Picture this: your husband is traveling, and in a moment of feeling particularly distant, you each tap into the newest technology at your fingertips: the Apple Watch.
At that moment, you’re able to hear his heartbeat from 2,000 miles away.
Now imagine you’re having that moment, and ding goes your Watch, as a message comes in offering 25% off your next purchase at a store you frequent.
Not only is the connection you felt with your husband dulled, but the brand you once loved has lost its luster, too.
It may sound strange, but this is a very real possibility with the Apple Watch.
This technology is connecting people in new and profound ways, creating even more intimate connections through a personal device than ever before.
The Watch allows marketers an unprecedented connection to their customers, and while much has been said about the technical concerns of engineering for the smaller Watch screen, less has been said about how brands can prepare to be, quite literally, strapped to a consumer.
Both the very personal “heartbeats” and branded mobile offers have a place on the Watch; you just have to pay particular attention to the cadence and content.-read on how brands can learn how to modify the three pillars of mobile strategies to make the best of this newfound and powerful closeness.
Timing: the ‘when’ is as important as the ‘what’
We have long known how close consumers stay to their personal devices; in fact, mobile phones have overtaken TVs as the screen that hogs our attention most.
The Apple Watch brings that proximity to the next level. Yes, real time communication is critical for staying relevant and useful to your consumer, however with a device designed to never leave the body, brands will have to be exceptionally sensitive to when their messages are being delivered.
For example, if your current technology sends out messages automatically, it’s critical that this timing is evaluated. While many consumers have grown used to waking up to dozens of brand emails, having a watch that illuminates each time a new message comes in can quickly turn a consumer off.
Similarly, if your system delivers updates on when promotions are beginning and ending, it’s common for that to happen around when the clock strikes midnight.
For instance, a push notification stating, “30% off housewares sale begins now,” delivered at 12:01AM may work on an iPhone stashed on a bedside table (or farther), but when it arrives on a consumer’s wrist, it’s hard to ignore.
Targeting: understand first, communicate second
If your brand has yet to invest in technology that allows you to understand your varied customer demographics and purchasing behavior, now is the time to do so.
With an even more streamlined connection to your customer, it’s important to not oversaturate your audience.
Segmenting and personalizing consumer communication is one of the best tactics to increase customer affinity. By ensuring that every communication a consumer receives is one that is particularly relevant to his or her lifestyle and behavior, not only will consumers feel valued by your brand, but they will react more acutely to brand communications.
For instance, a CPG brand or a grocery store will benefit from communicating promotions and discounts via the Apple Watch, as it’s likely that their target demographic is heavily skewed towards parents who are attempting to pay for household items at the register while juggling kids, coffee, shopping bags, and more.
On the other hand, an automaker may want to focus communications more specifically: deals on vehicle servicing to those who have recently purchased a car, and offers on car leasing to those who have expressed interest, but haven’t yet signed on the dotted line.
Topics: tailor your content to your products
When the volume of your communications is as paramount as it is with the Apple Watch, it’s critical to continue asking how those messages are adding value and making your consumer’s life easier.
By placing this consideration at the forefront and allowing it to dictate your strategy, your customers will in turn appreciate how the Apple Watch connects your brand to their life.
For instance, a short daily message highlighting the deals on your ecommerce marketplace adds value.
This tactic wouldn’t make the same sense for a brand selling items consumers purchase less frequently, such as mattresses or big box electronics. However, there are plenty of opportunities here where these brands can amp up their communications; for instance, back-to-school season or even Black Friday.
By understanding your customers’ purchasing habits and then mapping back to how your marketing efforts can add value to their lives, integrating with the Apple Watch will only help to build loyalty.
While these may be hefty issues to raise with your marketing department, it’s important to understand what the Apple Watch will mean for our customer relationships. After all, email revolutionized the way brands could engage customers, and SMS, MMS, push-notifications, and even social media further changed the marketing landscape.
The invention of the Apple Watch is forcing us to recognize a new era of consumer marketing – one where we have a direct line to our customers’ undivided attention.
It’s tempting to leap into this new technology head first, but without the necessary preparation on all levels – from the technology that we invest in, to the content we write – strong customer relationships can falter. In short, we must walk before we run.