3 Ways Wearable Tech Will Change Marketing

Christine Birkner
Marketing News
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Key Takeaways
WHAT: Wearables likely will become commonplace over the next decade, allowing marketers to better connect with consumers, both literally and figuratively.

SO WHAT? Wearables will help marketers in industries from finance to healthcare to CPG collect data and enhance customer relationships.

NOW WHAT? Think about how to incorporate wearables in authentic ways. “The biggest driver for wearables is context. If you don’t use them in the right context, you’re wasting money.”
​While today’s U.S. consumers might own one wearable device, by 2020, the typical U.S. consumer will have eight, according to Warren Kay (pictured), the Austin, Texas-based vice president of advertising at Under Armour Connected Fitness, who moderated the “Year of the Connected Consumer” panel at Advertising Week XII in New York on Sept. 29.
 
Over the next decade, wearables will help marketers in industries from finance to healthcare to CPG collect data and connect with their customers. Here are three key insights from the panel:
 

1.  Millennials are embracing wearables.

“Today’s millennials leave the house with their phone, debit card and ID. As [the proliferation of] wearables increase[s], they won’t leave the house with any of these things,” said Stephen Root, vice president of global client innovation marketing at Foster City, Calif.-based Visa Inc.
 

2.  Wearables are transforming healthcare marketing.

Wearable tech can be used to track blood pressure, heart rate, the number of steps taken per day and other health-related indicators. Sixty percent of patients think that wearables will improve their health, and 30% use wearables to assist them in disease management, according to a study by Philadelphia-based marketing agency Digitas Health. “Wearables give you context and the ability to scale data, which equals a higher level of engagement in healthcare,” said Geoff McCleary, senior vice president and group director of mobile at Digitas Health.
 

3.  Wearables improve customer engagement.

Jeff Malmed, the New York-based managing director and head of mobile at Mindshare, a WPP agency, worked on a brand collaboration between Degree deodorant and the TV show So You Think You Can Dance that used wearables branded with the Degree logo to measure dancers’ movements.

 

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“It brought motion and movement to life,” he said of the effort. Don’t incorporate wearables just to seem relevant, he advised. “It needs to be an experience like that that adds a new level of engagement. … Build experiences that are opt-in and add value.”
 
Adds McCleary: “The biggest driver for wearables is context. If you don’t use them in the right context, you’re wasting money.”
 

Keep checking AMA.org for more real-time updates from Advertising Week XII, and for more insights straight from the show floor, follow @AMA_Marketing and #AMAatAdWeek on Twitter.

Author Bio:

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Christine Birkner
Christine Birkner is the senior staff writer for Marketing News and Marketing News Weekly. Contact her at cbirkner@ama.org.
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