Wearables Are Still In Their First Inning

During Internet Week’s Mobile Media Summit, Sean Muzzy, chief executive (CEO) of Neo@Ogilvy, said wearables are still in their first inning.

A Business Insider Intelligence report predicts that by 2019, more than 140 million units of wearable technology will be shipped annually, nearly triple the projection for this year. Wearable technology is growing fast, and while consumers still have a lot to learn about it, so do marketers.

“It’s too soon to start automatically hinting about, ‘What am I going to do from a brand marketing perspective?'” Muzzy said. “As we start to get more data on things like health and other device usage, that’s going to inform us. It ultimately comes back to the marketing community at large having to make sure we’re protecting that interaction between customers and brands.”

However, Apple has focused a lot of time and energy into preparing brands to exist on wearables. 

“Apple, the 800-pound gorilla in this space, has put a lot of marketing into the atmosphere about how you should be thinking about wearables,” said Doug Wiesen, executive director of strategy at Verve, a San Diego-based company that specializes in connecting mobile advertising with in-store sales. “They’ve proven time and time again that they have an algorithm for figuring out how to make products work.”

He said that, like the iPod and iPhone, the recently-released Apple Watch helps the brand generate engagement with its customers. Muzzy added that the Apple Watch serves as an extremely powerful brand marketing tool because “it’s a prop; it’s not an ad.”

Location, what’s happening at certain times of the day, and which apps people are using are all solid focus points for wearable marketing. Brands should focus on simplifying information overload, according to Muzzy.

“People are going to their devices hundreds of times a day to check, to look, to consume content, to buy, to shop, so for some of the most active consumers, having something that gives them the ability to untether from different aspects of their lives might mean they become less consumed than with something like a smartphone,” he said.

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