By Andrew Petro
When you think of wearable technology, what comes to mind? Do you think of all the fitness trackers on the market? Does your mind immediately jump to the recently released Apple Watch? As consumers, many of us assess wearable technology based on what it can do for us. But, when we look at all the data that is collected from these devices, it begins to emerge as a highly valuable tool for businesses to better understand their customers and better target engagement efforts.
It’s clear that wearable technology is here to stay. According to the 2014 Citrix Wearables Survey Forecast by Wakefield Research, 91 percent of Americans are excited about wearable technology and 60 percent think wearable technology will be as common as smartphones in the next six years. Research from IDTechEx also suggests that the market for wearable technology will only continue to grow. Early predictions see the market rising from $24.2 billion this year to $74 billion in 2025. With consistent adoption by consumers, marketers would be remiss to neglect the potential for meaningful insight to be gleaned from this wealth of personalized information.
Wearable tech is a virtual gold mine for data and customer information
As marketers begin to allocate their resources to incorporate wearable technology, many are considering how their time and focus can be leveraged most effectively. Steve Miller, account executive at digital marketing agency Brolik, said, “I do not think wearable devices will host ads the same way our other devices do because the relationship between the device and your senses is too intimate.” But Brolik and many others have acknowledged the data that wearables collect as crucial for making ads more relevant on other devices. When advertisements are placed so that they can reach a more personalized audience, the information is more likely to resonate with the viewers resulting in a greater ROI.
Bill Briggs, chief technology officer at Deloitte Consulting, recently reiterated how important the data that can be collected from wearable devices can be to marketing strategies. According to Briggs, sensors and context-sensitivity are important components of wearables that are generating valuable data. Marketers should begin to think about how they can use this information to enhance and differentiate their customers’ experiences.
Wearables can help us understand a customer’s emotions
According to Redg Snodgrass, co-founder of technology accelerator Wearable World, this technology will lead marketers to develop “an EKG understanding of our end users.” Snodgrass suggested that the microscopic sensors implanted in smart clothing could potentially read the users’ biological responses when purchasing and using products and services. This will open the door to possibly understanding the consumer on an emotional level. As futuristic as this may sound, it is quickly becoming a reality.
For instance, Researchers from Korea’s Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) are developing a sensor capable of recording goosebumps on the wearer’s skin. This could allow companies to monitor a customer’s reaction more closely than ever before. Think about that song that gives you the chills whenever you listen to it. What if an advertiser could suggest three more songs just like it because of your emotional reaction?
The data is nothing without analytics
The potential data that can be gathered and utilized from wearable devices is almost infinite. However, the numbers don’t mean much without meaningful insights. If companies want to enhance customer experiences through wearable data, they still need to be able to understand and apply the information. As this increasingly connected world continues to evolve, with the Internet of Things at its core, the organizations that can connect the dots the best will ultimately gain the most advantage from the wearable technology market.
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