John Burns, Ph.D., Principal, Applied Marketing Science
The vibration of a turbine in a power-generation plant, the level of employee exposure to hazardous materials at a chemical manufacturer, the temperature of a motor used by a large agricultural producer – the industrial internet of things (IIOT) provides for the collection, distribution, and analysis of this information. Some analysts predict the IIOT will add $14.2 trillion USD to the global economy by 2030. 
The opportunity the IIOT presents is no secret. But having an offering is not the same as selling one. The question is, how can you succeed? The challenge is greatest when selling into older industries, such as manufacturing or agriculture. In these industries, many companies have thrived for decades using traditional methods of maintenance, safety, and quality control. Succeeding with these companies requires creating a market for your IIOT offering where one does not exist.  A market has customers who recognize the value of your solution, see how it could work within their organizational habits and practices, and will pay you for the benefit your product delivers.
What can you do?
Collaborate on the Value Proposition
- Develop the value proposition with the customer, rather than impose your idea of the value of your solution on them.
- This will help identify what your IIOT solution can do for them in the context of how their operations work, and how you could change your solution to make it work better for them.
First Do No Harm
- Start slow and increase complexity later.
- It’s better for customers to slowly accept your technology across the organization than to go too fast, experience a failure – even a small one, even one that’s technically not your fault – and create powerful opponents to your IIOT solution at the company.
Recognize the Rage against the Machine
- Work with customers to integrate human-and-machine elements into your IIOT solution.
- For example, one of our clients developing IIOT solutions for use in manufacturing set up their mobile sensors in a way that required maintenance personnel to walk within a few feet of the machine – close enough to see, hear, and touch it – for the IIOT data from the machine to download. This forced maintenance staff to walk the floor in the traditional way, even while they received high-tech IIOT data.
- This is one example of an effective blend of the old and the new, and it’s just what it takes to create an IIOT market.
Conducting systematic Voice of the Customer will help you achieve these goals. To learn more about succeeding in the industrial internet of things, watch our webinar on demand.
 Daugherty, Paul and Berthon, Bruno, “Winning with the Industrial Internet of Things: How to accelerate the journey to productivity and growth.” accenturetechnology. 2015. Web. 20 Oct. 2017
 “Needs, Needs Everywhere, But Not a BOP Market to Tap.” Simanis, Erik. in T. London, & S. Hart (Eds.), Next Generation Business Strategies for the Base of the Pyramid: New Approaches for Building Mutual Value. Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press (2010)