Why it is important to communicate the Benefits of IoT to the Customer
When I was a little boy, I never got the point my grandfather made. He was so proud because he managed to get 4 flavors of apples from one tree. And he managed to engraft that tree himself. Each year we harvested 4 sorts of delicious apples. To make this even stranger to me: he could rave for hours on the beautiful strong roots of this tree.
Understanding comes later
Today, I have a more complex view when I remember those times: Strong roots are incredibly important and a skilled farmer is capable to do magic things with it! But only the farmer talks on this topic, the customer talks on taste and texture of the fruits.
In my technical environment I see quite similar situations. As long as the basic requirements are met by a solution, the cost-benefit or lifestyle arguments are the important ones. So if I plan to earn money on apples (or IoT for me) and my customers are not the other farmers (developers) but real consumers, I need to change my positioning.
IoT Today: What’s said and what’s meant
Some days ago I got hold to a really great IoT project. What I heart was that by use of laser counters and DSP sound processing it’s possible to count and differentiate insects (flies). This “fly-counting” is aggregated on a country wide scale. At that point of time I finished reading around 10 pages on laser, infrared discriminators, DSP, GPRS (2G) connection and cloud storage. I already decided to stop reading (because I knew enough on counting houseflies) when I luckily managed to read one more page. And there it was: The benefit! The project was all about how to reduce the mortality caused by Dengue-fever. This disease kills at least 25000 people annually and more than 250 million are suffering each year. Even I was not interested in “housefly counting” I will do my best to support this project. This is what inspires people!
Future of IoT: Focus the Customer Benefits
For me the crucial point is a change in mindset. Means: The benefit for the customer and not for the supplier needs to be communicated. Consider eCall (emergency call in your car). There are so many injured people dying after a car crash because they could not call for help anymore. Many of these victims would have survived if help had arrived in time. Any car driver could easily understand this. And this is how the benefit needs to be communicated for all IoT applications!
Long time ago I learned an important rule: Always ask yourself “So what…?” before you communicate something. My interpretation is: If you cannot explain something in a few words to your wife/son/daughter it will fail on the market. Some might claim that this is not true in B2B markets, but in the end there are also “customers” not “businesses” using your product. And our focus is to improve customers lives!
Which IoT-application (not technology) would improve your live?