Brands can already start to promote their products via smart-homes, smart-cars or wearables in the networked customers' everyday lives. New devices, changing user habits, and smaller displays require new formats, forcing traditional advertising to take a back seat.

Wearables enable a quick and convenient interaction with the advertiser

Still, 99% of our objects are not connected to the Internet, a fact that is most probably changing quickly, as around 350 million wearables are predicted to be in use worldwide by 2018. Most used will be smartwatches and fitness trackers, but other devices such as networked belts, washing machines or smart cutlery will change our everyday lives. Anyway, experts are convinced that people will soon look more often onto their smartwatch than their smartphone, considering ‘smartwatches’ an important growth factor and innovation driver in the digital industry.

Concise information about a product or a discount coupon can be quickly and easily placed in the visibility field of the customer. If the informative messages are tailored to the user, they are not perceived as advertising, but as a service. That’s the hurdle retailers have to conquer, as advertising formats must not only be adjusted, but completely rethought. Because, whatever works on the desktop, does not mean that it works on the smartwatch.

Useful tips for your ‘wearable marketing’:

Nothing ventured, nothing gained: Be bold: The most successful companies always prove to have a certain courage of taking risks. Start projects first by using a preliminary analysis, according to the trial-and-error principle, to find out which aspects of the project work well, which ones not, and which unnecessary processes can be left out.

Be geared to pioneers: For smartwatches there are already concrete application scenarios that achieved first successes. The parcel service DPD, for instance, makes use of an information service on the Apple Watch. That way, the customer has the option to retrieve current package information directly on the smartwatch in real-time. But what’s most important in this case is the fact that the user can even configure all settings, such as what kind of messages he gets displayed in what frequency. If brands respect the customers’ privacy and provide the right of co-determination, the new display can become a pushed and successful marketing tool.

Data competence is the nuts and bolts: The use of functional smart data structures is an important prerequisite for successful ‘wearable marketing’, therefore boost your data skills before you start with the first test projects, as having a nice design in the front end is definitely not enough.

The combination with Beacons leads to the customer: Linking iBeacon and wearable bundles digital power and creates innovative application scenarios for customer marketing - especially at the point of sale. Information about a user, already obtained with intelligent data processing, can be used to push highly personalized and relevant content onto the wearable.

Let us face the facts that the Internet of Things changes our world as we know it. Therefore, brands should deal with the technology in a responsible and clever way. Only those who respect the privacy of the user, will have long term success in ‘wearable-marketing’.

By Daniela la Marca