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MARKETING: Marketing and Wearables
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Marketing and Wearables

By Justin Toy


BT 201606 110 02 MARKETING wearable technology fashion 7Wearable technology is a sector that is growing in popularity at a rapid pace. The industry has moved past connected eyewear and smartwatches and offers a growing variety of products like wrist bands, smart shoes, smart jewelry, smart apparels, and more. Companies are creating apparel, accessories, and fitness wear that can do everything from monitoring heart rate to charging a smartphone to unlocking doors. The overall wearable technology market is expected to reach USD 31.27 billion by 2020, with an annual growth rate of around 17.8%.


As wearables become more mainstream, these products will present marketers with a wealth of new consumer data that can be applied in various new ways. Marketers will be able to more accurately understand users' motives, movements, and habits in order to obtain great insight into who their customers are. What is the average fitness level of our users? What do our users typically do before they visit our business? What is the average health profile of our customers? Understanding these insights will help digital marketers have a better sense of how and when to engage with consumers in a more helpful way. Below is a look at insights into six major marketing trends regarding wearable technology.


Proximity Marketing


Wearable technology will help propel the adoption of "just in time" notifications, a system that alerts users with small yet potent information that aids them at a specific moment. This concept of location-based marketing already exists with traditional mobile devices such as Apple's iBeacon technology. This technology allows consumers walking through a store to receive product information, reviews, or promotional coupons based specifically on products in front of them. However, as wearable technology advances and becomes more widely adopted, marketers will be able to help enhance the experience. Eventually, marketing guesswork will be virtually eliminated as consumers will view location-specific content at the exact moment it was intended, and with the increased use of wearables, viewing the content will be as effortless as checking the time on your watch.


Personalized Health Content


BT 201606 110 03 MARKETINGAs of right now, and for the foreseeable future, wearable devices are dominated by health and fitness trackers. The market is crowded with fitness devices by Fitbit, Apple, Pebble, Jawbone, Misfit, LG and other makers. Recent efforts to unify analytic standards for tracking information via Apple's and Google's health platforms will help to eventually create enough data for the development of health "profiles." These health profiles will lead to customised content that can be sent to a user once they have completed a specific action that triggers an event. Marketers will be able to develop strategies from health profiles where users are rewarded with discounts and promotions for a long workout or meeting a milestone like running 100 miles in a month. Imagine finishing a long, hard workout then getting a celebratory notification from a nearby coffee shop which is also offering a big discount on its products.

Mobile Pay


BT 201606 110 04 MARKETING Apple Watch and PayWearables aren't primed to revolutionize the world as much as they are set to make existing systems more convenient and more mainstream. With smartphones alone, electronic banking companies like PayPal and Square are increasing their influence by partnering with businesses that allow users to pay securely and effortlessly via mobile.


As wearables become more prominent, many of these devices, especially smartwatches, will be equipped to make mobile payments, helping make electronic wallets more mainstream. Mobile wallets aren't a very large marketing channel at the moment, but they have a lot of potential to affect sales and purchasing decisions. The ability to literally deliver content to a consumer's wallet at the time of purchase is a powerful tool for marketers. For consumers, this means a total elimination of human error when remembering coupons and sales.


Real-Life Interactive Elements


BT 201606 110 05 MARKETING augmented reality2One of the biggest impacts wearable technology will have is further blurring the line between technology and reality. Smartphones and other mobile devices allowed us to use Internet-enabled devices on the go. The cameras, microphones and apps that we carry in our pockets enable us to interact with our environments, but wearable technology will start to be a part of us.


The aim of Google Glass, despite its failing, was to overlay a technological interface on the real world, and that will continue to be a goal in future generations of wearable technology. As such, users will begin to demand content and material that somehow "interacts" with the real world. It could be a 3D article that pops up when a user physically arrives at a certain destination. It could be an in-store map that appears when a user enters a shopping mall. It will be exciting to see the fun ways that marketers will introduce these interactive elements.


Geographically Relevant Content


BT 201606 110 06 MARKETINGCurrently, many businesses are writing "local content" for the purposes of ranking in local search queries. By including geographic keywords, such as their city and neighborhood names, they increase their chances of getting seen by someone within the city doing a search relevant to their business.


This strategy makes sense, and can already be considered "geographically relevant content." However, wearable technology will demand that this content be taken to the next level. Content will need to be location specific, down to the level of streets and blocks, to meet user demand. People will crave experiences that are shaped by their current and past positions, and wearable technology will help deliver it.


Alternative Mediums


BT 201606 110 07 MARKETINGWritten articles have been the central focus of online content marketing strategies since the dawn of the strategy back in the early 2010s. But as users demand more immediate information and screens become even smaller or even non existent, that format will start to die out in favor of new mediums.


Visual components, like images and videos, have already started to become more popular than written word and that trend will only continue. Newer mediums, such as holograms and virtual reality, will emerge. Although to many people, these technologies still seem like science fiction, they are much closer than most people realise. Check out Magic Leap, HoloLens, and Oculus Rift to see what the pioneers in these fields are currently up to.


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