The shift to mobile has been the dominant story for marketers in the last two years, and now they’ll be able to target even more devices people carry on them.
Wearable tech is the next frontier for marketers, and given how similiar its application is to mobile devices, it won’t be long before we start seeing marketing efforts show up on our smart wristwatches, fitness trackers and eyewear.
Bloomberg Businessweek reports on how mobile advertising platform InMobi is gearing up to develop wearable advertising tools for brands:
InMobi Pte, a maker of mobile-ad tools, has a team of developers creating virtual mock-ups of ads on smartwatches, head-mounted displays and other gadgets to get a feel for how they can serve as a platform for marketers. The engineers, surrounded by powerful computers with large monitors at the company’s offices in San Francisco and Bangalore, India, are trying to get a head start in the nascent market, which has captured the attention of Google Inc.
In addition to InMobi, fellow mobile marketing platforms Kiip and Millenial Media are also looking for ways to give marketers a presence on wearable devices. The ads could vary in appearance from simple display units, to instant rewards being offered upon completing a task on the device. In addition, it could use real-time information to deliver relevant ads, for example, a pair of smart glasses could record what the wearer is looking at in a store and immediately surface a discount offer for that item.
Compared to mobile marketing, wearable tech is possibly an even bigger opportunity for advertisers, given how much access they could have to the personal habits and behavior of a user. But that’s exactly why it’s easy to get creepy with it.
Speaking to IDC analyst Bryan Yeager, Businessweek reports:
“We go back to the creep factor, which comes up so often when talking about personalization and in using data,” Yeager said. “You run into privacy considerations — consumers are definitely aware of that. That’s something that they have to consider when they’re building these applications — how far is too far?”
Nevertheless with Google, Apple and even Facebook making a few big purchases in the wearable tech and connected devices space, it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing ads there. The key challenge for marketers and mobile ad platforms will be to figure out a way to make the content unintrusive, interesting and a rewarding experience for the user for it to be truly effective.