Google describes the Glass as “smart eyewear”.
In marketing we’re usually quite excited about new ways to engage our consumers. You can already hear rumours starting about the next frontier in digital marketing and some say it could be wearable technology.
Wearables are here already
It might surprise you to know there already exists a plethora of wearables on the market; Fitbit, Nike’s Fuel band and the Jawbone UP to name a few. These health and fitness wearables are already fairly popular with health-conscious consumers looking for an easy way to track calories, steps and even sleep patterns. There are also ‘smartwatches’ from companies like Samsung and Sony but none have managed to captivate consumers and drive mass adoption. For these reasons there have been limited opportunities for marketers.
Google recently launched their Glass. If you haven’t heard about Glass it features an interactive display on a pair of glasses which augments the world around you. So, you can get directions to a bar displayed in front of your eyes, or even translate foreign words just by looking them.
Sounds creepy, right? Maybe, but it also creates some useful and practical applications for marketers. Imagine glancing at your favourite restaurant and being shown the menu and a list of deals for that evening, or looking around to see exciting events happening in the local area.
The Apple Watch is predicted to start a smartwatch revolution.
Keen to take on the mass market Apple recently announced the Watch. The watch hopes to bring a new generation of watch apps and features to the market, like mobile payments and Geofencing. These new features use a variety of sensors on the device, like inbuilt GPS, NFC and a heart rate monitor to bring a much more personal and contextual experience to the user, potentially an excellent opportunity for marketers.
What does this mean for marketers?
As marketers we’re always pleased to hear about a new way to give consumers more of what they want. This often involves collecting some form of data about things they like (or dislike..) in order to send them useful products, information or services. It could be a behaviour, perhaps about their eating habits, which could be useful in order to advertise a particular restaurants to someone. Generally speaking the more information you know about a consumer the better the more targeted you can be with your efforts, and hopefully the happier the consumer.
Nike’s Fuel Band, a popular fitness and activity tracker.
The wearables industry has started to realise how valuable this sensory information is, and marketers will begin to use this more and more to improve their marketing efforts. Problems do exist however, as data is privacy is also becoming more of a concern. More consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their data being used as a commodity and some are preferring to keep it private, with some companies having to insist they won’t share it.
Wearables have arrived and we expect marketers will want to be involved. We also expect the more popular they become the more opportunities there will be for marketers, allowing them to engage the consumer in more personal and targeted ways. This will present challenges and perhaps require a rethink of how we target consumers on a variety of display types and interfaces. There will also be issues with data privacy, so marketers will need to overcome these obstacles and build trust with their users to achieve their marketing goals.