Like tech geeks everywhere, the team at BIGEYE’s Orlando advertising agency was thrilled to hear about Apple’s latest innovation, the Apple Watch. Just like many moons ago when cellphones were limited to just calling one another, watches that simply tell time may be a thing of the past.
But what is the implication of the Apple Watch for marketers? We’ve always been advocates of the possibilities of “wearable tech,” but we think the Apple Watch is going to open up a new world of applications that marketers can leverage to help engage with their customers.
The most amazing-and likely the most impactful-features that make up the Apple Watch are its ability to display social media updates, run simplified apps and access Siri. Marketing companies can find ways to leverage the Apple Watch as a tool to generate more customer touch points through customized apps and via integration with mobile technology. For instance, athletic companies may be able to use the Apple Watch to help users monitor both heart rates and fitness activities. Companies like FitBit and Nike’s Fuelband helped create this type of interactive wear, but with a seamless integration to Apple’s iPhone, the target audience for this technology is much broader. As a result, it will now be easier than ever to share this health information with an even larger demographic. In doing so, companies can also collect data about users’ activities to help target nutrition ads, gym deals and other special offers, directly to their watches.
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Another interesting aspect of the Apple Watch is its projected ability to revolutionize mobile payments. While this technology has been in play for quite some time (think Google Wallet), historically, it seems that when Apple adopts technology, it then becomes an industry standard. Simplified mobile payments will undoubtedly make it even easier for people to make purchases in both brick-and-mortar stores and via online channels. The technology tips its hat to Eastern countries such as China and Japan, where payments made directly from mobile devices is the norm. The West has been slow to adopt this technology, but with the new Apple Watch, there are more opportunities for watch payments to revolutionize the way people conduct transactions. This is great for marketers, because as we all know, the less cumbersome the steps in the purchasing process, the more likely the end result will be a sale.
[quote]Although we don’t yet know everything about the possibilities in the world of smart watches, we do know that this type of technology can change the way we communicate with one another.[/quote] As many people have begun communicating using visual expressions-such as emojis and Snapchat-rather than written expressions, the Apple Watch can make messages of the visual-type even easier to exchange than sending a text or email from your cell. As a result, we anticipate that communication will become even simpler than it already is. In fact, Apple’s Watches will even have a vibration feature that allows you to get someone else’s attention by sending them a vibration that no one else can hear. And, if you can get a friend’s attention with just a simple vibrate, then think of how an advertiser might be able to attract the attention of a broad audience with just one interaction!
The Apple Watch won’t eliminate the need for iPhones. In fact, it is reliant on owning an iPhone to use it. But, what it will do is provide even more opportunities for marketers to become part of their customers’ everyday lives.
By finding intelligent ways to leverage Apple Watch technology, marketers will remain at the forefront of innovation.