There is a mantra at Zimmerman Advertising which states “Those with the most data will win.” This generally refers to the ability to capture customer data to better understand consumer needs and preferences for more effective remarketing and segmentation.
But there is a new trend brewing that could have just as actionable an impact on the way marketers engage with consumers. It is data captured on the products themselves. Technology advances are enabling brands to embed sensors, measurers, and transmitters in nearly all electronic devices and many consumer package goods as well. Now we will know not just what consumers are buying, but how they are using the product. This is ethnographic research from the product point of view. This already exists for sneakers that report on miles run and refrigerators that remind us we are low on milk. But what about pillows that capture our sleep patterns, belts that tell us we are putting on an extra few pounds, or cars that alert repair shops that our breaks are wearing thin.
Do you think this information would be valuable to Ashley Furniture, Boston Market, and AutoNation? Data is more coveted at this moment than ever before, and in the mad dash to collect it, everyone, and everything is becoming a researcher.