Wearable tech allowing Mobile to be a key in real-time marketing

It’s no secret that wearable tech is at the forefront of gadget and electronic advancement at the moment. Tech websites and online forums are alight with discussions about how they could fundamentally change our daily lives.

Wearable tech has recently gained much popularity – according to Google, the real spike in interest only happened post-2013. Big brands like Google and Samsung are currently fighting to own this space, although both brands’ offerings (Google’s Glass and especially Samsung’s Galaxy Gear) seem to be more hype than trend right now – the interest is there, but most people are waiting for the big performance before they make a commitment. This may also be because of these products steep prices. Google is offering Google Glass to ‘Explorers’ at $1,500. The website states “The Explorer Program is designed for people who want to get involved early and help shape the future of Glass.” Samsung is currently selling the Samsung Galaxy Gear Watch at around $500. In South Africa, the Samsung Galaxy Gear comes at an additional monthly cost together with a Galaxy Note 3 mobile contract monthly payments.

It’s important to also not discredit the early players in this field – products such as GoPro and FitBit are examples of wearable tech which successfully entered the consumer market.
When taking a deeper dive into most of these devices, it’s clear that location-based technology serves a primary role.

Location-Based Tech

Location-based technology in its own right is a growing area of focus for technology firms and consumers alike – predominantly in the mobile space.  Location-based marketing (LCM) has therefore also become a focal points for brands and marketers – delivering the right message, to the right consumer, in the right place, at the right time. Together with technology; content, media and services are compiled and adapted to the consumer’s location; in a bid to be there at the crucial moment when consumers need to make a decision.

Consumers have been reliant on instant information for quite some time; however, the focus has now become more about immediate access to the most up-to-date information, which is relevant to the user (what’s the point of notifying someone about a football score, if they have no interest in it?). Platforms have different ways of ensuring this – notifications and alerts, automated messages and warnings etc. Google however, thinks it has the single best solution for the dissemination of information, which it has branded as ‘Google Now’.

Google Now

Google Now is an app which aims to give you information when (or even better, before) you need it. Although it has been around since mid-2012, it has gained a lot of traction through the latest Android mobile phones. The information it provides the user with can be location-based (places, transport, weather) or event based (birthdays, events in the area you are in/ near). Google gathers this information from users via cards, which include category –specific information, for example, you could have a card for events, places nearby, transport and birthdays. One of the cards which is especially useful picks up if you frequent a place often (for instance work, or the gym), it will then send you a notification 10 minutes before you need to leave, based on traffic along that route. These cards all contain different information as well as different functions, such as opening a website or map.

So where does Google get all this info about you from? The majority comes from searches done via Voice Search (enter Google Glass). At first, Google Now will probably know very little about you (unless you’re already a heavy user of Voice Search), but the more you use it, the more it will pick up about you, and therefore be able to assist you. Of course, location-data is a vital part of what it knows about you (queue privacy concerns – this function can be disabled)

What is the real value of location-based marketing?

Imagine serving the consumer with digital media and content which dynamically changes based upon each consumer’s real-time location, search queries and content consumption behaviours – such as a discounted air ticket, or accommodation? It’s clear that location-based technology provides advertisers with an additional layer of (highly specific) information, which can be used to target the consumer with a product or service which they are more likely to purchase. Think of retailers directing customers to their nearest store, based on their current location, with a promotion code or coupon. For marketers this is an exciting prospect brought about by the new “connected consumer

While we wait for wearable-tech to enter the general consumer market, Ogilvy & Mather have put together some guidelines in order for wearable tech to truly take off. These consist of: providing users with data that is actually useful, give users real-time feedback, integrate with other apps and devices, overcome privacy concerns and lastly, appeal to users personal tastes, we are going to be wearing them after all!


Image credit: http://www.google.com/landing/now/#cards

Nicole Williams — Account Manager, Neo@Ogilvy (Cape Town)
Date: May 15, 2014