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What Does Wearable Technology Mean for Marketers?

OKLAHOMA CITY – By Amy Blackburn, Saxum

For decades, a watch was an indispensable accessory. When cell phones became the norm, many gave up on the watch and began using their phones to tell time. Now, the watch is back in fashion with a twist: as an integrated partner, be that with your health, your phone, your tablet, or even your golf game. In the case of the Apple Watch, it’s all of the above.

There is no doubt that the prevalence and rapidly changing technology of the cell phone changed the way we market. By designing mobile sites and developing mobile applications, we adapted to the way people were consuming content. So how, as marketers, do we do that with a watch?

First, we must ask ourselves: Do my products and services align with the capabilities of the Apple Watch and should we be on the platform? Knee-jerk reactions to jump on the bandwagon will prove unprofitable in the long run – but a carefully planned, seamlessly integrated strategy could be the golden ticket.

With that said, there are a few industries that should keep a close eye on the Apple Watch.

  • Banking and Finance: Apple projects that the Apple Watch will become an “every day” device, much like the iPhone. With the dramatic rise of mobile banking, an abbreviated version of an existing banking application could prove to be a daily essential – even if its ability is limited to checking account balances or making simple transfers.
  • Brick-and-Mortar Retail: Utilizing the Apple Watch’s location-based capabilities, retailers could offer real-time discounts or offers at the point-of-sale, or even product-specific offers based on where a person is located within a store.
  • Health Care: Fitness tracking is no longer a novelty. The Apple Watch is taking it beyond a pedometer with the ability to measure heart rate and integrate it with your overall level of activity. The advanced fitness tracking capabilities give you a real-time measurement of how much you sit, stand, or walk each day. The accelerometer measures not only steps, but also total body movements to measure calorie burn.
  • Travel and Hospitality: Using haptic technology, which delivers real-time tactile feedback, the Apple Watch can provide turn-by-turn navigation to guide users through a city. Further, imagine using your watch as an airline boarding pass, or bypassing hotel check-in and using your watch as a hotel room key – all feasible with the Apple Watch.

It’s clear that the technology is revolutionary, but widespread adoption remains to be seen. Regardless, it is crucial to stay on top of the wearable market, and how your brand can integrate with new technologies.

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