The Internet of Things is all the rage. Forget about the Internet of Things.

Who hasn’t heard about smart devices promising new and different connections? Maybe your toaster can soon chat with your television? How about the possibility of your door lock talking to your thermostat? Imagine all your stuff interconnected and jibber-jabbering away with each other. These exciting developments look to connect as many gadgets as possible, effectively creating a network for you to control.

When you come to from the stupor about all of that “control,” realize that we’re looking at this backward.

The Internet of Things promises that smart devices will assist us to do stuff faster and with less effort. But if we get derailed talking about how cool it is that a refrigerator now keeps stock of your groceries and can order orange juice for you, we lose the bigger picture. We’re left with connection for connection’s sake.

To really put the consumer at the center of the Internet of Things, connect all of these smart devices together for a complete digital ecosphere. We then have the ability to drive tailored, relevant experiences for individuals. It’s that tailored, individual experience that allows more control. More importantly, it allows more easy control. That’s what humans need, right?

As information multiplies every second, consumers demand systems learn about them. Not the other way around. 

Capstrat embraced this insight uncovering the idea of a personal digital ecosystem while conducting research for a major, well-known university. The premise was that within the ecosystem, technology connects disparate experiences in one place to help people more effortlessly reach goals. This model will soon become the norm. Consumers will quickly grow to expect technologies to curate and serve them only personally relevant information at the right time and in the right form.

To get the benefit of a personal digital ecosystem, marketers and technologists should understand three core concepts:

1. You must deliver mass-niche. Be able to scale personalized, customized experiences. The best human relationships hinge on individual attention and spot-on recommendations. It is now more possible than ever to learn individual behaviors on a big scale then design the technology to respond accordingly. Start by collecting insights on experiences and customer journeys. Then design your technology to continuously improve the quality of the user experience by delivering information consumers ask for and information they didn’t realize they should ask for yet. That brings up the next concept.

2. You must anticipate pre-demand. Look, learn and apply. Create customer personas by analyzing data from many sources. Where are the behavioral insights and patterns? How is this customer likely to respond to any given information? From there, predicting future demands becomes easier. Organizations like Amazon and Netflix have been doing a great job at this for a while. As you continue to refine your technology to anticipate pre-demand, your customers will grow to be more engaged with you.

3. Practice reflexive learning. Insights are iterative. The personal digital ecosystem isn’t about building one solution to last. It’s about building a system that responds to audiences’ changing needs over time. Advanced technology is a tool to help learn the patterns for future changes. Ultimately, the day will be won by companies connecting the diverse data dots in ways that deliver what customers want, how they want it, before they actually know they want it.

We’d love to talk to you about insights to be gained from your data and how they can be used to build your customers’ personal digital ecosystems.