Connected Devices & The Future of Consumer Engagement

Flying cars might still be a ways off, but smart cars are a nice substitute.

Our refrigerators, televisions, thermostats, watches, phones and more are also becoming smart, or Web-enabled. The next evolution for these products is to communicate with each other via sensors in the Internet of Things – a movement set to add unprecedented convenience to our lives.

The Connected Home

Naturally, advertisers are salivating at the chance to reach consumers in these newly connected environments that have yet to be over-saturated by ads. It’s a marketer’s dream – if you’re Bud Light, how amazing would it be to pinpoint the exact time and moment when someone grabbed the last beer from the fridge?

My vision for brands in this new landscape isn’t necessarily about these connected devices, however, but rather what they enable. As I see it, it’s not a device – it’s a connection. The device melts away when you start looking at the common fabric of connectivity – moments – specifically that moment in time in which that connectivity yields something useful for you.

Moments are meaningful actions that carry powerful emotion and a sense of accomplishment. Opening an app is not a moment. Checking off an item on a to-do list in an app is. But as we continued to build our model out, we realized that moments weren’t just limited to one device, the smartphone – they are inherently device-agnostic. It just so happened that the smartphone is currently the most popular connected device.


“It became obvious that the

connected device held another massive

pool of moments worth rewarding.”


For context, Kiip began as a company that rewarded achievement moments within mobile games. We then expanded to moments across fitness, food, music, productivity, or sports. These activities all encompassed emotion that could be recognized in an ephemeral way. Last year we realized that it would be inevitable that we would eventually begin seeking other “pools” of moments. It became obvious that the connected device held another massive pool of moments worth rewarding.

I believe being a part of these moments to add value is the most powerful engagement tool brands have today and in the future. The more connectivity, the more opportunities will be recognizable in real-time, and brands will have even more moments to be a positive part of what we call “ambient moments”.

Why The Connected Engagement Experience Needs To Be Different

Let’s go back to the car as an example of where advertising has fallen short in the past, and how the future offers an opportunity to reverse this pattern. Radio ads are currently the predominant way advertisers can reach drivers in their cars. No matter how clever the copy, these ads are now just an embedded cultural standard. Nothing can hide however that these ads do come while we are trying to do something else – listen to music.

Kiip and Mojio Partnership

A few weeks ago, we made our first step into the connected car and announced an industry-first partnership with Mojio to reward everyday driving moments. As the partnership progresses, we see a number of exciting moments emerging that brands can capitalize on. For instance, if you leave for work an hour earlier than usual and a brand like Starbucks could jump in and surprise you with a free coffee.

There is a subtle but important distinction we’re making with these new types of ambient reward moments that traditional advertising has largely ignored: allowing consumers to continue their natural behavior instead of asking them to change it.

Consumers are becoming savvier at avoiding ads, but that doesn’t mean brands need to get more in their face. Brands need to align with the moments that already exist in consumers’ lives, not force consumers to align with their agenda. I hope that our efforts will help set a precedent on how engagement should be in connected moments.

Looking Ahead

For fun, here are some of my favorite ideas for rewarding connected moments. Imagine:

  • You get an alert that your flight has been delayed on your smart watch. This negative moment is turned positive by a brand presenting you with a lounge pass.
  • You’re driving late at night on a road trip and are rewarded with a Red Bull to help you stay awake.
  • You score some movie tickets for meeting your energy consumption goals with your Nest Thermostat.
  • A simple but favorite one: your friends pass a four-hour marathon of Call of Duty and Dominos Pizza rewards all of you.

What excites you most about our connected future? How can our smart devices benefit from smarter advertising?

Follow @brian_wong and @kiip on twitter.

Reposted from Brian Wong’s Influencer post found here.

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