How Wearable Technology Will Change Your Marketing Forever
Wearable technology is changing the way that we interact with the world around us, effectively enhancing our environmental perception. The notion of an “enhanced human experience” is about to change everything!
Linger on this thought for a moment. If people are interacting with their environments in a fundamentally new way, everything around them must too evolve and adapt. Your marketing is no exception. You must now create new (and better) customer experiences, or risk being left behind. Relevance, my friends, is the key to the future.
There are currently two main categories of wearable technology—apparel and devices, though things like near field implants are not far behind.
Google Glass, smart apparel and watches, fitness wristbands, virtual reality headsets, and near field jewellery are all part of the wearable landscape now. No matter if first designed as a fitness aid or a next level gaming component, the potential of wearable tech spans far beyond the initial features. These are exciting times, and this is only the beginning.
The Human Experience
No matter the format, wearable devices have one mission; to enhance the human experience. Wearables exist to make your life more convenient, more efficient, and to make you more effective at everything you do. In a fully augmented world, not employing wearables may leave you at a distinct disadvantage. Where is this all headed? Our devices will soon know what we want, before we do. This is not an unfounded notion…
If you think Facebook and Google know too much about you, you may want to sit down for this part. The sensors that manufacturers are placing in wearables can do much more than simply track your pulse and steps. They’re capable of reading and recording your biological reactions to stimuli—your emotional responses. Crazy right!?! It’s only a matter of time until this data can be refined and is made available to marketers, which will lead to an unprecedented level of contextual specificity.
What does this really mean? Marketers and advertisers will have direct insight into consumer emotion and will be able use dynamic ads to serve people based on their current emotional state. Feeling down? BAM, ice cream ad! Feeling bored? BOOM, trailer for a that sweet new movie that you’ve been reading about online! This is contextual advertising to the MAX and it will be fascinating to see what marketers do with this data.
As a marketer, it’s easy to get excited about the wearable possibilities; but as a consumer, having my bio-data widely available might make me a little uneasy. This is the conundrum of an elevated and extremely personalized customer experience. There are always questions around security and privacy when it comes to innovation (think about the first time you made a purchase online), but providing an exchange of value that outweighs the concern is how the obstacle is overcome. Relevancy is key, and this is why wearables will win.
Dynamic ads served to me based upon my emotional responses will eventually be so fine tuned, that I will be at least somewhat interested in everything I see. Watch TV for an hour. How many ads are applicable to you? Go for a walk. Do the billboards really speak to you? How many products do you see in a day that you will never (ever) use? I don’t know about you, but I would trade the noise of irrelevant ads for ones that I’m legitimately interested in any day!
Econsultancy recently published a report called A Marketer’s Guide to Wearable Technology, in which they identified 7 main areas of opportunity surrounding wearable tech. Here is a quick overview of these areas:
- New Customer Experiences – Wearables can deliver new experiences that ultimately invite the brand into a customer’s everyday life. The customer no longer goes on a journey, they are the journey.
- New revenue streams – If supportive and complimentary services can be built around the stock hardware, this would inevitable extend the lifetime value of the customer. Think digital subscriptions, plug-ins, and add-ons here.
- Loyalty – If you really excel at the previous two elements, you can create a long lasting bond with the consumer themselves. Think about it, if I invest a lot of time into my wearable (think health tracking), then all of my bio-data and experiences will be tied to that particular piece of hardware. I would need a very compelling reason to switch.
- Advocacy – Wearables, by nature, show a highly visual allegiance to a particular brand. Beyond this, if you design a great consumer experience and effectively add value to an individual’s life, these praises will most definitely be shared!
- Data – As discussed earlier, we will soon have bio-data on individual consumers for the first time ever. Bio-data can’t lie and cannot be bastardized by traditional surveying techniques. This is the real game changer.
- Advertising – Wearables will lead to unprecedented relevance with contextual advertising, which should prove to be very influential. Pairing up location with emotion will paint a very realistic picture of the individual’s preferences.
- Internal performance – Wearables are not just a new screen size to consider or simply a new way to sell products and services. The brands (and marketers) that will succeed in this space are those who understand that wearable tech is going to change the way we all live—period.
Wearable technology is still in its infancy, but as this category grows and matures, it will fundamentally change how we interpret and understand consumer behaviour. You should not fear this change—embrace it. Evolve and grow with wearables and watch as the world around us becomes more relevant and personalized. The future, my friends, is now!