The 99% Reality: Online Marketing Is Broken, Migrate Toward Wearables

In any publishing house, you will hear cheers and applause when a marketing campaign is working – the thrill of awareness-induced sales, online buzz, viral chatter, and click-throughs that turn into sales. It’s a celebratory event.

When the fanfare dies down, however, the ugly reality of the world we have become accustomed to shows its face. We celebrate the fact that we sold 80,000 items from our publishing catalog. That is fantastic. But, we also then have to face the 99 percent reality. This reality reminds us that we are celebrating 0.2 percent of our population responding to our campaign. We reached out 1 billion times, and left 999,999,920 opportunities untapped.

Is this really cause for celebration?

This week I had the opportunity to meet with marketing guru Loretta Volpe,  Partner, GMLV, and she introduced this very matter to me. It was an enlightening conversation.

In today’s world, many marketers have learned to the play the game with skill. They use demand-side platforms (DSPs) and networks to extend maximum reach. They buy remnants and barter for expanded footprints.

But, if 99.8 percent of your messages are just noise, shouldn’t we advocate for a better way to connect? I think we should. And, in today’s marketing toolkit we have some very powerful connectivity options with wearable devices in our future.

Wearables are, well, worn, by individuals. To the owners, the wearable is a personal choice, and makes a personal statement. Messaging that is directed toward the wearable will need to be permission-based and make that personal connection. With wearables, like the early days of email marketing, 80 percent read rates and 15 percent purchase rates will be the norm. The wearable is too small to allow for mass marketing or streams of nonsensical messages.

As Apple launched its Apple Watch this week, the world got a glimpse of a potentially successful mass-market wearable. The watch is sleek, attractive, impressive, and creatively functional. If you are a marketer and don’t have a wearable messaging strategy in the works, you might just be missing out on future opportunities to tune into much higher engagement rates and significantly improved conversions. Smaller, smarter, strategic spends will lead to increased sales, longer lifetime values (LTVs), and higher return on investment (ROI).

Share your best marketing strategies (wearable or not) in the comments section or send them directly to me and I will consolidate them for my next column.

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