So this week, Silicon Valley is all abuzz with the IoT World event happening over at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Informa is touting at least 10,000 visitors. With a party that big, you’d think there would be ripple effects throughout the universe. Turns out not so much…
Given how big the event was last year, what gives? Isn’t IoT going to be a huge market with over 50 billion endpoints in just a few years?!?! Probably, in fact our analysis shows that the number of deployments and POC’s taking place is accelerating over the past few months, sure signs of coming growth.
Question is, who is shopping? And what are they shopping for? Remember past B2B tech gold rushes? There is a big difference between how they were labeled compared to the Internet of Things. Think about Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Marketing Automation or Customer Relationship Management (CRM). These are all named based on what they do for the customer, what need they satisfy. Use Hubspot to automate your marketing. Use SAP to provide better visibility of your resources and how they are being used. Subscribe to Salesforce to better manage those folks on the front lines of your customer relationships.
IoT doesn’t do that. It names a solution, not a need. It describes an architecture, a method, a platform, a pile of lego bricks waiting to be shaped by the creative genius of your organization. It does not speak in the language of the customers but in the language of the vendors. Prior incarnations fell into the same trap, Machine to Machine (M2M) describes the how, not the why. This labeling makes it even more difficult for customers looking for solutions to their needs to even see IoT as part of what could make them heroes in their organizations.
Imagine if you named Marketing Automation for it’s solution instead of it’s need. Hubspot would be a “multi-user collaborative SaaS application with predefined workflows in support of Marketing and Sales.” Salesforce would be sold as “distributed web application requiring no IT support designed as a database application that captures and reports on activities by sales teams.” Small wonder IoT has not caught on as fast we expect. It’s an issue of story telling and the power of names. CRM, ERP, and Marketing Automation were all industry names with the power to persuade, in the language of the customer’s needs, not the vendor’s solutions. The Internet of Things needs to shift into that same language to help vendors and buyers alike achieve the potential of these solutions, while calling it by a name that represents what the buyers need.
If you’d like to get access to the same tools we use to fuel our analysis of the IoT market narrative, you can find out more here. With over a million IoT tweets a month, the only way to stay on top of it all is using our platform to ensure your team is moving the market narrative in the direction of growth and influence.