Not so long ago when a new technology emerged, so did the accompanying acronym. The Internet of Things or IoT, refers to physical objects like TVs, speakers, lights, cars etc. that connect and exchange data with other devices, making said devices 'smart'.

Now another technology is doing the rounds. IoB or the Internet of Behaviours. So what's this new tech and why does it matter?

The Internet of Behaviours is an extension to the IoT ecosystem. Its purpose is simple. To understand the How, When and Why we use tech and connected devices to make purchasing decisions.

If only it were that simple...

In addition to the IoT, the Internet of Behaviours needs two other essential ingredients to understand the How, When and Why: Data analytics, and Behavioural science/psychology.

We all know the importance of data. All IoT platforms gather, aggregate and analyse it from loads of sources, from web surfing to the latest smart meter readings.

IoT algorithms are designed to look for behavioural patterns that can then be used by marketers to influence our behaviours, with the end goal of adding value, improving the overall customer experience, driving conversions and increasing sales.

Facebook and Google are good at using IoB. Our behavioural data is analysed and then used to generate relevant ads at regular intervals. So if you’ve been researching your grail watch by reading loads of reviews via Google and watching just as many on YouTube videos, it's a safe bet you'll start seeing watch ads popping up in your social feeds, search engines and anywhere else where online ads lurk.

These additional touchpoints enable businesses to use the power of IoB to identify and track previously unthought of customer journeys to elicit a response via an enquiry or purchase for a product or service.

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Our future with IoB

The above example is extremely common. But let's delve a little deeper into where the Internet of Behaviours is likely to go.

Over time, we'll see it take massive steps forward in influencing our everyday lives. Below are some case scenarios:

  • Cheaper car insurance: Your new electric car is a tech haven. It records your driving habits (good and bad) and uses that behavioural data to contact your insurance company. As a sensible driver you’ll receive emails offering cheaper quotes at renewal. But beware! If your driving habits aren't up to scratch, you'll receive higher quotes.
  • Personalised menus: By tracking your grocery shop in places like Amazon Fresh you may be happily surprised to receive personalised recipe suggestions hitting your inbox.
  • Point of Sale: You're in a supermarket. Your location is tracked, along with your previous purchases. This data is used to show real-time personalised POS promotions to prompt you into buying more things.
  • Staying fit and healthy:  How many people do you see wearing a smartwatch?  Maybe you're one of them. Your smartwatch (via IoB) knows when your blood pressure is too high or too low and will let you know about this by vibrating. It will even ping you an email or text to advise you to take a blood pressure test.

Whatever you think of technologies having bigger impacts on our lives, IoB isn’t going anywhere. Like hyperautomation, it will only improve. Whether IoB will ultimately enhance our quality of life is another conversation for another time.

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