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Marketer’s Introduction to IIoT

This edition of Marketing Trends introduces the concept of the industrial Internet of things (IIoT) and provides an overview of its significance to AEC marketers.


The Internet of things (IoT), defined simply, is “the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other)” [1]. Industrial Internet of things (IIoT) is “the extension and use of [IoT] in industrial sectors and applications […] with a strong focus on machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, big data, and machine learning…” [2]. According to Markets & Markets, the global IIoT market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.39 percent to reach US$91.4 billion by 2024. The manufacturing industry is projected to hold the largest share, but IIoT has use cases across multiple verticals. As opportunistic companies increasingly leverage IIoT to enhance the efficiency and management of their processes, IIoT and will become increasingly significant to AEC marketers.

Marketer Takeaways

To understand the significance of IIoT to AEC marketers, it’s useful to highlight two elements of the IIoT definition provided above.

M2M Communication

AEC firms may already have experience in the design and construction of water treatment plants and other facilities with M2M communications applications. Relevant certifications to highlight in proposal resumes include Registered Communication Distribution Designer (RCDD) and other engineering-oriented IT communications credentials.

Big Data

Expect AEC firms to hire data scientists, statisticians, and other employees with the skillset to manipulate and interpret billions of rows of data. Highlight your experts’ experience with data visualization platforms like Tableau; self-service analytics platforms like Alteryx; and broad statistical analysis platforms like SPSS.

Use Cases by Vertical

IIoT has a growing list of use cases in verticals that will undoubtedly look familiar to AEC marketers. Below are some of the most pertinent use cases for my firm, CDM Smith, selected from Markets and Markets’ in-depth breakdown.

  • Manufacturing
    • Automotive
    • Machinery
    • Food and Beverages
    • Chemicals and Materials
    • Electricals and Electronics
    • Pharmaceuticals
  • Utilities
    • Smart Grid
    • Smart Water Management
  • Transportation
    • Logistics
    • Asset & Freight Tracking
    • Remote Fleet Monitoring
    • Warehousing Capacity Optimization
    • Route Optimization
    • Transportation Infrastructure
    • Intelligent Traffic management


Troy Krause is Marketing Coordinator with CDM Smith who enjoys Boston’s restaurant scene, playing sports, and visiting art museums. He is a contributor to the Marketing Trends blog series and a member of the Communications Committee.

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