With Microsoft's announcement earlier this week that their HoloLens Development Edition will ship to developers starting March 30, wearable technology in general has seen a surge in publicity and conversations around the proverbial watercooler in recent days. While the HoloLens isn't what many of us typically think of when it comes to wearable devices, such as smartwatches and fitness bands, it is an indication of how this technology is advancing and the market for wearables expanding. According to Business Insider, wearable technology sales could increase from 33 million devices sold in 2014 to 148 million devices in 2019.
As that expansion occurs, and wearables become less of a novelty, so too does the interest from brands and the impact on marketing. Here are three ways wearable technology is shaping marketing today and into the future:
With more messages and information competing for attention than ever before, modern marketers are accustomed to a "less is more" approach in communications. Wearable technology will challenge marketers to take that minimalist approach to the next level. With screen sizes smaller than those encountered even in other mobile marketing initiatives, marketers have to ensure that their messages can be understood and effective at a rapid glance. Eye-catching visuals and short, memorable messaging are essentials for marketing via wearables.
With nurture marketing gaining in popularity in recent years, the concept of context, by sending customers and prospects the right messages at the right time, is already in practice in the marketing efforts of companies of all types and sizes. Marketing initiatives for wearables, with their ability to tap into location-based marketing, require context as well. To be effective, marketing messages will have to take into account a wearer's emotions and location. Where will someone be at the moment they see your message, what activities will they be involved in, and how can you consider and appeal to what they are feeling at that moment in time?
The customer experience is nothing new, but wearables can help improve upon the experience your company delivers in new ways. For brands, it won't be enough to just be there for customers on their wearable devices, they will have to add value too. For wearables, problem solving should be the focus rather than product messaging, and convenience is at the heart of the customer experience. Helping individuals avoid traffic or other delays in their day, schedule appointments or quickly place routine orders are all ways that brands can help deliver convenience and improve the customer experience.
A Business Insider survey indicates that many consumers don't see why they should own a smartwatch, but the same was true for smartphones once too. While marketing via wearables may not be right for your brand right now, it's a channel to watch for all marketers as the technology and consumer adoption continues to evolve.