Lead Generation for IoT Products: Step by Step to the Right Marketing Approach

Lorenzo Cafaro / (CC0)
image source: Lorenzo Cafaro / (CC0)

The Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 paved the way for the next technological revolution. The market selling all the devices, vehicles, machines and facilities that are not only connected to the internet but also interconnected by it has seen a massive growth and will come to boom in the next years. They allow for the merger of data and applications and will converge in a whole new service that lays the ground for the digitalization of numerous sectors of the economy.

Connecting the physical to the virtual world opens up great opportunities, e.g. through a higher level of automatization or better control that allows for the optimization of processes and the consumption of resources. Even Marketing will benefit from IoT products because the analysis of the behaviour of target groups is significantly improving thanks to the interconnectedness of data. However, marketers first face major challenges. How to generate IoT leads? What are the pitfalls? And what must be done to fulfil the requirements?

Well, it all boils down to three important steps on your way to the perfect IoT marketing strategy. One simple idea is essential for the search of qualified potential buyers of IoT products:

Ideal lead generation is the fine art of spreading the right bait in the right waters at the right time.

The principle focusses on the very three factors marketers must keep in mind when creating an effective strategy. This applies for IoT products as well.

1. The right time

One thing is for sure: the best moment to show up as a provider of IoT solutions is now. The Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 are everywhere and the growth prognoses for the market are impressive.

Gartner believes that in 2020 customers will spend more than $ 260 billion on IoT. According to an IoT market analysis conducted by McKinsey, the Internet of Things will make an estimated € 23 billion in 2020 in Germany – just in the sector of information technology and telecommunications. Today, the earnings of the sector attributable to IoT are below € 10 billion per year, which means that the potential will more than double within five years. McKinsey analysed more than 150 fields of application in several sectors to determine the market volume.

The most important fields of application are digitalization and manufacturing (Industry 4.0) with a potential of almost € 9 billion and connected cars with about € 4 billion. However, on the long run, it is not IoT hardware or the interconnection of devices which will offer the biggest potential business value, but mainly the software, i.e. the platform applications for the Internet of Things. Although many experts stated that Germany already missed the train in the field of software, McKinsey sees good chances for German enterprises. An even better forecast is given by BI Intelligence, the market analysis branch of the US high-tech portal “Business Insider”. They believe that the number of connected devices will reach 24 billion by 2020. This makes an average 41-percent growth per year, starting from 5 billion IoT devices in 2015. These more than positive future prospects for the market as well as the high interest in the issue clearly show that now is the perfect time to seize the opportunity and generate qualified leads!

2. The right waters

In order to select the right pond, we need to know many things about our target groups and their surroundings. Who exactly is it we want to attract: the Production Manager, the IT-Manager or the CEO? And where can we approach them?

Both digitalisation and interconnection of several processes are indeed a challenge for marketers of IoT products and even more in the Industry 4.0 environment. It is getting harder to define the relevant target groups. The business sectors and areas are developing quickly which also raises the demands the staff of the future will have to respond to. The sought-after skills in the new work environment 4.0 will be IT and subject-specific knowledge, more flexibility and a high degree of willingness to learn.

Marketers notice the effects of these changes and must find a way to specifically address the targets who keep changing dynamically and will be hard to track. Therefore, it might be a good decision to distribute the own message widely.

This is why the message and its content as the third factor are so important when it comes to the successful generation of qualified leads for IoT products.

3. The right bait

Qualified leads are best generated using the perfect bait. The right content must be relevant for the target groups. They will gladly absorb whatever they consider interesting, but still non-intrusive. That kind of content will make them react.

It is possible to induce the interest of potential clients looking for information, products, solutions and service providers when the right content is at hand. In general marketing, it is good advice to offer relevant content at the right time and at the right contact point. This is also a promising way in B2B and especially in IoT and Industry 4.0 because the information needs of business clients are quite high due to the mere amount of new technologies entering the market.

This is where IoT companies should get on board and offer useful information. Viable formats are white papers and webinars, especially when they treat practical case examples or applications. Anybody who can present realistic best practices offering others the chance to extend their knowledge will be met with great interest. This way the requisites and aims of the companies’ IoT projects and the real additional benefits of IoT platforms, lean production and IoT services may be identified. So far, there are only a few examples but they can be used for other sectors, too. In addition to case examples, business models are of high relevance for interested parties. The gathering, collection and evaluation of data, e.g. during real-life use of automation solutions, offer huge chances, but actual success stories do not exist yet.

The provider of this information delivers the perfect content for lead generation the target group will absorb very well. Now, it is about using the unique opportunities in order to keep pace. This way marketing and sales benefit from qualified leads.

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We offer the perfect environment for your lead generation in the field of the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0. The target group consists of company owners, CEOs and technical and commercial experts on the first and the second management level. The core sector is manufacturing with a focus on production, automation, construction and logistics in the German-speaking countries.

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