Spurred by the global smartphone revolution, the wearable technology market is rapidly growing our world into a hyper connected society, and you simply can’t dismiss the demand that the new gadgets are bringing with them. You only have to look at reports that estimate Apple may have dominated this sector already with a suggested 15 million of their coveted watches being sold since its launch in April. And with 3,500 apps now available for the device, the move into wearable technology is a revolution that many businesses will now be attempting to keep up with.

The digital industry has been aware of this growing trend for some time, as with the Google Glasses launch in 2014, it was a clear sign of the times that we not only wanted to know the data about consumers, but we wanted to know their habits entirely.

It’s predicted that wearable technology will reach a staggering 100 million devices by 2016, with a recent report by Gartner suggesting that 50% of people are already considering purchasing a smartwatch, and this means that the marketing we currently do for any online activities will be transformed once again to cater for the new data we gain.

Businesses may be baffled by this sudden surge in advanced technologies, but it’s a turning point in customer relationship management and the duty of digital.

Consumer Data

At present the data that we use for marketing is gained through actions that are taken. Information that consumers willingly give over to social media sites, or found by Google Analytics. Many say it can’t be proved to be accurate, or it’s simply guess work with a few bread crumbs thrown in, because how do any of us truly know our own actions when many of them are done completely subconsciously?

There are data insight systems mining for more valuable information, but like the missing piece of the puzzle, wearables is set to provide marketers with new information that can track consumer’s habits, giving us the ability to collect data about the user’s motives, and lifestyle so that we know how to target them more effectively.

With wearable technology devices being used multiple times of the day, more people will engage with them than their traditional gadgets, meaning that every minute is trackable.

Wearables enable users to enjoy the same digital experience that they expect from traditional devices but with the ease and convenience afforded by a watch or glasses.

The Relationship

The data that wearables will provide is going to have a dramatic impact on the way that marketers interact with consumers, as the data will work as a mechanism for complete personalisation.

Digital marketing and CRM has always worked hand-in-hand to create meaningful campaigns that can be followed through to gain a relationship rather than a quick win, and this relationship will only become stronger as the data gained from wearables will enable marketers to target consumers more effectively, and give businesses the information they need to make their service more personal.

Carl Farris project manager at DMC Software comments that, "Integrating wearable computing devices with CRM systems enables businesses across multiple sectors to further enrich customer relationship at every encounter. With real-time data many companies will be able to engage more effectively with customers and identify opportunities for cross-selling."

With insights into what consumers really want and what they like, it will become a satisfying service, as businesses will be able to actually meet their needs.

Many people believe that wearable technologies is a fresh fad that everyone and anyone is trying to jump on, but the longevity of these devices is not yet defined, and only time will tell if consumers truly want a bespoke service at the cost of their personal data, or whether a ‘big brother’ backlash is on the horizon.

By Iain O'Kane, Director, DMC Software

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