The Challenges of Smart Watch Marketing

With the world of marketing growing and the speed of technology developing, it is difficult for a marketer to be successful on the latest and greatest device. A recent development has brought us into the age of smart watches, which present a range of new issues for marketers.

Here are some challenges your company should consider before delving into smart watch marketing.

 1.  Adapt Content to a Small Screen.

Not much can be said on a 1.5-1.7 inch screen, so major creativity is essential. If you are able to get your message across- with a picture and/or short phrase, this may be the most effective marketing strategy for this platform.

“The challenge marketers will face will be one of using adequate restraint… The temptation will be to try to rush onto people’s wrists with the kind of content that is currently served on their phones. This will be a mistake.” Ben Parker, Naked Communications’ head of strategy, states in an article from AdWeek.

2. Don’t Overindulge.

The last thing people want is to have an ad pop up every time they glance at their smart watch. Ads should be limited and placed strategically.  A large portion of consumers of smart watches are health/fitness users, which open up an opportunity for health and fitness companies. For example, when a user finishes a run and checks their watch to see how many calories were burned, a “Just Do It” Nike picture shows up on the screen or a Lululemon picture showing off their latest polka-dot running shorts. Companies that have relevance to apps and features on the watch will be most successful with this strategy.

3. Remember There Is No Direct Access to Your Website.

Unlike a mobile device or a computer, smart watch marketing cannot directly lead you to a company’s website. This makes it more difficult for a direct purchase, which creates a greater need for the ad to be memorable. Instead of the goal of an ad to be “buy this right now”, the message needs to be more subtle. It should show how your brand is going to add value to consumers.

Another idea to keep in mind is that advertisements can lead to a company’s app on the watch, which then may lead to a purchase. For example, if you are scrolling through your Twitter timeline, a company may tweet a direct link to download their app. This is a subtle, but useful marketing tool.

4. Is Your Ad Invasive or Convenient?

You are walking into the grocery store for your weekly stock up, when your wrist starts vibrating offering a 2 for 1 deal on avocados. Some may be thrilled because he or she loves avocados and are a must on their list. Others may be weirded out that their watch has tracked them and acknowledged that they have just walked into a grocery store.

Clark Howard, consumer expert and radio host of the Clark Howard Show, states “the reality is all kinds of devices, in what’s known as the internet of things, are invading our lives. The government is trying to figure out the privacy angle on it… Right now, we don’t have any rights on what they do with that information.”

Your company will need to quickly learn what the boundaries are: if your ads will be considered convenient or too invasive. Location-based marketing, tracking where the Apple Pay feature is used, and having statistics of the user’s current health status are all very helpful tools to target potential customers, but how far is too far?

Although it is tempting to jump on the newest trend, being  strategic about smart watch marketing is key.

Karlee Bryde – Content Creator

Created in partnership with Furman University.

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