Somewhere between the advent of iOS 7, Android’s Lollipop and now, we (those of us in mobile marketing) kind of got ahead of ourselves and our customers and prospects.  

We moved to embrace Apple’s iBeacons and low-energy Bluetooth beacons — hoping that by having the ability to ping and engage people as they passed through the aisles of the stores where our products sit, we could engage.  Yet, we still haven’t given most people a reason to turn on their Bluetooth notifications or their push notifications.  

Smart watches continue to interest. . .some consumers and  smartwatch vendors.  And marketers should continue to be cautious about wearables and their potential as marketing vehicles. (Let me say this: I’m not talking about fitness-focused wearables — they deliver great functionality.)

For mobile marketers, whether it’s a mobile website, a mobile app for a smartphone and, ultimately, a wearable application, top of mind/job #1/first-order of business (whatever term you use to focus on priorities) must be:

  • Delivering convenience (to the customer or prospect) . . .
  • By delivering clarity through an app or web engagement . . .
  • With the certainty that the engagement is relevant because it’s based on solid data and that we have the permission of the end user

I’m pretty sure most mobile marketers get these core concepts but i think wearables have reach an important fork in the road in terms of their evolution.  While Samsung, Apple and Pebble have achieved a certain awareness among consumers, all of them are at a point where the next six to 12 months will tell us whether they’re headed down the road to the great pile of “revolutionary” products that never seemed to find a big enough army of “revolutionaries” to support them, or they head down the road to long-term success.

Will some form of wearable make the right turn? Sure.  For marketers effectively tapping into our customers and prospects using these devices is going to be depend largely on how we acquire and leverage customer data and insights — whether it’s for a straightforward discount coupon we want to deliver via push notification or the mobile-end of a tightly orchestrated multichannel campaingn.  Devices like the Apple Watch and other wearables are only going to matter to most consumers when they can deliver on convenience, clarity and certainty.  For marketers, the right data used appropriately will help deliver on the 3 Cs.

As with many things in digital marketing these days, however, it’s not going to be the hardware or OS that matters as much as how developers and marketers can deliver on convenience, clarity and certainty.