Internet Of Behaviours: The complete guide to the concept

The Internet of Behaviours focuses on the study of Internet users’ behaviour. Based on the collection of consumer data, it influences the marketing strategy of companies.

The Internet of Things brings together the various connected devices with which many tasks can be performed. For their part, companies have used it as a way to collect information on consumer behavior. This reflects the advent of the Internet of Behaviours. The digital tracking of consumer behavior, how they select their product, how they make purchases, etc. allows companies to focus their marketing strategy. To this end, one might think that the concept makes the marketing department’s job easier. However, there is a downside: has the human being become a digital subject in his own right? Where does privacy fit in? In this dossier, you will find everything you need to know about the Internet of Things.

Table of Contents

What is the Internet Of Behaviours?

As we know, the Big Data is powered by the data streams collected by different entities from a multitude of sources. Its development is closely linked to the Internet of Things that serve as collection tools. Today, another concept completes the row. It is the Internet of Behaviours or IoB for short.

The concept refers to theanalysis and the behavioral data processing collected via the IoT as well as other sources for optimal use. The sources encompass the online activities of Internet users, including various connected devices (smartphones, appliances, connected accessories, etc.) as well as social media. The goal is twofold: to meet consumer needs and to maximize profit.

In this way, we can say that the Internet of behaviors thus seeks to understand the duration, the way we connect, our interests online, our mode of making purchase decisions. The study is carried out using IoB platforms designed to collect and analyze the digital information gathered. This then leads to models which will be used in particular in marketing.

How did the Internet of Behaviours become so important?

According to Gartner, the Internet of Behaviours is one of the key technology trends in that it provides a new means of data collection and analysis. Climate change as well as the covid-19 pandemic provide a lever for IoB. Indeed, telecommuting and social distancing have increased the number of online activities. Such a disruption has led to a new way of collecting information about consumers.

At the same time, the various connected devices are on the rise. From smartphones to connected watches and various smart appliances, the sale of connected objects has increased exponentially.

Yet, we know that marketing is a field in perpetual motion, dependent on consumer behaviors. Knowledge of needs helps to improving the quality of service and products themselves. This is what has made the Internet of Behaviours a powerful marketing tool.

IoB and IoT, the key duo for behavior change

The Internet of Behaviours combines three areas including technology, behavioral science and data analytics. Here’s how the combination works:

First, behavioral science breaks down into four parts when it comes to using technology: emotions, decisions, companionship, augmentations. As we go online, companies are learning more about our online behaviors.

At the same time, various smart accessories harvest our various habits, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, etc. The applications can also suggest actions to be taken according to the displayed result and thus change our behavior.

For companies, the goal is to satisfy customers by providing them with products and services adapted to their needs. For the moment, the IoT and IoB combination serves as the main tool for observation in order to achieve the behavioral change. This is why the marketing department agrees that personalization is the key to the effectiveness of a service.

How does the Internet of behaviors benefit businesses?

Since Big Data is at the heart of every business, companies are using it to gather as much information about visitors as possible. Cookies are part of this, as they allow site owners to track the habits of Internet users. This allows to improve the customer experience.

This includes knowing where theclient’s interest for this or that product/service and the path they take to make their purchase. This knowledge will then be used to create other contact points in order to interact positively with the customer. In the end, each company will be able to improve the quality of its services in an efficient way.

To do this, the Internet Of Behaviours collects information from several sources, namely:

  • Social media: Meta (formerly Facebook), Twitter, Instagram, etc. ;
  • Commercial and non-commercial websites;
  • Location tracking;
  • Government agencies that process a large volume of citizen data.

Its advantages

If Gartner has placed the Internet Of Behaviours among the technological trends, it is not for nothing. It offers a number of advantages. First of all, the Internet of Behaviors allows companies to overcome the various sales obstacles and offers them the opportunity to better meet customer needs.

Second, it saves companies the additional costs caused by the various customer surveys. This means time savings for both companies and customers. But also, the company, through the IoB, can analyze the behavior of prospects long before they make a purchase decision.

On the other hand, some information, especially information about how customers interact with products and services, is difficult to analyze. With the IoB, such a task is easier. This in turn will allow to know where and how exactly the customer will make his purchases.

With the necessary devices, the company can send its customers the real time notifications about different offers and promotions. It can also inform them about new products and points of sale in order to influence their buying behavior.

Should we be concerned about potential threats?

In the face of this rapid evolution of the Internet Of Behaviours, many concerns arise, especially regarding privacy and security.

The fate of collected data

Certainly, the IoB represents a growing opportunity for businesses. This is not always the case for consumers. As connected objects are used as information gathering tools, they can pose a threat to privacy. However, this is not really the problem.

The main concern lies in how the data is collected and used. The threat is even greater when it comes tousing personal information on a large scale. So, yes! Threats are to be feared insofar as this leads to problems of privacy and data security.

IoT and legal issues

The IoT also presents a big problem in that the legislation is not quite explicit about it. With the advent of the Internet Of Behaviours, we have to face a change in our cultural and legal values. When using smart objects, we have to be aware that they collect much more personal data such as our social network profiles and our different interactions.

As a result, possible sales of information between companies can take place without our permission. Hence a higher risk of violation of privacy. Such a concern is known as the ostrich effect.

IoB challenges according to Gartner

At the same time that Gartner places the Internet Of Behaviours among the current technological trends, it also announces its challenges. Indeed, the research firm joins most studies in highlighting the legal constraints. In addition to this, Gartner emphasizes the the potentially pervasive nature of IoBa problem that should not be overlooked.

Use cases

Given the scope of today’s technology, online advertising remains an effective way to reach the maximum number of potential customers. But an advertisement is not as effective if it is delivered without taking into account the target audience’s online behavior, login habits, favorite sites, etc. With the Internet Of Behaviours, companies identify easily identify groups of individuals who are likely to be interested in a particular product.

  • Google and Meta, for example, use the behavioral information of their users to select ads to display. The click-through rate is a key indicator that allows companies to track the movement of potential customers and therefore to orient its marketing strategy.
  • For YouTube, the IoB helps improve the viewer experience. By analyzing visitor behavior, it can recommend shows and videos that interest them more.

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