Developing a Wearables Strategy for Your Brand

These days wearables are getting more and more attention.

Many brands are still working on their mobile app development projects or maybe just recently decided to switch to a responsive web site and now wearables are getting thrown into the mix.

Have no fear.

18316884565_4bc9df9e10_mTo the savvy marketer all of these items are opportunities to outdo your competition and grab market share. Opportunity is abound in the mobile age and wearables add to the opportunity.

In the digital age, and most specifically over the most recent years, many businesses have become focused on content marketing. Many businesses have a content marketing strategy for their web, mobile and social presences.

You are going to need a completely different mindset for wearables.

Wearables typically have a very different form factor than smartphones and require a different strategy. When it comes to wearables, successful strategies will focus on experiences. They will augment and improve the activities a user is engaged in.

A perfect example of this would be fitness apps with timers that can help improve workouts by making timers easily available on a smart watch. Apps for wearables that can improve the experience of users will get used.

Keep in mind that there are many types of wearables available. Don’t just focus on watches because they are getting the attention. There are many opportunities when it comes to wearables, for instance Google is currently working with Levis to integrate computers into clothing.

Keep in mind that many wearables will allow you to add contextual information into your program with the assistance of location based data. One of the greatest strengths of mobile is its ability to apply the context of location into communications. By utilizing proximity data and data that you collected previously regarding preferences, etc, your wearable program can be extremely relevant to your users.

As with any modern business program, data is more important than ever, and it will be no different with your wearable program.  Collecting and interpreting data will be more important than ever and businesses will need to plan ahead to be able to deliver the types of experiences that the savvy modern consumer demands.

Photo: Ted Eytan (Flikr) http://bit.ly/1ET6pxC

Want to Improve Your Advertising ROI? Try Mobile

In a recent study from the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), they looked at the complete marketing budget for four businesses: Coca-Cola, Walmart, MasterCard and AT&T. MMA’s goal was to determine the value of mobile ad spending. After reviewing budgets and campaigns from these four companies they determined that bigger mobile budgets lead to higher advertising ROIs.

Companies are not just shifting their budgets to iPhone application development, Android application development, mobile web sites and mobile advertising because it is trendy, they are making the shift because it works.

A perfect example of this is when Coca-Cola launched its campaign for its Gold Peak Tea, they found that mobile accounted for 6% of the sales despite only requiring 5% of the budget. MMA goes on to show that if Coke had spent 10% of their budget on mobile instead of 5% that they would have seen an extra 4% in sales on this single campaign.

When it comes to Mastercard, MMA states that by allocating just 8% of their budget to mobile, they could reinforce their image as ‘a good card to carry while traveling’ by 7X. When looking at campaigns, Mastercard found mobile marketing produced 2X the results compared to campaign average. “I was surprised at how effective [mobile ads] were in relation to other media,” said Adam Broitman, vice president of global digital marketing for MasterCard.

According to Greg Stuart, CEO, MMA, “With very limited effort, brands can increase the performance of a campaign by 30 percent on average (and potentially much more) by simply reallocating funds.[to mobile]”

A key feature to mobile marketing programs, according to the report, was location targeting. Walmart program utilizing proximity targeting to reach people within range of a store proved 1.5X more effective than simply sending ads to people who had visited the store before.

Additionally, the MMA study also points out that ads that contain audio or video components produce a higher return on investment than standard display ads.

Android Application Development Trends to Watch

Mobile application development is a hotter industry than ever. According to Google, Play has 1.5 billion downloads a month from its application store for the popular Android platform.

To succeed businesses need to be more in tune with their customers than ever. One way to miss the mark with your customers is to develop one-size-fits-all applications and not considering the differences of each platform. Savvy companies will adapt their application offerings to the particularities of each platform. When it comes to Google’s Android the Android application development trends will be driven in great part by the arrival of Android 5.0 (Lollipop).

Companies looking to build an Android application in 2015 should examine these trends and features and make sure to discuss them with their Android application developer.

Notifications

Notifications have been improved allowing users with the ability to see and interact with some notifications without having to unlock their Android device.   A sound notification strategy should include this new functionality to separate your Android application from your competitor’s.

Material Design

With Android 5 Google introduces Material Design. Google has upgraded many their popular applications such as G Mail to this new design style. Android users will expect other applications to be designed in line with Material Design standards.

Wearables

This year sales of wearables such as smart watches and personal fitness devices are going to explode.   The release of Apple Watch April will increase interest in all smart watch offerings including Android devices.  Android Wear was recently updated and has improved usability.   If you are planning on building and Android application you should consider including Android Wear support.

Keep in mind that with Android Wear your applications can do more than just show notifications. Over the course of the year we are sure to see several innovations as developers work to make their apps integrate with wearable devices.

Connectivity

Android 5 features are enhanced with Bluetooth Low Energy device support, this includes allowing an Android device to act as a beacon for other devices.   Retailers should pay special note to the connectivity features when planning apps and should evaluate ways to utilize this improved sharing capability.