Mobile Trends

Wearables and Advertising – A Perfect Fit?

It’s no secret that wearables are quickly gaining traction in the Australian market. A Pureprofile survey back in April suggested that 1 in 4 Australian adults will opt-in on wearable technology this year. Other research suggests that app companies can’t keep up with our surge in buying wearable technology. But while wearable tech is personal, it isn’t all created equal.  Some wearables are plug-and-use but many still require pairing with specific mobile devices. Others requires syncing or regular updates to be effective.  Many advertisers are cautious to step into what appears to be an overly complex space that consumers are only just coming to terms with.  It seems complex, but the reality is that wearables are just extending the reach of existing devices.  Once brands grasp the relationship between wearables and consumer engagement with other, more familiar screens like laptops and smartphones, it becomes a lot clearer. With careful positioning, and a good understanding of consumer behaviour, wearables will create exciting opportunities for dynamic advertising.

A Juniper Research mobile advertising case study revealed that wearables will be a $53 billion industry by 2019. But how exactly does advertising tie in? Even more than smartphones, wearables can generate powerful personal data that enable uniquely targeted advertising.  Wearable technology lets consumers track and monitor a range of activities and behaviours that are of great interest to advertisers.  Consumers using wearables are often recording personal information such as fitness & health habits. Generally wearable devices offer sleek, screen-less designs that don’t obstruct their activities, meaning consumers return to familiar interactive screens such as smartphones, tablets or laptops. 

Consumers using this tech to manage their lives often record quite specific user data, and if they choose to make this available to advertisers, it can be used to develop highly  targeted and personalised advertising.  On the other hand, without a carefully managed privacy policy, wearables advertising can quickly become a negative user experience.  Brands need to be careful to develop advertising that respects consumers and avoids disruptive and invasive messaging.  Done well however, advertising that takes wearable data into account has the potential to be highly effective. Imagine understanding the needs of an athlete by gathering their wearable data via a synced mobile app. What if an athletic company could understand how athletes used their wearable tech to track fitness & create a healthy lifestyle? With data synced to a mobile app, there are many opportunities for specifically targeted, opt-in wearables advertising. If the user reached a physical goal, the app could prompt a specific coupon, or advertisement for a service. This type of data is invaluable for creating effective location-based marketing for products and services in industries like health, fitness, retail and restaurants. By learning more about consumers from how they use and engage with data, marketers can forge relationships, and offer more relevant and helpful advertising that consumers are happy to receive.

Companies like Under Armour are releasing apps that pair with wearables to collect and collate personal health & fitness data. This kind of data provides hyper-personalised advertising opportunities, inevitably leading to smarter marketing. It’s a call and response to better targeting by understanding and maximising value from the helpful insight provided by the wearer. Consumers opting for wearables want to simplify their life, and wearables advertising can find opportunities that support consumers’ goals. It opens up a surplus of niche marketing opportunities, that will only increase new wearable tech is developed. Going into 2016, it’s easy to see how more mobile advertising partnerships will emerge in the wearable marketplace. Consider the data and how your consumers might already engage with wearable technology. Wearables are expanding marketing opportunities as we continue to get even more specific with customer targeting. This new trend means one thing- it’s time to get to know your customers even better than ever before.

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