The Internet of Things: We Are the Jetsons.

“Meet George Jetson.”

These are the words that introduced the world to the classic cartoon about a family living in a futuristic, impossible world in which people drove hover-cars, talked to each other on screens, and in which inanimate objects communicated.

Welcome to 2016. We are not quite driving to work in the air yet, but we are close to surpassing the futuristic world of the Jetsons. The Internet of Things (IoT) has arrived. The IoT refers to the connection and communication between inanimate objects. It is estimated that there will be over 50 billion connected devices by 2020:

iot devices

This is no small trend. This is now, and this is the future.

Take a look at a projected IoT-saturated future home:

internet of things home

Consumer wants have already been identified, and the IoT is no longer seen as that impossible, fun world the Jetsons lived in. As consumer wants grow, companies and marketers should keep their eyes and ears open.

What does the IoT mean for marketing? The IoT holds endless possibilities for creativity and innovation. Marketers must adapt to a changing world or they will get left behind. For example, the refrigerator listed above as a “most wanted” object is a perfect opportunity for some marketing activity. The refrigerator could automatically link to a smartphone grocery list when eggs or butter are running low. Rather than generic “butter” being added to the list, “Land O Lakes butter” could be added, thus advertising the brand by what was previously bought. Think of the customer retention possibilities! This is just one small way marketing can work within the growing world of IoT. I’ll leave you with the comic below:

internet of things comic

Devices are already communicating. Are you ready?