I was sold on the notion of Internet of Things (IoT)—everything's connected, everything's working together, and as a result, consumer experiences are intrinsically aligned and delivering relevance from "go." Cool, right?

But is that what consumers want?

I'm a perfect example of this relevance Catch-22. I want spot-on relevance delivered with every digital experience, but I have a "FOMO" (fear of missing out). I always worry I'm missing out on the perfect album, reservation, article, pair of sneakers—you name it. Maybe it's wrong for me to say that. After all, I live and breathe personalization and wholly advocate personalized consumer experiences across all platforms, but it's true.

As a marketing practitioner, I'm on board. As a consumer, I still waver.

A Landscape That's All About Me

There's an answer for consumers like me: the Internet of Me (IoM). It's another paradox in response to my internal push/pull regarding limiting consumer choice. As the digital space expands, the IoM makes it that much smaller.

What's left is an immersive landscape that's all about me... and you, your spouse, your friend, your colleague...

You get the idea.

Personalization before IoM consisted of silos and channels that kept digital experiences in neat, organized buckets.

For example, take my choices at dinner. Steak or chicken? I go with steak. Now, I have to think about cut, temperature, sides, sauces, and wine pairing. There are countless choices and options to consider. By the time my dinner arrives, I wonder, "Should I have gone for a well-done steak instead of medium? Béarnaise instead of garlic?"

Instant FOMO alert! The potential for a misstep will always linger in the back of my mind, and the steak won't taste nearly as good if I'm second-guessing myself with every bite.

We aren't ordering steaks online (well, maybe you are), but that's the same categorical approach and consumer remorse that occur within many digital experiences, even well-curated ones, before IoM.

What Is the IoM?

By comparison, IoM evolves personalization into real-time customer journeys that remove traditional boundaries, limitations, and overwhelming choices, delivering extreme relevance every time. It eliminates the consumer's anxiety about "what if" because the consumer gradually recognizes that the brand is working to truly understand and learn about him or her. They are equal partners in the experience.

For example, say you're shopping for new sneakers online. Rather than overwhelming you with hundreds upon hundreds of styles, the site remembers that you're interested in cross-training shoes based on pages you've visited in the past, and that you especially like shoes from Nike based on search terms you've entered before.

The results push three options for you based on what the site has learned about you.

FOMO Decreases as Relevance Increases

Nine in 10 consumers say a personalized experience influences their purchase decision. If your brand doesn't deliver, these valuable users will go elsewhere in a fraction of a second. It's the notion of the last millisecond, and in 2014, it began to creep in-store in the form of beacon technology, integrated apps, and geo-fencing, among other custom experience-delivery platforms.

Another unique aspect of this evolution is that consumers are free to architect their own experiences, powered by brands' supreme targeting and automated personalization strategies.

Goodbye, traditional boundaries and limitations—and goodbye to any anxiety and FOMO I was feeling as a consumer. There's just no need when I have an IoM experience waiting to deliver with every click, swipe, and touch.

What I do in this moment becomes part of a cumulative build towards greater and greater relevance, helping the brand understand who I am in a deeper, more meaningful way and, in turn, enabling the brand to deliver engaging, compelling and extremely rewarding experiences every step of the way.

I win, the brand wins, and we continue on our relevant journey, together.

Exploring IoM

So what does this IoM look like? Anything and everything. It could be a shopping app that serves up notifications surrounding critical shipping deadlines when it knows I've filled my cart but haven't converted. It's the recommendation of complementary products and enhancements exactly when I need them, thanks to in-depth knowledge of what I bought and when I bought it; I'll never run out of batteries, coffee pods, or photo paper again!

And it's much, much more than that. It's exactly what I want, exactly when I want it!

So why now? Besides the increased demand for relevance, a recent intersection of a host of IoM drivers propelled this shift in a big way.

Brain science and neuromarketing came to the forefront as did integrated brick-and-mortar experiences—in-store, I'd argue, will soon be as digitally motivated as ecommerce is. Even the launch of the iPhone 6 seems to have propelled this shift to IoM (larger screens, better experiences, Apple Pay) as did the increased influence of millennials, dubbed "The Me Me Me Generation."

And what did these powerful forces have in common? They were all about creating better, simpler, more consumer-centric journeys. Alone, any of these individual shifts would have led to better personalized experiences. Together, they created a whole new notion of what it means to play in the digital sandbox.

* * *

IoT is quickly evolving into a new experience entirely: an Internet of Me.

It's already starting... Look at a platform like Amazon Dash and its hyper-targeted in-home, on-demand order and delivery service. It's exactly where it should be the moment I'm thinking about how I need more paper towels or detergent or dog food. And that's just the beginning, no doubt.

Who wouldn't want a digital environment that's all about me?

IoM ensures spot-on relevance to meet increasing consumer demands and promises ongoing, organic bar-raising that will emerge from new optimization technology, automated personalization, Big Data, and more. And with IoM, my consumer reluctance and FOMO will no doubt disappear, and I guarantee any pangs of hesitation some of your customer segments may feel as well.

With IoM, we, as consumers, feel good about our experiences because it all fits, like it should. It's what I want, when I want it, and I rewarded exactly how I'd want to be rewarded. There's no room for second-guessing or post-conversion anxiety, because I'm too busy enjoying the spoils of my uber-relevant journey. And that's exactly what brands will be serving up as the IoM steps into the forefront.

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The Internet of Me Banishes the Fear of Missing Out

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image of Kevin Lindsay

Kevin Lindsay is director of product marketing at Adobe.

LinkedIn: Kevin Lindsay

Twitter: @kevlindsay