The figure of Guanyin (short for ‘he who listens to the cries of the world’), chose to stay on earth to help others achieve Buddhahood. It was popularised in AD 550 during the Northern Qi dynasty.
I had a chance encounter with him in The British Museum, quite an easy thing to do with over 8 million objects. This figure got me thinking about how the Internet of Things (IoT) has helped revolutionise marketing for good. The next step we are working on is to create opportunities for people where imagination is free-flow and charities’ work is supported by just thinking about the issues involved.
Charity brands increasingly connect to online communities; in times of crisis and conflict, news can touch people very fast and anywhere, which can be very effective. In many cases this is delivering the charity mission far more effectively. Back to my chance encounter with Guanyin; we are fascinated by the idea of ‘listening to the cries of the world’ and making this a central part of the IoT.
Supposedly Kevin Ashton invented the IoT, the idea is to be as close to people’s needs and even to anticipate their needs. Equipping objects with identifiers with the ability to transfer data over a network without having the human to human or to computer interaction has so many fascinating social potential. An early precursor was a Coke machine in the early 1980s; programmers connected to the machine over the Internet, checked the status of the machine to determine whether or not there would be a cold drink awaiting them, should they decide to make the trip down to the machine.
There is a world of possibilities with the different platforms. Everyone wants their own community such as Nike’s Community, which goes way beyond selling ‘runners’
The IoT should lead to greater knowledge of audiences, with less wasteful research, qualifying people’s needs. It can also be good for the environment too; British Gas’s Hive app demonstrated this, controlling your thermostat when you are not there.
Explaining how we minimise the threat to the environment or social impacts, as we order our new car, milk bottle or can of Coke is what we have been developing.
Our thinking is also how we ensure ‘imagination’ is maintained and enhanced in this incredible future – not lost by pursing needs based approaches, which we think is the crux of the matter for our clients.
How we harness the power of imagination in our relationship with supporters, Guanyin’s ‘listening to the cries of the world’, is our starting point for this great future, balancing relationship building with effective resource use.