Digital advertising thoughts from the minds at MediaNet

The Internet of Things (IoT) has become a hot topic, with Apple officially in the wearables race, the industry is booming with news of ad potential and apps being developed (source: Ad Age).  Similar to when a new social media channel hits mainstream, brands are eager to dive-in and stay relevant to the ever-evolving consumer, on every medium.  Wearables and IoT tech offers a breadth of options for brands and advertisers, including the potential for customized offers and integrated experiences.  It takes us one step closer to the imagined future when ads are calling out personal names and speaking one-on-one to a customer.  Before you jump on the bandwagon, however, it’s time to consider if this new medium is really a fit for your brand.  

Wearable technology is still in its infancy and most consumers don’t know what they want to purchase (source: eMarketer). Potential users have not quite digested what these devices are capable of and adoption rate is still fairly low. For a brand to dive into advertising, there is little data accrued to effectively reach the right audience.  It may be wise to allow audience and unchartered territory to mature, and eventually, natural opportunities for inventory will surface.

Advertising with IoT will be tricky, you walk a fine line of annoying your audience. With wearable and IoT tech, consumers are interacting on a constant basis. Advertisers are getting excited at the prospect, knowing their ads can and will be seen almost immediately. However, what would the audience think? This new medium is much more intrusive, in comparison to the desktop, and any ads that would show up, would take up precious real estate of a smaller screen. Advertising that is unwarranted could become overwhelming, setting the wrong brand impression.

How can you integrate this new medium correctly? A great example of a brand that is taking a more methodical approach to the wearable market is Under Armor.  Known for their atheletic wear, Under Armor is using wearables as a physical extension of their products (sourced: MediaPost).  Perhaps this is a smarter approach, where app integrations and solid consumer interaction build relationships that are also consistent with their brand.

Take the time to evaluate and decide whether it’s truly the right medium for you.  As with any new marketing campaign, there needs to be more forethought put into the process: is this the right medium for our brand? How can your message be effective?

Technology is rapidly evolving and bringing about many new opportunities, coming soon. As consumers adapt to the IoT, there will be much future brand exposure available.  Right now it’s just a bit too early to tell, but we can dream, can’t we?