Francine Hardaway, Ph.D is a serial entrepreneur and seasoned communications strategist. She co-founded Stealthmode Partners, an accelerator and advocate for entrepreneurs in technology and health care, in 1998. Prior to Stealthmode, she owned two marketing companies, and served as Director of Worldwide Press Relations for Intel and the CMO of Innovative Environmental Products. Francine was an Entrepreneurial Fellow of the Eller Entrepreneurship Center at University of Arizona, and was a founder of Social Media Club Arizona and the Arizona Software Association. She is co-founder of the blog USHealthCrisis, and blogs for Fast Company, Huffington Post, and the Stealthmode Blog.
As a featured expert in our Marketing in 5 series, we asked entrepreneur, marketer and mentor Francine Hardaway, “How will wearable technology change the face of marketing 5 years from now?”
“Wearables in marketing? You ain’t seen nothing yet! The early efforts of people like Nike to take the information generated by its users from their Fuel Bands and market appropriately will look like the Middle Ages five years from now, when everything on us and around us will have sensors.Wearables will change everything. I’m already more aware of my environment because I have Google Glass. Glass can send me all kinds of messages, even marketing messages, no matter where I am. It’s a computer on my face, and the cards that tell me my flight’s delayed can also tell me anything Google thinks I need to know.
Wearables have already begun to change marketing in a rudimentary way, through fitness monitors and the quantified self movement. Both consumers and brands have way more information than they had about themselves even five years ago.
As a result, we are now entering the Age of Context, in which as marketers, we will be able to know much more about our customers, who will be wearing sensors in their watches (Sony Gear), as bracelets (Jawbone) or even as Glasses (Google Glass), as well as in their phones. Of course, the customers will also know about us and our brands.
We will be able to target by interest, by geography, by demographic, and most important, by need. In healthcare, sensors will make us able to identify people who need help changing behaviors and allow us to reach out to deliver appropriate help.
Used correctly, the information generated by wearables will make our marketing efforts highly targeted, less intrusive, and more effective. Used incorrectly, they’ll “creep people out” and cause a wave of backlash. It’s up to marketers to draw those boundaries between acceptable marketing and stalking.”
Do you agree with Francine that wearable technology will change the way we market to customers?