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Reblogged from my post on the BBDO Digital Lab Blog


With the IoT (Internet of Things) quickly becoming more and more accessible to the average consumer, your home is a natural first stop to get plugged in. Connected devices have already begun to make their way into many peoples’ homes–whether in the form of smart light bulbs or connected thermostats– but the real excitement comes when those devices sync up.

I recently purchased the Smart Things hub, which is essentially a simple way to turn a dumb house into a smart house. Smart Things, a company that kickstarted only two years ago, has made a brilliant move. While not only creating easy-to-use smart devices that can do things like turn on your lights or tell you if a door is open, they’ve created a more open platform that lets users connect their other smart devices to the hub.

So why is this going to turn the average person into a programmer?

It’s not about coding, but about creating relationships. As we add more smart devices to our lives, we’re challenged to think about how we want those devices to interact. This is the classic first step in a programmer’s train of logic. The “if this then that” model of programming is already influencing much of what we do.

For instance, my Hue lights are programmed to blink when I receive an email, and a push notification is programmed to be sent to my phone whenever a door is open and I’m not home. Platforms such as are popping up, which help us build even crazier relationships between websites and services and our smart homes. Say, for instance, that you’re a Chicago Bulls fan. You can now sync up your ESPN account to turn the lights in your house red when they win.

As digital marketers, this “If this then that” model of thinking plays heavily into new innovative ideas for engaging with consumers. While its track record has been proven in the analogue space for years, “If the Spurs win the game, then everyone gets free cheeseburgers,” its effects on real-time engagements at scale are exciting.

As the world around you continues to become smarter, try challenging the way those devices interact. Creating out-of-the-box triggers and reactions that both make your everyday life more simple or push the boundaries of what’s possible will ultimately inspire new ways to engage and enhance the brand experiences we can create with consumers.

Connecting seemingly disparate devices just might result in the breakthrough surprise-and-delight moments your consumers are looking for.


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