Mobile marketing is a more personalised form of marketing. It allows brands to get closer to consumers than ever before, which significantly increases the ability to turn viewers of products or services into customers. Companies who wait to get a grip of mobile marketing now will find it harder to compete.
Mobile marketing is here to stay, and studies show it will gain a bigger position and will be increasingly personalised as time goes and as wearable technology matures and grows. Wearables are widely forecast to follow smartphones as the next major technology trend.
Wearable technology has become one of the most popular technology products with the development of the Internet of Things (Hsiao, K., 2017). The global wearables market was valued at US $9.2 billion in 2014, and experts envision global sales of wearables hitting $30.2 billion by 2018.
A SELECTION OF WEARABLE DEVICES
- Head-mounted displays
- Body-worn cameras
- Bluetooth headsets
- All fitness wearables
(Hsiao, K., 2017)
- Biometric authentication
- Mobile health monitoring
- Energy boosting using harvesting
- Virtual personal assistants
- Smart coaching
- Embedded security
- Conformal electronics
- Wearable processors
- Virtual and augmented reality
- Accurate motion recognition
Smartwatches are the most popular wearable technology devices and the market is dominated by Apple and Android watches (Hsiao, K., 2017). For example, the worldwide unit sales figure in 2016 for all wearable devices was 274.6 million. 50.4 million units of these sales were smartwatches alone. This trend of smartwatch popularity over other wearables is predicted to continue (Hsiao, K., 2017).
Smartwatches have stronger appeal with consumers because they are more multifunctional than other wearable technology devices.
DROP AND RISE OF THE MARKET
However, smartwatch sales experienced a significant drop in 2015 and 2016 with an abandonment rate of 29% . The reasons for this abonnement was the consumer’s perception of them not being very useful, their fragility and price.
Nevertheless, in the fourth quarter of 2016 the smartwatch has again increased, with a growth driven by the Apple Watch upgraded version. The Apple Watch dominates with a 63 percent global smartwatch market share. Samsung’s smartwatches maintain the second position. Combined together, Apple and Samsung today account for an impressive 3 in 4 of all smartwatches shipped globally (Steven, 2017). In addition, big brands of traditional watches have now joined the market by introducing hybrid smartwatches, which blur traditional watch designs with contemporary fitness tracking and notification technology.
WHY UNDERSTANDING WEARABLES IS SO IMPORTANT TO MARKETERS
The topic is highly important for marketers because the future mainstream adoption of wearable technologies will significantly change consumers’ ways of life. As the wearable technology market is maturing the opportunities for marketers is still limited so far. However, as always with disruptive technologies it is those who take risks and act first that will likely reap the biggest rewards.
CASE STUDY OF WEARABLE MARKETING
The financial sector seems to be ahead of other industries. For example, the financial industry already increased adoption of wearables with 15% of banks globally have or are currently rolling out wearable apps, and 72% of banks say wearables are on their roadmap for the next three years. Today, the apps associated with wearable devices, which are mostly smartwatches and wristbands, are used by banks, mainly to provide a new experience of mobile banking.
As the near future mainstream adoption of wearable technologies will bring opportunities and threats and disrupt how consumers do things, it will consequently also demand Social and Mobile Marketing to adopt strategies designed to use unique features associated with wearables. As mentioned earlier, those who take risk and act first with this disruptive technologies are likely to reap the biggest rewards.
- Hsiao, K., (2017) What drives smartwatch adoption intention? Comparing Apple and non-Apple watches. Library Hi Tech, Vol. 35 Iss pp.
- Pemberton, C. (October 14, 2016) 3 Takeaways from the 2016 Gartner Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and Advertising [Online] Available: http://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/3-takeaways-from-the-2016-gartner-hype-cycle-for-digital-marketing-and-advertising/ [Accessed: 12 April 2017].