Report shows best practices of IoT suppliers

Concept of iot
Sheila Zabeu -

September 11, 2023

A new study by IoT Analytics reveals the hidden factors in the successful commercialization of Internet of Things (IoT) software. The report pointed out best practices and common pitfalls in go-to-market strategies and commercialization of this class of software.

The study identified seven crucial points for the successful commercialization of IoT software, including the holding of in-house webinars, the use of social media tactics and customer support in the case of more serious challenges, such as the integration process. It also highlights the views of 60 IoT software executives on strategies for entering this market.

“The complex nature of the Internet of Things makes marketing and selling IoT software challenging. Reflecting on previous adverse events associated with IoT marketing, such as Android Things, and learning from those who are successful in the market can help avoid repeating mistakes and focus on the things that work,” says Knud Lasse Lueth, CEO of IoT Analytics.

Google launched its Android Things platform for IoT in 2018 to make it easier to develop smart devices using tools and libraries from the Android ecosystem. However, it failed to engage and gain the support of the community, according to IoT Analytics. It closed registration and projects for new devices in January 2021 and subsequently ended Android Things. Although some of the criticism is related to the product itself, Android Things also seems to have faced problems marketing the IoT software.

According to Dimitris Paraskevopoulos, senior analyst at IoT Analytics, webinars have emerged as a key driver of go-to-market strategies for IoT software vendors. “By harnessing the power of webinars, it is possible to educate customers and their own teams, enhance their professional social media presences and support them throughout the complex process of IoT integration. When managed effectively, webinars are a valuable asset for IoT software vendors looking to succeed in the market,” explains Paraskevopoulos.

According to IoT Analytics, the seven main considerations that can help increase IoT software’s chances of success in the market are:

1. Create your own webinars: The main tool that IoT software vendor executives say works is in-house webinars – 81% of respondents surveyed pointed out that these assets were valuable in terms of return on investment (ROI), with 50% highlighting the initiative as “very successful”. During the webinars, it is possible to present product information and answer technical questions in an engaging and interactive way.

2. Improving professional presence on social media: For 76% of the executives interviewed, managing their own content on social media brought good results in terms of ROI (for 18%, the initiative was “very successful” and for 58% “somewhat successful”). This can be especially true if social media is combined with another marketing tool, such as promoting one’s own webinars on LinkedIn. Several suppliers gained more engagement by leveraging posts from employees and other advocacy groups, especially on third-party communication platforms.

3. Train own staff and sales force: The main success factor for driving adoption of IoT software, according to executives, is to train suppliers’ own staff (not customers) on aspects of the products, especially sales forces.

4. Providing excellent support: In general terms, executives chose offering dedicated support as the second most important factor in stimulating the adoption of IoT software (4.2/5 on average). Dedicated support gives customers the guarantee that they will receive personalized and specialized support according to their demands.

5. Supporting customers in technical integration: The main obstacle to adopting IoT software, according to the executives interviewed, is the “complexity of technical integration”. Often, you have to deal with several service providers, which often results in slowdowns. IoT software vendors can help during technical integration by offering (1) Comprehensive documentation and support; (2) In-person and online training and mentoring specifically addressing integration; (3) Feedback loops to better understand integration challenges; (4) Integration services with in-house teams or by partnering with trusted companies.

6. Help overcome internal resistance to change: The executives interviewed cited “resistance to change” as the second obstacle to adopting IoT software, but there are some measures that can help reduce it: (1) Present data that supports the value proposition and how the solutions can improve efficiency, save time, reduce costs or other tangible benefits; (2) Involve interested groups from the outset, such as decision-makers and influencers within the organization; (3) Conduct pilot projects to test the software and demonstrate potential benefits; (4) Share success stories from other similar companies; (5) Provide communication models or tools through which the importance and benefits of IoT software can be conveyed.

7. Consider regional adoption rates and strategic deployments: IoT software vendors should consider in which region implementation will take place. In general, regions with faster adoption have higher demand and more propensity to invest in IoT solutions. By focusing on these regions, vendors can achieve faster returns on investment and more success stories to present to other regions with slower adoption rates.