Apple Watch Launch: What Does It Mean for Marketers?

With the Apple launching its first smartwatch today, we reached out to a range of experts to get their thoughts on what Apples new device will mean for the mobile marketing industry, across ads, app and messaging campaigns.

Alex Kozloff IABAlex Kozloff, head of mobile, IAB UK
“The launch of the Apple Watch is a really exciting moment in pushing wearables into the consumer mainstream. It is still very early days in terms of what this means for advertising, but I expect brands are going to have think very differently about how to engage with their target audiences via these devices.

“It’s a huge opportunity, but we as an industry have to get both the format and messaging right to be welcomed by consumers. Data, of course, is key and we must approach this sensitively and with care. Wearables present another way for marketers to deliver real-time, tailored and contextual stories, and done right I imagine they could become a legitimate part of the digital media mix before too long.”

James ChandlerJames Chandler, global mobile director, Mindshare
“I think unique features like the Taptic Engine, Glances and the ability to send your heartbeat should spur on new ways of thinking about how digital creativity get reimagined for Apple Watch. For one thing, space is at a premium, so app developers and brands will need to resist the urge to always feature their logo and instead think about other elements of their brand identity, for example using colour, imagery and fonts.

“Apple has talked at length about Watch being ‘the most personal product’ it has ever made, so with this new-found intimacy I think brands will need to renegotiate the rules of engagement with their customers. Getting the right balance of frequency, immediacy and relevancy of message will be crucial, and understanding the wearer’s context will be more important than ever before.”

Paul Putman DonkyPaul Putman, CEO, Donky
“I believe the true value of the Apple Watch will come later, through the potentially amazing things we haven’t considered that the watch enables.

“When it comes to messaging, companies will need to think of the watch simply as another device with its own unique specifications. Screen size will drive messaging to get straight to the point, even more so than today.

“I predict that we will see a further evolution of text speak, and increased use of emojis and images. Instead of sending a long invitation for drinks, you might simply send emojis of a cocktail glass and thumbs up, with a location link. This will ultimately drive faster and more fluid communication, and with the use of more image based coms , remove lingual barriers – all through a tap of a wrist.”

Jon Buss CriteoJon Buss, Managing Director, Northern Europe, Criteo
“The launch of the Apple Watch is set to be a roaring success, with pre-orders skyrocketing earlier this year. Apple has emphasised the functionality offered by apps – notifications about the weather, fitness tracking, location and messages – but the jury is still out in terms of how the watch will stack up as an advertising platform.

“Potentially, though, the Apple Watch could serve as a link between the digital and physical realms, allowing performance marketers to influence and measure offline behaviour. Imagine if wearers received location-triggered ads on their wrist as they walked by shops, with special offers or discounts.

“However, we are still some time away from this becoming reality, and the same is true for wearable payments. That is not to say it won’t happen, though, and it is our job as marketers to take what may appear as a gimmick now and start uncovering future use cases that we can start working towards today.”