Say goodbye to the user manual.
When Things Can Talk
When your refrigerator speaks will anyone be there to listen? In an "Internet of things" where everything that makes our lives easier, better or cooler is online chirping their needs (real and imagined) will we listen?
Before selling my house to help the Story of Cancer Foundation I had a fancy refrigerator that needed a "filter change" about every six weeks. I can imagine that meeting. The meeting where the fridge team said, "Eureka we can create ongoing revenue from FILTERS".
I wasn't as up to speed on buying filters, as I should have been for two reasons:
* Lot of friction in the buying funnel.
* Wasn't convinced of the need.
It wasn't easy to buy those filters, but what if my fridge has a webpage with my credit card and filter frequency. Wouldn't I just say YES to a subscription that would assure I had filters just before the old one died? If the price was right why not.
And the price should be right since if I sign up for a subscription that is projected money in the bank. As part of that subscription why not charge me to update the fridge's operating system every so often. By doing an upgrade across the web my fridge gets more efficient as it sits there without me doing anything other than saying YES.
If this sounds like manufacturers are about to enter our world of Internet marketing you are correct! I've longed stated that the most important communication about any product is online. Now the most important customer satisfaction and ongoing revenue potential will come from any manufacturer's installed base.
If that sounds like a revolution in manufacturing you are also correct. Manufacturers, somewhat insulated from the web now by distributor networks, are going to need to learn social media, email marketing and web design on their own (and fast).
BTW, it isn't just, "An Internet of things," it is a MOBILE Internet of things so manufactures need to skip right over all the lessons they missed and move past GO to land on the Boardwalk of MOBILE Internet marketing.