Wearable Technology is on everyone’s lips; but what are the implications for Marketers?
Labelled by some as being the next big “disruptive” change, wearable technology is slowly creeping its way into Western culture, to the point that industries are beginning to make carefully considered decisions about how to embrace what could be a technological revolution.
Arguably the biggest thing since… Smartphones (and you thought I was going to say sliced bread!), wearable technology could change the way businesses approach marketing campaigns, with instant data and analytics being at the forefront of ‘glancing’ advertisements.
With information becoming even more instantaneous than ever before, through one’s glasses (Google Glass) or on one’s wrist (Apple’s iWatch), what is presented has to be perfectly crafted; meaning that which is presented will need to be instantly engaging and relevant if the otherwise occupied user is to take any notice.
This is a big warning towards marketers, as an entirely new form of advertising may have to be established in recognition of this potentially new form of audience readership – glancing consumption.
Glancing consumption indicates the nature in which a user is likely to see an advert on their wearable technology. There is no hypodermic needle consumption involved, no forced viewing; not like there was for previous forms of media (the TV as a prime example). What is on the iWatch can easily be ignored, left on a wrist at the edge of one’s jean pocket playing to an audience equaling the square root of 0. Thus, what is displayed must be concise, must be interesting, and must be relevant. For marketers, the latter point could prove the most resourceful. Wearable technology presents a step forward for targeted marketing, where location, emotion and context can be used to obtain readership and even achieve KPI’s.
An example, and one often used when discussing wearable technology, is that of a coffee shop advert. The tracking ability of wearable tech means a marketing team can send an advert to someone’s device as they are about to walk past the shop, offering a specific promotion or merely advertising their wares. This direct and relevant marketing can entice readers, it makes the relationship between business and customer considerably more personal. Of course the resounding issue with this form of marketing is the level of intrusion and spamming, and one would expect these would be heavily addressed before any marketing may overwhelm the technology; yet it does present a fantastic opportunity for companies, especially small, boutique ventures, to expand their marketing techniques.
Of course, targeted marketing is something which already exists. On Social Media, like Facebook, users will receive tailored adverts based upon their recent searches. Search for Coffee Shops and you may witness an increase of Starbucks adverts. Yet what wearable technology presents is contextual marketing, using constant analytics about the user to fire relevant adverts at them.
Further on from this, marketers may be able to tap into a user’s Social Media feed. If said user often reports how they are unhappy with their job, they could receive useful adverts from Recruitment Companies with a fantastic new job opportunity. Based upon information supplied on social media, such as their location and their hobbies, the advertised job may be tailored with specifics of particular enticing information.
From a marketer’s perspective, this offers a chance to approach appropriate individuals with ease. From the individual’s perspective, they may receive relevant adverts which enables them to make a career change. Win win.
At the moment, this is mostly speculation. We cannot accurately predict how successful wearable technology will be, or how it will integrate into society. We cannot foresee how great a marketing tool it may become. Econsultancy suggested 45% of current Smartphone users either own or plan to buy a wearable device within the next 12 months. Yet even such promising figures are unreliable, as we can’t determine how successful they will be even if everyone is wearing them. Time will surely tell. If it is anything like the Smartphone, then we are in for a full-blown disruption of current communication techniques. If it flops, then apologies for getting your hopes up.