The wearable technology market is growing by leaps and bounds and doesn’t show any indication of stopping soon. Products like FitBit have already found their niche in the universe of consumer usefulness. And while initial reviews of smart watches from Apple and Android have not been overwhelming, it’s assured that new design iterations and new apps will eventually strike the correct pitch with customers.
Wearable technology represents new platforms for which marketers must examine for usefulness and, ultimately, master. This is an intimidating undertaking but with the industry expected to explode to $19 billion in the next two years, it’s critical that all marketers take note. Also, wearable technology presents unprecedented opportunities to reach targeted consumers with near customized messaging. That’s an exciting prospect and one worth jumping on quickly. Below are five key ways that wearable technology will impact marketing.
- More access to specific consumer data: Probably the biggest impact that wearables will have on marketing is the access to the most specific of customer data. We all know that items like FitBit can determine the number of steps you’ve taken and your heart rate among other items. We also know that many mobile devices can detect your location and can provide search suggestions that reflect that. Taking this one step further, wearable technology will be able to detect buying habits, the route you take to get to work each day and other aspects of your daily routine. Based on that information, companies will soon be able to make product suggestions that are targeted to your habits. The idea is to hit consumers with the right ad at the precise moment when they are looking for a specific product. Or in other words to make your advertising useful to the consumer. It’s seeing an ad for the local sub shop at the time you typically get hungry. Or seeing an ad for Gatorade at about the time you complete your workout. Or to see a price comparison for a popular product at different stores when you go grocery shopping. Of course, the drawback is that consumers may have reservations about giving companies more access to the personal habits than they already do. Companies will likely have to give some sort of incentive to entice consumers to allow them to gather more data.
- Content becomes shorter and more focused: One of the challenges of the smart watch industry thus far is that the size of the device diminishes the ability to display information properly. Over time this will change as the way we communicate changes. There will be a greater demand for concise messaging, whether it’s ads, articles or new kinds of media. People will gravitate to the convenience of smart watches as they are already enjoy the convenience of phones and tablets. They want answers, without intros and context. Marketers who can do that in creative ways will win.
- Content will be combined with the Internet of Things to make life more convenient for users: The best marketing provides value for consumers and wearable technology is no different. With greater access to consumer data, the best marketers will not only be able to provide you coupons for local coffee shop on your morning commute, they will also be able to provide an article telling you which one is the best. It may also be able to tell you its proximity to your current location, which can be critical for travelers.
- Ads will become similar to recommendations: Along similar lines, the data that companies can receive from wearable technology will allow them to provide content that is targeted and much more helpful to consumers. This content, of course, can position a company’s product as the answer to a consumer question or more appropriately, foster consumer trust in a company by answering a key question at an important time. Providing value to consumers is the essence of content marketing but having target data will certainly amp up the process.
- Content will interact with the real world: Currently, virtual reality is focused on entertainment, but over time, new practical uses will emerge with the help of wearable technology. For example, a map could appear when you walk out of your downtown hotel giving you suggestions for restaurants within walking distance. Events can giving you access to a map that helps your find vendors.
The marketing possibilities for wearable technology are both exciting and daunting. Close attention must be paid to how the industry progresses, especially the apps that are produced. Then consumer needs must always be considered. The companies that can stay focus on how to solve their problems will ultimately achieve marketing success with wearable technology.