I heard recently that the average person checks their mobile 150 times a day. From a marketer’s perspective, that’s a lot of potential touch points — both in collecting data and in messaging. But it pales in comparison to the staggering world of wearables.
Technology is giving unparalleled access for marketers to understand consumers, and to reach them in a highly relevant and targeted way. But we’re going to be in the Wild West for a while. It’s not clear what marketing will be welcome and what will be considered invasive. There’s a fine line between relevant and creepy. If you think retargeting ads that follow you across the web after viewing a lamp on Amazon are annoying, just wait for when wearables are mainstream.
I’m interested to see how brands will navigate the promise and pitfalls of wearable technology. There’s already talk about the importance of privacy. But I think it goes beyond respecting privacy. I think it goes to the heart of permission marketing that Seth Godin has been advocating for years. What is irritating about an unsolicited spam email will be even more so when extended to wearables.
“Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.
“It recognizes the new power of the best consumers to ignore marketing. It realizes that treating people with respect is the best way to earn their attention.”
I think the key will be in making it easy for consumers to engage with your brand on their terms, whether on a small screen or no screen at all. That means thinking through all of the opportunities a brand can be genuinely useful to the audiences those brands are trying to serve. It means offering the most relevant communication but also knowing when not to communicate at all. It’s not just about new touch points for the same old messaging.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on rules of thumb for experimenting with this new technology.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed cartoon print. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)