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Wearable Devices Will Be the New Marketing Channel

Wearable mobile devices are an up-and-coming product. Worldwide shipments of wearable devices are expected to reach 102 million units by the end of 2016, representing 29.0% growth over 2015. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), wearable devices will reach 213.6 million units shipped in 2020.

Watches and wristbands will be the most popular, but there will also be additional forms such as clothing and eyewear. Eyewear leans more toward the industrial market as it can complement or replace existing computing devices, particularly for workers in the field or on the factory floor. Clothing will most likely be focused on the consumer because it offers the ability to capture new forms of both connection and data.

The growth of the wearables market provides a strong opportunity for marketers. Users will want news, weather, sports and social media access, which provides plenty of opportunities for advertising and in-the-moment promotions. Considering that many wearables will have cellular connectivity, users will not have to take out their smartphones to get the latest information. All they will need to do is glance at their wearable, which presents an opportunity for programmatic advertising so that the advertiser can catch the user at the moment of connection.

Wearable products we’ll see:

Watches: Popularized by devices like the Apple Watch, this category is expected to increase from 41.0% of total wearables shipments in 2016 to 52.1% in 2020. Traditional fashion brands like Fossil and health/fitness companies like Fitibit and Withings will help this segment grow.

Wrist Bands: Through their simplicity, fitness-focused wrist bands have dominated the market thus far. Driven by low cost vendors Xiaomi and giants like Fitbit, this category will remain influential and accessible. However, that dominance will be challenged by watches as many watch vendors incorporate basic fitness features into their products.

Eyewear: Microsoft’s Windows Holographic along with Google’s Android platform are projected to drive an increase in eye worn devices. Initially, such devices are expected to bring a transformational shift in mobile computing to select industries and job functions. However, IDC anticipates some hardware providers will also offer consumer-friendly options.

Clothing: Traditional fashion and fitness brands are quickly partnering up with tech companies to deliver smarter clothing, bringing attention to this segment. The category could capture 7.3% of the market by 2020 as consumers and athletes integrate fashion-tech into their daily lives.

The upshot: As more people purchase wearable technology, there will be more opportunities for marketers to reach out to them through these devices. How? Programmatic advertising.  Programmatic advertising can deliver the right ad at the right time based upon known usage.  When specific ads are directed to the right wearable device at the right time, you have a very compelling campaign.

Sheila Kloefkorn

With more than 20 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing,, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.