How Smart Watches Could Change Marketing
Everybody’s at it – Samsung, Sony, Nissan and it looks like Apple soon will be too. The smart watch it seems is the next big thing and like all big things, we as marketers are more than ready to take advantage of it.
Current projections estimate that around 500,000 of the smart watches will be sold this year, with around ten times that amount in 2014. In the meantime expect everyone from Apple to Microsoft to release devices in the next 18 months.
Smart watches are most likely the future, whether or not they’ll replace phones we’ll have to wait and see. Of course, for marketing purposes they make a lot of sense and there are plenty of ways they could potentially be used in the marketing mix.
Think of how much sense it makes. For instance most of these new devices will come equipped with NFC and similar technology that allows for mobile payment. There won’t be any need to reach into your pocket, all you’ll have to do is roll your wrist over a sensor at the till and your item’s paid for. Implement something like the new iPhone 5S’s finger print scanner and it’s almost security proof.
Location Based Adverts
These devices come with a whole raft of the features your phone does, the difference is that they are in a lot of ways a lot more accessible. Taking a quick look at your wrist is a lot easier than pulling a phone out of your pocket. Devices such as these with 4G connectivity, Wi-Fi and GPRS are going to be more than ideal for location based advert attempts.
Take for instance the recent discussions about large stores using in-store Wi-Fi and your phone to create heat maps of the items a specific customer looks at the most and there are all sorts of ways to influence purchases. For instance, when this in-store technology utilised with a smart fridge or cupboard, a smart watch could alert you to the need to purchase milk as you pass it in-store. This is only one of the possibilities out there for these devices.
In addition, they could push apps that rely on location right into the centre of the marketing mix. Apps like Foursquare must be rubbing their hands at the thought of these smart watch devices and understandably so as they will mean a raft of opportunities and far more utilisation of their software. The journey of the eye to the wrist is a lot shorter than it is to the pocket.
Fitness, Autos and a Whole Lot Else
Of course, the other side of the smart watch that could potentially be very lucrative is the area of app development. Already, Nissan has developed a smart watch that works in conjunction with its cars. So, who’s to say we won’t soon see all sorts of non-tech brands entering the wearable smart technology arena. We don’t know who for sure, but we wouldn’t hedge bets against sportswear brands, car manufacturers or music artists jumping on board with apps and even devices of their own. It happened to the headphone market, so why can’t it happen to these devices? Smart watches aren’t as high tech as phones, but still have their roots firmly planted in the fashion and design industry; so it could most certainly be a possibility.
The area of the smart watch is an exciting one that provides plenty of potential, room for development and scope for non-traditional companies to enter. Let’s wait and see – things could get exciting.
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