“Are smartwatches advertising opportunities? Absolutely,” said Dave Jakubowski, the head of ad technology at Facebook, to the audience at the Collision Conference in Las Vegas in May 2015.
Especially after the release of the Apple Watch, brands and their digital agencies are competing in creating marketing messages and ads for the booming wearable technology industry. A recent study conducted by Juniper Research has forecast that revenue coming from smartwatch ads will jump to almost $70 million, up from only an estimated $1.5 million in 2014.
What makes these small devices at our wrists so attractive? We tried to find out.
Communication and interaction – within a short glance!
Ted Schadler from Forrester Research explains in his blog: “here’s a rule of thumb: people will stare at a desktop screen for 3 minutes. They will spend 30 seconds on their smartphone. But they will spend only 3 seconds with a watch app. […] 3 seconds to communicate vital information, deliver a service, or help someone take action.”
What the mobile industry calls a “glanceable” moment, is nothing else than a shorter time span for interaction between the device and the user, which provides benefits for both the user and the business sending out messages.
Let’s take this example: A customer is wandering through a large furniture store looking for the new sofa that he found on the store’s website. In this situation, he wants to know immediately where the product is located within the massive store. A quick smartwatch notification tells him – just within a glanceable moment – exactly where it is, saving him time and efforts. He does not have to look for an employee and ask, nor does he have to take out his phone. Our smartwatch-equipped customer is now instantly aware of the product’s location.
Messages received on smartwatches are much more immediate than messages to other devices, due to the smartwatch’s closer proximity to the customer’s eyes.
Don’t let your messages become intrusive to the customer!
Immediacy and glanceable moments are features that smartphones are not completely capable of. But these advantages can also turn into a customer’s nightmare. What do you as a technophile customer hate the most? Exactly. Unwanted spam messages! And what we mean by this are not the basic advertisements in your spam folder.
Let’s have a look at a normal businessman in his office. What could be more annoying for him than a continuous flow of incoming irrelevant ads and notifications causing his watch to constantly vibrate?
The smartwatch’s praised feature of immediacy can quickly turn into intrusion, and that is what you as a business – as well as your customers – want the least. A customer annoyed by a business’ messages will simply delete their app or deactivate notifications.
How can marketers and brands adapt to the new device?
It is up to the marketing industry to deal with the new dimensions, user interface and user behavior of the smartwatch. Ads and customer messages will have to be modified to fit the very limited screen space of the watch compared to a regular smartphone.
In addition to that, smartwatches also bring new challenges regarding user behavior and customer engagement.
According to Ted Schadler, customers have a much shorter attention span on smartwatches than on other devices, which leads to significantly less time to engage with customers. This is why marketers, brands and developers must come up with glanceable communications in order to better and more effectively target their audiences.
But these are not the only things businesses have to keep an eye on when building smartwatch notifications. We’ve put together a whitepaper, that will teach you more about smartwatch notifications, how they work, what challenges they imply, what the market tells us, and last but not least: examples of perfectly targeted smartwatch notifications!