The global marketing landscape is ever changing with emerging technologies and marketers need to ensure that they are tuned into the latest high tech trends that will have a strong impact on their industry. There are two technologies in particular that marketers need to pay close attention to as they could bring the art of targeting customers to an entirely new level – wearable and location-based marketing technology. These areas open up powerful opportunities for marketers if they have the strategies, IT systems and data analytics in place to fully leverage them. And if they are leveraged together, skies the limit on the opportunities that marketers could uncover.

Wearable Technology Gains Strong Momentum

The growth of wearable technology is predicted to substantially pick up this year and continue to gain strong momentum. Canalys, a market research firm, stated that in 2013 1.6 million smart wearable bands were shipped and that in 2014 shipments could reach a total of 8 million. They are also predicting that in 2015 over 23 million units will be shipped and in 2017 over 45 million.

Deloitte analysts stated that smart glasses, fitness bands and watches should sell about 10 million units globally in 2014 – generating $2 billion. Credit Suisse predicts that the entire market will be worth $50 billion by 2018.

From Google Glasses to FitBit to Galaxy Gear Fit to Pebble Watch, there is no question that wearable technology has arrived and is here to stay. For marketers not only is this a new way to touch the consumer, but it also creates a new data stream that can be leveraged by businesses to help them highly customize offers and messages to their target audiences with optimal precision and success.

Location-Based Marketing

Along with wearable technology, another area that is picking up strong momentum is location-based marketing. In fact, according to Pyramid Research, global market revenue for mobile location-based services and location-enabled mobile apps should reach more than $10.3 billion by 2015.

An example of a location-based marketing program that proved to be successful was when Nestle in the UK “hid” GPS trackers in some of its chocolate bar wrappers such as KitKat and Yorkie. A team then tracked the users after they opened the wrapper and contacted them within 24 hours to deliver a cash prize.

Another example is Netflix, an on-demand streaming service, ran a location-based outdoor advertising campaign, which encouraged college students to interact with the company by posting regular questions about different film genres and popular TV series. Students were then requested to post their answers using university-specific Twitter hashtags and localized responses, which were shown on digital screens at 36 universities.

Fusing Location-Based Marketing With Wearable Technology

Fusing location-based marketing with wearable technology could be very powerful. In order to successfully do this, organizations will need access to the data streams that these technologies generate along with analytical capabilities on the back end. In addition, they need dedicated resources analyzing this data and then developing actionable insights. This will allow companies to target the right customer, at the right time, in the right location, with the right offer.

For example, a grocery store that is running a location-based marketing campaign could tap into the wearable technology and when a runner is near one of their grocery stores, the retailer could automatically alert and offer that runner a deal on a product such as vitamin infused water. Another example would be when a runner is by a sports apparel store and the retailer alerts him/her to an offer for a discount on running attire and accessories.

This is very powerful marketing, which allows the retailer to reach consumers with highly targeted offers. The retailer is also gathering real-time data on each of their location-based marketing promotions, so they can leverage this data in the future to improve promotions. And the consumer receives relevant deals – it’s a win-win for both the consumer and the retailer.

Data Analytics Is Critical For Success

With these types of emerging technologies, the need for data analytics is critical, which helps organizations uncover consumer patterns, trends, unforeseen correlations and other valuable consumer insight. This type of information can be leveraged not only by marketing, but also in other areas such as customer service and product development.

For data analytics to be successful, there are two levels required in this process, including:

  • The algorithms that help connect the two technologies and are able to deliver the benefits to a marketer from a tactical perspective.
  • Business analytics that ensures the algorithms are actually delivering the value and meeting the business objectives that were originally outlined.

Business analytics helps support the marketing strategy for the organization ensuring long-term growth. Both parts of the analytics mentioned above need to be implemented to ensure optimal success. While many organizations are joining the bandwagon of big data and investing millions – they sometimes lower their emphasis on the importance of analytics, which is a mistake.

Every year there will be emerging technologies that come to market and it’s critical that organizations carefully evaluate them to ensure they will generate sales, strengthen loyalty and fit within their brand. If this criteria is met then companies should integrate the new technology within their marketing program, which will help them compete more profitably, stay relevant to their customers and enhance their brand.