3 Creative Applications of IoT in B2B Marketing


By 2026, the global Internet of Things (IoT) market will be worth USD 3 trillion annually, with B2B capturing over half of the industry’s total generated value. This offers incredible opportunities for marketers to rethink their campaigns and be inspired by IoT examples and success stories in B2B marketing. We share three case studies and help shape your IoT-based marketing strategy.

When it comes to the Internet of Things, consumer-facing applications generally take center stage. In a previous article on IoT strategies and examplesOpens a new window , we explored how Diageo’s “connected bottle” and the seamless Uber–Spotify IoT partnership led to a higher ROI. However, the role of IoT in B2B marketing is often ignored. The B2B marketing space has great potential for marketers to implement IoT strategies, from greater personalization to improved product experiences. Combined with the scale and reach of B2B customer bases, the impact could be immense.

Why Is B2B Marketing the Perfect Space for IoT?

Fueled by the rising popularity of smart devices and expanding network coverage, the global IoTOpens a new window market is at a steady uptick. By 2026, the Internet of Things will be worth USD 3 trillion annuallyOpens a new window , with 26 percent of companies looking to invest over USD 1 million in IoT solutions. Interestingly, B2B applications will be responsible for the lion’s share of this trend! According to McKinsey, the B2B sector will capture 70 percent of the total value generated by IoTOpens a new window . This means that the stage is set for you, as a marketer, to implement IoT strategies in your B2B campaigns.

Learn more: Why the Internet of Things is a Perfect Date for B2B MarketersOpens a new window

3 IoT Examples with Important Lessons for B2B Marketers

1. South East Water Improves Service Delivery and CRM Scores

Customer satisfaction is a major challenge for utility companies — and for South East WaterOpens a new window , CRMOpens a new window was critical as its funding model depended on it. The UK-based company built an end-to-end IoT ecosystem, powered by IBM Maximo (an asset management solution) and IBM Mobile Foundation (an OS-agnostic B2B application solution). Now, South East has rolled out a mobile app to over 80 engineering teams delivering data about customer requirements in near-real time.

As a result of its IoT strategy, South East Water accelerated access to critical reports by a staggering 99 percent, with a significant increase in the results of the next two customer satisfaction surveys.

This is a great example of how IoTOpens a new window can give you near real-time insights on customer sentiment, usage patterns, and problem areas to help reshape your campaigns.

Learn more: Each Person to Own 15 Connected Devices by 2020 — What it Means for Your Business Opens a new window

2. Bison Schweiz AG Helps Retailers Find Creative Ways to Move Products

For the Food & Beverage (F&B) segmentOpens a new window , price flux is a major determinant of revenue share. In fact, a retailer with 20,000 items in its inventory must manage nearly 3,000 price changes every week, resulting in massive effort and labor investments. IoT connectors combined with Configure Price Quote (CPQ) softwareOpens a new window could solve this problem.

We’re living in an IoT world, and technologies such as CPQ need to get onboard. As methods for ordering, recurring orders and subscriptions join the realm of IoT, businesses will need more resources to support these channels

~ Mark BartlettOpens a new window , Chief Experience Officer, FPX

Consider how Bison Schweiz AG applied IoT-powered Electronic Shelf Labels (ESL) to enable better purchase decisions. Retailers could remind customers to buy products based on current and predicted weather conditions, as well as auto-optimize prices depending on sales trends.

Similarly, B2B marketers who embed products with IoT connectors will know exactly when to target customers, how to price products, preempt damage/shortage, and find new ways to drive revenue.

Learn more: 5 Ways IoT is Changing Digital MarketingOpens a new window

3. ZEISS shares detailed, secure product information to boost customer loyalty

B2B customers are always looking to stay updated on product performance, ensuring optimum utilization. For ZEISSOpens a new window (a leading manufacturing equipment provider), sharing detailed and accurate data with its customers in a secure format was extremely difficult. The company understood that accessing product information was central to achieving CRM success. So, ZEISS partnered with Cisco, using its IoT product called Kinetic. This enabled the continuous collection of equipment data while ensuring absolute security. By helping customers maximize their products, ZEISS significantly enhanced their customer loyalty and overall lifetime value.

Just as in this IoT example, ZEISS was able to achieve up to 20 percent increase in service sales, you can apply IoT strategies to keep customers informed about their product’s performance, and also cross-sell/upsell related products and services at the opportune time.

Learn more: Why CMOs Need to Reimagine Data Management to Compete in the IoT FutureOpens a new window

Key Takeaways for Marketers

If these IoT in B2B examples inspired you, it is time to look at new avenues for implementation. In the era of IoT-based marketing, we predict that the lines between B2B and B2C will rapidly blur — the principles of personalizationOpens a new window , constant engagement, and experiential marketing will now reach business customers as well. Creative marketers can use the core value proposition of IoT (wide connectivity, data collection, and predictive analytics) to shape fresh ways of positioning their products and services.

How are you implementing IoT strategies in your organization? Share your perspectives with us on LinkedInOpens a new window , FacebookOpens a new window , or TwitterOpens a new window .