How Will Wearable Technology Change the Ways of Marketing

Wearable technology has arrived in mainstream gadgets such as smart watches and fitness wrist bands during the past years.

According to Tractica, total shipments of all wearble device is set to cross 560 million pieces  with an estimated device revenue of $95 billion by 2021.

From eye-wear that gives additional information on the world around you to smart-wear t shirts that track your athletic performance, technology is going to fused with daily objects.

Levi’s has already partnered with Google for Project Jacquard (smart jacket).

The denim jacket has a smart tag on the sleeve cuff that allows cyclists to control their paired smartphone.

For marketers this is an opportunity just like mobile device was in early 2000s.

Wearable technology has the potential to change how marketers gather data, reach out to users, advertise and convert customers.

Here are the aspects of marketing that wearable technology will change:

  • Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing strategy will have to adapt to wearable devices. Smaller screens on smart watches and eye-wear mean that information has to be less than 140 characters.

Marketers cannot rely on blogs and videos to pull in users. This will put pressure on marketers to come up with snippets of information that are relevant to readers.

This is not necessarily bad news though. Wearables will also give marketers lots of real time information (as we will see in next point) that will allow them to come up with extremely targeted messages.

Content may also be delivered in voice as most wearables lack screens.

Integrating wearables in your content marketing plan requires changing your content length, format and delivery.

  • Data on Users

Until now we have only been collecting data on user demographics and online behaviour.  Wearables will give offline data on users that was previously impossible.

Data on physiological changes, daily routines and decision making process can be ground-breaking revelations for your brand.

Imagine knowing the eye pupil dilation of a consumer as she walks across shelves in departmental stores.

This will give an indication of level on interests in products and her reaction to new product.

This data is possible with wearables that monitor user bodily functions 24×7.

Such detailed data will allow marketers to define their audience, build better products and give more personalized content.

  • Buyer’s Journey

How we purchase products today is very different from the way we purchased ten years ago.

Today, a typical consumer goes through search information, multiple websites, mobile apps and sometimes in-store visits before deciding to buy.

In fact, Google’s ZMOT research suggests that an average consumer has more than 10 brand touch-points on his customer journey.

Wearables will also alter this buyer’s journey by adding to it or maybe even making it shorter.

Timely push notifications by a brand may speed up the process by giving enough touch-points in a shot span of time.

More importantly, brand interactions will become part of the usual day where brands don’t have to sit around waiting for users to log in online for interaction.

An example could be a blood sugar level alert after every meal by a healthcare brand.

  • Wearables App Development

Most wearables do not have screens fit for traditional website and mobile applications.

For this marketers will have to invest in wearable optimized application. The content of the application must be customized to buyer’s stage with clear call to action to move the customer further along the funnel.

Wearable apps could be used to send push notifications that compel users to check brand apps or website.

The marketing funnel itself may not change much but the steps and call to action will change according to the device.

Whether users will actually make purchase on smart watches remains to be tested.

However, going by the number of people using mobile apps for sensitive tasks such as banking, it is possible that people will embrace any channel that is convenient and safe.

  • Paid Ad Strategy

Marketers will also have to rethink their digital paid advertisement strategy. Consider the following advancements in technology:

  • No screen for wearable will mean more emphasis on voice search
  • Internet of Things (IoT) means all your gadgets are interconnected
  • Emergence of Artificial intelligence means ad platforms are continuously learning about you

All these changes mean that users will no longer be targeted by keywords but by real- life situations they are in.

For example, your smartwatch would know through connection with smart coffee machine that your coffee beans are over.

In turn your ad could be ‘read out’ by the virtual assistant (like Siri) as a suggestion to order coffee beans.

This could be wearable’s own ad platform or an extension of current platforms like Google Adwords to wearable.

Let’s Wrap it Up

Wearable technology is still in its early phase but will be common by 2021.

The interplay of wearables, AI, machine learning, voice search and internet of things is going to bring about a massive change in how businesses market their products.

Marketers must use this to serve relevant information. Pushing intrusive content on a personal wearable can ring data privacy alarms for consumers.

How Blockchain Technology Could Change Marketing in Future

Blockchain is the technology underlying crypto-currencies like Bitcoin.

However, it has the potential to change every industry and every function of a business. The technology which is still in its early stage is all set to change the way we work, transact and sell.

Here is a simplified explanation of blockchain:

“Blockchain is a ledger or record keeping technology that records all the transactions in a global distributed network.”

You may be wondering why a decentralized book-keeping is such a big deal and what exactly the use of such a technology is.

To understand this lets take an example of the banking industry.

When you transfer $100 to your friend you simply give your money to her.

Have you thought why you need a bank at all in between?

The bank’s job is to record the transaction and validate it.

The bank verifies that you have $100 less in your account and your friend has $100 more in her account.

Now, imagine a technology that records this transfer of money in a distributed network so that anyone can see how the money has moved.

There is no requirement of a bank in this case. Blockchain is a technology that can record the movement of assets and value online.

It restores trust in the system without the need of an intermediary to do so.

It is a radical way of doing transactions that is going to change our systems, institutions and business models.

Here is a video by World Economic Forum for more clarity.

From financial institutions to healthcare industry, blockchain technology is set to disrupt all sectors.

Marketing is another area where the technology will bring about change.

Marketers will have to rethink their marketing strategy in a blockchain enabled world, just like they had to embrace digital marketing with the introduction of the internet.

Here are some changes in marketing we can foresee with the blockchain technology:

1. Verification of Ad Delivery

Many startups are working in digital advertising space to change how digital ads work.

Blockchain can embed a tracker in ad creative and trace its journey across web to give you data on its impression, audience and action.

This means less dependency on ad platforms such as Google Adwords and Facebook Ads.

2. Paid Ad Platforms could be Eliminated

To take the above idea further it is even possible that ad platforms such as Adwords and Facebook Ads are eliminated in the future.

This is because theses platforms are currently owning the customer data and selling it to businesses for advertising.

In a blockchain economy, internet users could keep their search data private and sell it directly to businesses.

This eliminates ad platforms and allows buyers and advertisers to contact each other directly.

3. Proof of Claims on Products

Marketers usually use claims like ‘100% organic’ or ‘500 customers served successfully’.

However, how do the customers trust these claims? They usually have to fall back on the brand authority or a friend’s recommendation.

Blockchain will allow claims to be verified in real time by the customer.

Imagine a QR code on fruits that can be scanned to see the whole supply chain, right from where it is sourced, its chemical processing to its distribution channel.

All claims made by marketers could be verified by shared document that cannot be modified or tampered with.

Wal-Mart is already using this to verify supply chain for pork inventory using IBM Blockchain platform.

4. Loyalty Points could be Traded

It would be possible to trade loyalty points by customers using blockchain technology.

Consumers typically have reward points from various companies in travel, retail and finance.

Keeping a track of all loyalty points and their terms and conditions becomes difficult in such a case and most of the benefits are not used.

A blockchain based loyalty platform will allow for traceable exchange of points among customers.

This will mean that marketers will have to get innovative with their loyalty programs and benefits given.

A valuable loyalty point will attract more buyers to the brand.

IBM is already working on a blockchain infrastructure for loyalty and reward program in partnership with a startup called Loyyal.

5. Smart Contracts with Influencers and Consumers

Contracts are a complex maze of legal words and conditions. Most of the parties don’t even read it and enforcing such contracts becomes a difficult task for everyone involved.

This could change with the introduction of smart contracts.

Smart contracts are self executing and maintain a traceable record of all actions and asset transactions in blockchain.

To understand take an example of a smart contract with a social media influencer that your brand has tied up with.

Smart contract can state that payment will be done to the influencer when the post containing your brand name will reach 1000 views.

The payment is done automatically form your account once 1000 views are reached and none of the party has to worry about execution of contract.

Smart contracts would also be used for brand and consumer transactions.

It’s because, smart contacts are self-regulating and verifiable across all  the networks.

Smart contracts will restore trusts among everyone doing business.

Bringing it all together

These are some of the disruptive changes we can foresee in marketing.

Blockchain start ups and big tech companies have already started working on them.

However, we never know how the blockchain economy is going to shape up.

It is still too early to see the full scale of change that blockchain technology is going to bring, just like it was difficult to predict how the internet would revolutionize the world back in 1990.