Wearables: Pitfalls and Challenges

In our previous article, we examined some of the trends related to mobile marketing as specifically applied to the emerging market for wearable computers and devices. We learned how mobile traffic is set to surpass that delivered to traditional desktop devices, and discussed some of the potential implications for online marketers. Today, we are going to take a look at some of the potential pitfalls and challenges wearables will bring to the marketplace:

  • Balance Personalization Versus Privacy – One of the most exciting potential developments regarding wearables is their ability to offer people near perfect personalization when it comes to the content they will be able to receive. Advertisers will be able to take advantage of this data as well, but need to beware not to cross the line into invasive types of outreach that will put customers off rather than draw them in.
  • Difficulty of Short Burst Content Strategy– Another major challenge that exists for wearables is dealing with their overall content strategy. Traditional online content strategies, while significantly more agile than offline marketing campaigns, still are not typically designed around delivering 10-30s of customized ‘in the moment’ marketing content to customers. Without changing focus, marketers will have problems reaching people with actionable messages.
  • Wearables Don’t Need to Be Wearable – A third potential pitfall for wearables isn’t related to the technology itself or the way in which data is delivered at all, but rather to the way in which the technology is perceived. In fact, the bias is even in the name of the group of devices itself – ‘wearables’. You see, wearables don’t exactly need to be wearable. The idea is simply to bring smart computing content to people on the go; the medium of the device is largely irrelevant. This means that with the proper creative vision, even animals or inanimate objects could ultimately be used to deliver marketing content.

Make no mistake; the emerging market of wearable computing devices will likely be the biggest technological innovation/disruption since the invention of smartphones and other mobile devices. You will see some businesses that don’t miss a beat and transition into the wearables market quite literally overnight, while you will see other competitors fail to adapt and eventually end up in a situation like Blockbuster Video.

How will your organization handle the emergence of these powerful new devices? Now is the time to consider investigating your business model and ensuring it will be compatible with the new technology just over the horizon.

For more on information on wearables, our CEO, Steve Papermaster was featured in EContent Magazine for "Ready to Wear Content: Google Glass and Other Devices Provide New Opportunities for Publishers".