Wearable Technology: Could This Be the Next Big Thing?

Smartwatches and smart glasses are currently the most popular wearable devices

Could the next big thing in advertising for publishers be wearable technology? Wearable technology is blurring the lines between our computing and non-computing lives, and is providing new options in advertising for publishers. Wearables include devices like Google Glass, SmartBit watches and Motorola Moto 360, Motorola’s first Android Wear device. They’re worn like an article of clothing and are used to gather and present data and / or enhance the surrounding world.

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A person’s SmartBit or Pebble watch may be busy gathering vital physiological data as a person walks down a city street using his Google Glass to take in data about landmarks and surroundings. It’s almost as if the whole world becomes a customized environment, tailored to an individual’s tastes and wants. Deloitte predicts that in 2014, 10 million wearable devices will be sold, augmenting $750 billion worth of non-wearable connected devices like tablets and smartphones expected to be sold this year. These devices provide countless opportunities in advertising for publishers.

Information Wearable Tech Can Collect

Different devices collect different types of data, and brands and publishers interested in using wearables as a platform for advertising need to learn to think like platforms. Michael Becker, mobile marketing expert, tells AdWeek, ”Wearable tech is not a niche play; it’s a broad industry wide phenomenon impacting everything.”

Wearables provide the opportunity for marketers to examine data and tailor ads to the wearer. The question will become one of how willing users will be to share the data collected by their wearable devices. They may become willing participants in advertising by publishers if they believe they will receive something of value in return, such as coupons or free subscriptions.

In these early stages of the wearable revolution, publishers and advertisers need to pay attention to each new wearable device as its released and determine what kind of useful data it could offer, whether it would make sense for the advertiser’s brand, and what publishers and advertisers could offer in exchange for data collected from users. Being able to learn, for example, whether a television viewer is in front of a screen while an advertisement is playing and whether the viewer is paying attention could prove very valuable for an advertiser.

How Publishers Can Use This Information

Advertisers and publishers could offer how-tos or demonstrations directly related to a wearable tech user's activities.
Advertisers and publishers could offer how-tos or demonstrations directly related to a wearable tech user’s activities.

When they collect relevant data from wearable tech, publishers may use the information to create product demos, testimonials, or how-tos that meet a wearer’s immediate needs. The information provided by publishers and advertisers can help solidify customer buying decisions, and may be able to do so while the customer is in the store with access to the advertiser’s products.

Some companies are already developing services for the emerging wearable paradigm. For example, Walgreens wants to be able to print mobile photos, and Nissan is developing technology to provide a driver’s car data right to her smartwatch. Another technology that could emerge from the world of wearable tech is digital analytics from traditional advertising forms like print, billboards, and transit ads, collected when a person with a wearable device views these ads.

Focus Groups and Wearable Technology

Wearables could end up transforming advertising for publishers by redefining the focus group too. Brands today rely on explicit responses and feedback from focus groups, but focus groups are not terribly reliable in their current form. Focus groups of tomorrow could yield the actual attention responses of participants rather than having advertisers focus on what participants explicitly report, which can be skewed by participant expectations. App maker Plastic Mobile recently teamed up with True Impact Marketing to use a mix of traditional and novel focus group techniques to learn to identify times when participants would say one thing while actually feeling another, toward the goal of more accurate assessment of focus group data.

Companies are finally learning how to effectively push ads to mobile devices, and wearable technologies could be their next frontier, according to Citrix’s latest report on the state of mobile technology. The audience for mobile ads has nearly doubled over the past year, and wearable tech will only increase it further. As the so-called ”internet of things” becomes closer to reality as more puzzle pieces slide into place, advertising for publishers will be dealing with more consumer data than they might have imagined. Learning to make the most of all that data – of which data from wearables will make up a significant chunk – will allow publishers and brands to make smarter decisions when it comes to marketing to today’s (and tomorrow’s) consumer.

RealMatch offers recruitment advertising solutions for digital publishers and media companies, helping these organizations monetize their content in ways that enhance and complement their overall site monetization strategies. Why not contact RealMatch to learn more?

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