B2B Articles - Mar 31, 2014 6:48:35 PM
The popularity of the Internet of Things has been gaining speed over the last few years, with wearable tech becoming notably more mainstream. Fitness tracking devices, such as the UP-band from Jawbone, uses a wireless, real-time connection to track sleeping patterns, how many steps walked in a day, and other health-improving measures. Recently on the market are smart watches – having come a long way from the calculator watches of the 1980s – which can update via Wi-Fi or a cloud network and allows users to play music, read emails, get social media updates, and even take phone calls.
So then perhaps it’s no surprise that marketing research company Nielsen has recently predicted that half of Americans will buy wearable tech in the near future. In a study from the Connected Life Report Nielsen revealed that 48 percent of wearable tech owners are between the ages of 18 and 34. Many of those who have purchased wearable tech consider themselves“early adopters,” ensuring that they are ahead of the technological curve. Over two-thirds of users preferred fitness bands, 45 percent favored smart watches, and 17 percent favored mobile health devices.
As wearable tech developers must keep in mind, a device is only as profitable as it is useful. Making certain “dumb” objects “smart” may result in quick sales at first, but like most flash novelty items, the allure quickly wears out. Still, Nielsen’s report indicated that convenience was the biggest reason users purchased smart watches, and 57 percent of those who bought fitness bands said the major reason for their purchase was to be able to self-monitor their health.
The market for wearable devices is predicted to surge, as estimates from IHS Technology indicate that revenue is projected to reach $77 million by 2018. That’s a 120 percent industry jump from 2014, indicating that digital marketers will certainly have a new platform on which to advertise. It will surely take a bit of tweaking and experimenting, but just as marketers were able to (or are still continuing to get a handle on) marketing on smartphones and tablets, they will need to plan for how wearable devices will influence users’ shopping habits.
Big data will help push marketing strategies as well. Even with the early adopters, sensors are continuously picking up data, as users usually wear the devices for long periods of time – some all day, every day. Data can also be plucked from devices that allow for GPS directions, mobile coupons, and receiving text messages, enabling marketers to target users based on their location or specific words mentioned in texts.
But with new forms of technology comes the adjustment of consumer privacy levels from said data collection.
“Given the display and communication limitations inherent in the ecosystem, marketers should view wearables as the latest iteration of smartphones and tablets,” said Bill Briggs, CTO of Deloitte Digital Global Lead. “Direct advertising will be challenging given the form factors and the level of intimacy inherent in the devices. Unsolicited advertising could be distracting–or even dangerous–on watches, smart glasses, and the like. Contextual scenarios will be key, based on scenarios the user has opted into.”
Since digital marketers should have experience conforming their efforts to mobile devices, they may be better prepared for what wearable devices will have to offer. Responsive design and device rendering will be key, as well as the ability to balance privacy and big data. On top of that, marketing on wearable tech will need to integrate and interact with other tech, as wearables are usually not designed to exist by themselves. With these ideals in mind, digital marketers will well prepared for the growing wearable tech market.
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