Mobile Trends

Glanceable Marketing Infiltrates Wearable Adoption

While fitness and mobile payment options fueled wearable adoption in Australia, these devices have yet to hit mass penetration across APAC. Last year, we introduced readers to advertising with wearable technology. While movement-based brands found an obvious route to encourage wearable adoption, other brands completely missed the superpower these devices have on mobile marketing. Enters the micro-opportunity – that is, the two-second glance Aussies give their wearable device when it pings a notification. This micro-opportunity is called glance-able marketing, and brands will very be remiss to ignore it. While it’s definitive for mobile marketers, glance-able marketing opportunities are still relatively untapped when marketing to wearable adopters.

Fitness boosted wearable adoption

Pureprofile’s latest research found young, healthy people aren’t the only people using fitness trackers to stay healthy. Over 1,000 Australians responded, with just as many baby boomers and seniors saying they were adopting healthy technology just as quickly as younger users. While 44% use a wrist device or smartphone app to track their fitness, the difference in device choice came down to 42% respondents tracking time and 51% tracking calories burned. Males were 14% more likely to choose an Apple Watch than females, meanwhile women were 13% more likely to opt for a Fitbit than males. When it came to wearables overall, Pureprofile found no gender bias. “The idea that new wearable technology scares older people and that the devices are only worn by the young and healthy is not true,”  says Kym Penhall, Pureprofile research consultant. “If you look at ads for these devices, they focus on young fit people undertaking strenuous activities. They don’t acknowledge the concept of walking as an exercise to maintain a moderate level of fitness.” Brands know wearable adoption was initially inspired by the fitness-conscious, but it seems many choose to stay stuck on this train of thought. While health boosted wearable sales, marketers should view it as a potential gateway, and not why consumers look at their devices a hundred times daily. 

Wearables create rich user data

While mobile devices provide brands with a flood of customer data such as how they shop, where they travel to, and when they decide to make mobile purchases, wearables up the stakes with first-party data. Brands that keep a close eye on the data customers provide to them can create better experiences for them in the future, and data from wearables is no different. In fact, this data is even more accurate and personal due to just how mobile they are, without interfering with convenience. Pureprofile finds the largest percentage of fitness device users (such as smartphone apps and wristbands) are over age 60. Elderly exercisers use wearable devices to track their exercise three times per week on average, with 67% saying walking is their main activity. In fact, walking represents the most common form of exercise for every age group. But a quick glimpse at mobile ads for these devices reveals a focus on younger demographics undertaking strenuous activities.. A picture that simply doesn’t cater to the majority. For Australia’s mobile ad industry, it’s easy to miss the mark. Young people aren’t the only ones with wearables, and strenuous activity isn’t the only work-out wearables are tracking. Retailers that ignore these findings, as well as location-aware technologies that provide further insight, lose a heavy segment of the market.

Wearable devices remove barriers for mobile payments

Mobile payments and wearables share a link, and as we’ve covered before, users prefer convenience and ease of use over all. Rob Reeg, Mastercard’s President of Operations and Technology, says physical cards just may go obsolete, with wearables moving the Australian economy to be cashless in the next five to ten years. But the versatility of mobile payments and what wearable devices can do remains in a static circle of refrain – one where potential wearable adopters hold out until more POS systems accept these payment methods, and conversely, businesses wait to offer contactless payment options until more of their customers use wearables. But as Australian consumers seek devices that adapt to their way of life, some brands are stepping up to deliver next-level experiences that tap into glance-able moments, and the benefits users get from their wearable usage. We’ve provided several examples brands using wearables to leverage better experiences and garner customer loyalty.

Fitbit went video-immersive

fitbit personal trainer

Fitbits are one of the most popular wearable devices on the market, but simply wearing an activity bracelet won’t make the wearer fit. This message was once lost on activity bracelet-wearers, so Fitbit positioned exercise videos to complement its flagship product. By bringing its customers workout videos that work directly in-app, the company managed to not only complement the wearable with exercises, but it also acts as a brand ambassador to mobile users of the app who don’t have a Fitbit wristband. Since anyone can view the videos and participate in workouts, this initiative may encourage potential buyers, while adding to the experience for those who own one but need a gentle push to utilise it. Fitbit Personal Trainer ups the ante by adapting workouts and changing routines based on how the Fitbit wearer progresses through their regimen. This wearable interactive experience acts as a personal trainer, eliminates video fatigue, and instead of making the Fitbit product the focus, it makes it an integral part of an immersive experience.

Disney incentivised wearables with added convenience

disney magicbands

Disney rolled out their MagicBand wearables at Disneyland ventures worldwide in an effort to upgrade the Disney experience for guests. This initiative moved fast in implementing wearable adoption to help identify visitors, provide shuttle bus access, shorter queues, park entry, and better guest recognition at restaurants. These wristbands are even paired with a credit card, making it a contactless payment method for goods and services at any Disney park. The bonus? This wearable is an effortless collector of data that reveals how guests move about the park and make transactions. This type of revelatory data helps Disney optimise experiences for future guests, and fine tune location-aware marketing concepts.

“With a convenient, mobile device that is attached at all times, along with their openness to brand-content, wearable device owners are a lucrative consumer group for marketers.” – John Price, Head of Marketing Effectiveness at Nielsen

Optimism for wearables remains high, with the market expected to more than double. Towards the end of 2016, 3 million Australians ages 14 and up have wearable devices (Nielsen’s Consumer and Media View), which suggests this category as it pertains to mobile advertising is still in its entry stages. Nielsen also found 49% of these wearable owners search for product information online, and say apps and websites both serve as a fundamental part of a high-quality experience. One in five wearable device owners live a high-exposure lifestyle and have an affluent background, which present powerful marketing opportunities for mobile, outdoor, and cinema ads. Glance-able moments have a staying power of their own, and paired with the right message and proper location, marketing in this manner results in a steep rise in engagement – especially if the location is in or near a retail store. Although it’s tempting to sleep on forming mobile creative strategies that leverage wearable adoption, brands must begin forming campaigns early. Marketers can’t depend on mobile trends to drive wearable adoption; they must depend on their ability to use the data they’ve collected to engage the consumers who are willing to give them a glance.

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