Ask anyone in the tech industry where the future of mobile devices is trending and they’ll say wearable technology. While a lot of work remains to be done in research and development, the industry believes it’s only a few steps away from mainstream adoption.
Not only is this significant for consumers, but it’s also something digital marketers and business owners need to keep an eye on. Here’s why.
Early trends and predictions
With Apple poised to release its new Apple Watch -- including a $17,000 gold edition -- the entire tech industry is turning its attention to the blossoming field of wearable devices. By 2019, analysts predict vendors will have shipped more than 168 million wearable devices worldwide … with an estimated compound annual growth rate of a whopping 54.7 percent.
If you’re a digital marketer or business owner who understands the impact mobile devices have had thus far, how will you react to this quick growth? The good news is that you still have a little time.
It will take months -- possibly years -- for large-scale adoption, and changes should occur gradually. Although millions already own health-tracking wearables, and millions more will purchase the Apple Watch in the coming months, the majority of consumers probably won’t be early adopters.
The average price point will need to drop below $150 for most Americans to consider an investment, never mind overseas buyers. However, you will start to see gradual shifts in a matter of just a few months.
Specifically, experts say we should notice the impact of wearables in the following four general areas of digital marketing:
1. Social media
The impact of wearable technology will initially be felt in social media. From how users consume, share, and interact with content to the new ways in which you can reach consumers, the entire industry will undergo dynamic shifts.
Everything should become even more accessible, and formatting will likely undergo specific changes. It’s also possible that entirely new social networking sites will surface in order to offer wearable-specific features.
2. Data and analytics
According to Ashley Gelineau, “Wearable technology isn’t just about providing cool features to the user; it’s also about collecting massive amounts of data for marketing and analytical efforts.” Other marketers agree, and point to the fact that these devices will be capable of gathering further personal details regarding location, preferences, and even buying habits.
3. Online advertising
With so much new data available, it’s likely marketers will employ these devices for more geo-specific and highly-targeted advertising campaigns. For example, it may become possible for a business to send a coupon to a customer’s phone as he or she walks past the store. This is where marketers and advertising professionals will discover ways to monetize wearable devices.
4. App development
While Apple has already announced a number of apps for the Apple Watch (including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, ESPN, Gmail, and more), it’s safe to assume thousands more will follow suit. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to expect app developers will begin to focus on apps that are specifically designed for wearable devices.
Don’t fall behind
As a digital marketing professional or business owner, you’re going to need to stay up to date and flexible. Nobody can predict how fast these technologies will be adopted, or how great an impact wearable devices will have.
Despite the levels of uncertainty, however, it’s fairly certain areas like social media, data and analytics, online advertising, and app development will see permanent changes. How will your company prepare and adapt?