It’s currently estimated that Apple has sold between 2.5million and 3 million IWatches since their launch in June 2015.
As possibly one of the most hyped wearable technology releases in recent years, the device has seen a debate ignite surrounding the role of wearable technology and the impact this will have in the future for consumers.
Whilst wearables may begin to allow businesses and marketers to tap into consumer habits and identify emerging market trends, are consumers willing to accept an invasion on their privacy in order to receive targeted messaging?
Although location services and geo targeted campaigns and messaging are nothing new in the technology world, they have been used for some time by marketers to develop marketing strategies with an increasing number of businesses looking to develop this trend further and use wearables to gain additional audience insights. For example, take the wearable tech user who goes food shopping religiously every Monday without fail, they could be sent discounts and vouchers to their iWatch, which would then come to their attention on their walk around the shop all thanks to location based technology. Or, take a look at the FitBit user who tracks their every move and calorie count, what if on their daily workout they were reminded where to pick up a refreshment afterwards and provided advice for slowing down an increased heartrate or how to improve their workout next time. The possibilities for targeted campaigns are endless and wearable tech provides another platform for marketers to inform their consumers about the products and services available to them.
Director of Marketing Ali White from Calltracks comments:
“From a marketing perspective, the ability of wearable technology to track information and sync with mobile devices, will give marketers increased data on consumers actions and habits. By combining with other technology such as beacons this will further help marketeers refine their campaigns to suit the needs of customers. Joining up the online and offline journey will become even easier, using location tracking and behavioural data will ensure that campaigns have a better success rate”.
Consumers have become accustomed to personalised campaigns over the years and are increasingly demanding to see content that is relevant to them specifically. Wearable tech allows consumers to be tracked through yet another device and allows marketers to develop strategies specifically for them. Audience insight is key for campaign development, optimisation and delivery and by analysing consumer through a new device businesses are able to provide the consumer with the service they desire.
Privacy concerns are also another issue for businesses to consider when looking at the role of wearable technology in campaigns with a number of questions arising. How will the consumer switch off from content they do not want to see? How will data be collected on new devices? It can certainly not be assumed that consumers will willingly accept being hijacked by marketers but it can be hoped that if the content is relevant they will keep switched on.
New developments in wearables and the software needed for businesses to operate successfully on this platform also highlights the costs involved for marketers to consider when looking at the use of wearable technology in their strategies. After all, the cost of developing new software will only be passed onto the consumer and without the consumer buying the product campaigns are left lifeless.
Despite predictions that wrist-worn devices will account for 87% of wearable technology by 2018, I’s certainly at the start of its journey within the tech landscape, and if businesses can capture the consumers mind with innovative campaigns and strategies then expect the use of wearables to grow and not be left on the fad heap.