ads in an IoT world? Probably by making them look less like ads: That was one of the lessons of an internet of things (IoT) ad panel at Gigaom’s Structure Connect conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, where Wieden+Kennedy’s Global Director of Interactive Strategies Renny Gleeson pleaded for IoT companies not to take the broken ad models of mobile apps and bring them to IoT devices. “Please don’t let our IoT get drowned in remnant inventory,” he said.

Instead, Gleeson encouraged developers to focus on features that add value to the product, which may get power users to amp up word-of-mouth marketing. “We don’t have to advertise value. We can deliver value,” he said.

Gleeson’s remarks were echoed by Target’s VP of Product Alan Wizemann, who said that his company was looking to build a mobile marketing campaign. The resulting product was Cartwheel, a mobile coupon app that may advertise brands, but also helps consumers to save money. “It became more of a utility for our guest,” Wizemann said.

Wizemann said that Target decided against using beacon technologies for Cartwheel because of the lack of standards, but he also revealed that the company has started to test a number of next-generation location technologies in its stores, including LED beacon technology, infrared cameras and video feed analysis.

Said Wizemann: “Location technology is gonna be powerful for brands to use. How are we gonna use it? That’s still up in the air.”

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Photo by Jakub Mosur

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