Consumer electronics have historically been independent devices resolving isolated challenges. Just think about what an epic leap the TV remote was for watching TV. This single invention advanced humankind – for the first time in our existence providing us the ability to numb our minds and “channel surf”, how great is that?

The Connected Consumer Device

connected_366791Technology continues to change and impact our lives at an increasing pace. With the introduction and adoption of “Connected Consumer Devices”, we are once again eclipsing a new horizon. According to Mind Commerce, a Connected Consumer Device is defined as “any device in physical and/or software form that is used by a consumer for various purposes including entertainment, news, information, and general lifestyle enhancement” and in a recent market forecast they indicate that the global market for these devices will reach $88 billion by 2020. A recent article in Techvibes even touts that, “there are more than 7.4 billion objects currently connected to the Internet – that’s more than the total number of people in the world.” There is no denying the exponential trajectory of the Connected Consumer Device and the accompanying expansive marketplace.

With the introduction and adoption of “Connected Consumer Devices”, we are once again eclipsing a new horizon, providing endless opportunities for genuine consumer input.

Because of this prolific explosion, this is a very exciting time for consumers and marketers alike. As we achieve broader acceptance of machine-to-machine communications and the Internet of Things, the market is flooding with devices and applications for every conceivable scenario and use.

So how do marketers keep up? And should we even care?

fingerprint-apple-touchidLike a lot of things I think the most realistic answer is that it depends. In our practice we speak to clients regularly about the convergence of consumer segments. It’s becoming less and less about the traditional demo specific traits like gender, age or ethnicity and more about targeting psychographic behaviors, states of mind, etc. People’s relationships with their phones and other connected devices are very personal, so we just need to accept that mass advertising simply won’t work here (not that it ever really did…). Besides, if we want to appeal to consumers we have to authentically make it about them, not the channel they use or their devices.

If we want to appeal to consumers we have to authentically make it about them, not the channel they use or their devices.

At CULT we have a saying “brands today need to stop buying impressions and start making them.” Marketers have a real knack for overcomplicating things – so as a basic rule there is no benefit to leveraging technology for the sake of the technology. Beyond the bells and whistles lies a fundamental opportunity for storytelling. The advancements we make on a technological-human continuum are all critically dependent on humans – so invest in people. What is your brand doing to inspire people? Start there. If you need a hand, CULT can help. Give me a call.

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