Tech in Unexpected Places

May 17th, 2017

The IoT can help you market to any industry. 

The robots are coming. Scratch that; they’re already here. (Insert Terminator reference here.)

Even in an industry as tradition-bound as construction, IoT has made a place for itself – not as a trendy gadget, but in a true money-saving, quality-enhancing role. GPS-guided earthmoving equipment? Check. Robotic remote-controlled jackhammers and concrete saws? Double-check.

RFID-inventory on the jobsite automatically reorders when supply gets low (and alerts you when it walks off the lot), and remotely monitored pumps tell you ahead of time when they need service, eliminating unexpected delays and costly downtime. Heck, IoT can even eliminate one of my personal pet peeves: time logs. If workers’ equipment is appropriately rigged, whether it’s drills, vehicles or wearable technology, hours can be logged automatically. Limits can be monitored, preventing fatigue and reducing accidents. Big brother isn’t just watching; he’s doing your timesheets for you.

Drones, robots, remote monitoring, embedded technology in the most basic of hand tools – what does all of this have to do with marketing and advertising?

What if when a power tool needed maintenance, a promotional offer for an on-site repair service was also sent? Or when inventory was low, the purchasing agent was sent an ad to consider an alternate brand? Or when a worker was due for a break, the taco truck sent an IM that it was on its way?

A few years ago, I had a client at a major international power tool company. He adamantly stated “Contractors aren’t using mobile. They’re not on social media. You can’t reach them digitally.” That same week, I brought a stack of industry trade magazines to my two neighbors, a mason and a commercial electrician. I asked them which of the publications they read. “None,” was the answer. “I either look stuff up on my phone, or I use the laptop in my truck.”

So what if the technology isn’t quite there today. Do you want to get in early and build your presence? Or do you want to play catch up after your competition has established the leadership position?

Either way, the IoT is coming to even the most conservative of industries.

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