Two cents blog

How the Apple Watch will change digital marketing

by Nikita Baynes on 7 January 2015

Step outside into any public place and I guarantee you, unless you’re tucked away in a remote part of the Amazon jungle, you’re going to see someone using their smartphone. This ubiquitous little device has become so ingrained in our way of life that there is an actual documented condition known as ‘Smartphone-loss anxiety disorder’, where the mere act of separating an owner from their beloved device can induce a range of physical and mental symptoms.

It’s not all bad though. Smartphones are literally changing the way we see the world. It is estimated that one in every five people in the world now own a smartphone, and one in every 17 own a tablet. Since infiltrating mainstream society, our consumption habits have shifted so that 90% of media interactions are now screen-based rather than via traditional channels such as radio or outdoor.

smartphone coffee

To follow suit, advertisers have developed new methods of reaching consumers across these multiple touch points. For example, augmented reality allows us to integrate offline formats and digital devices, producing some fantastically memorable results, while multiscreen campaigns boost brand memorability by reaching consumers across multiple devices and different stages of their purchase path.

The rise of the smartphone and other connected devices is having a profound effect on the way consumers interact and respond to advertising, and the market isn’t done growing yet.

Beyond smartphones

So what’s next in digital marketing? With 2012, 2013 and 2014 seeing massive growth in mobile marketing and multi-screen viewing, 2015 is sure to bring some exciting new developments to the scene.

Since the unveiling of the iPhone back in 2007, Apple has continued to innovate and influence the digital device industry. The company’s latest focus has been on wearable technology, resulting in the much anticipated release of the Apple Watch later this year. Set to hit stores in mid-2015, the watch will feature almost all the perks of a smartphone while doubling as a savvy fashion accessory.

One of the watch’s main benefits is eliminating the constant need to take out your smartphone to check a notification. The Apple Watch will keep you in the loop via on-screen notifications and “taptic” feedback that you feel on your wrist. Someone liked your latest Instagram post? You’ll get a notification on your Apple Watch. Want to screen a call from that pesky telemarketer? No need to take out your phone to do so. Just finished a workout? Check the stats on your Apple Watch, which doubles as a fitness tracker.

Will Apple Pay succeed?

Aside from accessibility, the Apple Watch is also set to change the way we make transactions. With the recent announcement of Apple Pay, customers will be able to purchase products in store with the simple tap of their wrist. Convenient in-app purchasing also makes online shopping an easier and more enjoyable experience for consumers, and a more targeted exercise for marketers.

Advertising on the Apple Watch

While the Apple Watch is certainly changing the digital landscape, there is still some development to be done before advertisers can reap the full benefits from the latest in wearables.

Since it remains early days for the technology, plans to introduce advertising to Apple Watch are still in the works. But just as it took time for ads to appear on smartphones – one of the biggest game changers in modern advertising – it is likely that once Apple Watch is well established in the mainstream market, ads will follow.

Several companies, including Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo (all of which run on ad-supported business models) are currently developing apps for the device, creating an opportunity for advertisers to reach consumers in new, clever and exciting ways.

Are you planning on buying an Apple Watch when they hit the stores this year? What features are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below.

Nikita Baynes is an Account Coordinator at BCM

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