The smartest retailers know how you shop. Amazon and Tesco know what you buy and when you buy it. They take a very educated guess what else you might be interested in and make sure those products are dangled in front of you when you might be most interested. Cyclical, hyper efficient advertising, the sort that knows what you want better than you do.

 

All that data is going to seem like chickenfeed when the next generation of smart objects begins to infiltrate our lives. Wearable technology is one thing, how about a fridge that knows when to order milk linked to a grocery store that knows what else you usually buy when you buy milk? A heating system that knows when you are susceptible to winter clothing and a favourite clothing store that gives a discount in exchange for access to that data? Or (my favourite) an intelligent robotic bartender that learns your preferences, knows how to re-stock and learns new recipes from preferred brands?

 

The perfect marketing moment is when we are able to reach the potential customer at exactly the right time, and this connectivity between our things and smart brands is what we are getting excited about. It marries the effectiveness of old school interruption marketing with the precision of digitally gleaned analytics.

 

It is no surprise that the biggest ‘ad agency’ in the world, Google, are at the forefront of this revolution having bought their way into the smart home with their $3.2 billion purchase of Nest Labs earlier this year. Nest will be able to collect vast amounts of behavioural data from its users, from thermostat usage to how hard they shut their front door when they get in from work. The genius of Nest was to point us toward the future use of this data, opening it up to third parties that will benefit the home owner and interested brands.

 

We know it will probably take a few years before the privacy/security issues are sorted, and before we start seeing things and brands really hit it off, but as excited users and advertisers we can’t wait for the interconnected future.