Apple Watch Brings Hyperlocal Advertising To Consumers’ Wrists

Three rea­sons why the Apple Watch could take off in 2015, and what it means for mar­keters.

Pat Hong By Pat Hong from Linkdex. Join the discussion » 0 comments

With the Apple Watch wide­ly expect­ed to launch in March of this year, with rumors that inter­nal devel­op­ment teams are under­go­ing the lat­ter stages of an exten­sive test­ing pro­gram to final­ize the prod­uct, the ques­tion on every­one’s lips is what oppor­tu­ni­ties the new tech­nol­o­gy will present? Among the new fea­tures of the are a num­ber of poten­tial oppor­tu­ni­ties for mar­keters to reach con­sumers with rel­e­vant, use­ful infor­ma­tion.

When the iPhone was first released in 2008, it found suc­cess in rein­vent­ing an already estab­lished piece of con­sumer tech­nol­o­gy while expand­ing and mod­ern­iz­ing the avail­able fea­tures of a device peo­ple were already using. In this sense, the Apple Watch seeks to do much the same.

While no offi­cial date has been con­firmed, the Apple Watch could see the mar­ket as ear­ly as next month (if a leaked doc­u­ment from Apple’s senior vice pres­i­dent of retail is any­thing to go by), and already the prod­uct is mak­ing a few head­lines for the inno­va­tions it will bring in the field of local-adver­tis­ing and dig­i­tal near-field trans­ac­tions.

The Hyperlocal Advertising Opportunity

One of the most excit­ing prospects of Apple Watch is in the vir­tu­al “screen real estate” it will bring to con­sumers. The intro­duc­tion of a new dig­i­tal screen in peo­ple lives, that unlike a smart­phone does­n’t pre­dom­i­nant­ly live in peo­ple’s pock­ets, presents a tremen­dous new oppor­tu­ni­ty for mar­keters in hyper­local adver­tis­ing.

Hyper­local adver­tis­ing uti­lizes the Watch’s built-in GPS func­tion­al­i­ty to deliv­er screen adver­tise­ments about busi­ness­es in close prox­im­i­ty. For exam­ple, a con­sumer walk­ing down the street could be alert­ed to a near­by cof­fee shop’s pro­mo­tion for a free drink, or they could be alert­ed to an avail­able dis­count or coupon code while brows­ing a store in order to encour­age a con­ver­sion – all deliv­ered seam­less­ly to a con­sumer via an unob­tru­sive wrist­watch alert.

Mar­keters have good rea­son to believe that an invest­ment in hyper­local adver­tis­ing will be reward­ing. A Sep­tem­ber report from Thinkn­ear found that hyper­local adver­tis­ing cam­paigns pos­sess the largest share of accu­rate ad impres­sions with 47 per­cent served in the U.S. in Q3 2014. This was up on Q2 fig­ures of 34 per­cent show­ing that it rep­re­sents mar­ket that is grow­ing fast.

A sur­vey on mobile adver­tis­ing my con­sumer research con­sul­tan­cy Nielsen found that 51 per­cent of U.S. mobile device users stat­ed that they pre­ferred mobile ads with geo­graph­i­cal­ly rel­e­vant info. It makes for an indus­try that has a lot of poten­tial to grow, and Apple Watch rep­re­sents the kind of tech­nol­o­gy that in time can trans­form such research into a mar­ketable real­i­ty.

Also, as report­ed by eMar­keter, Berg Insight also esti­mat­ed that invest­ment on mobile-loca­tion-based is set to increase to $14.3 bil­lion in 2018, ris­ing from a $1.6 bil­lion fig­ure in 2013.

How Is The Apple Watch Different?

TapSense, the mobile ad exchange plat­form, has released a ‘Pro­gram­mat­ic Ad Plat­form’ for the Apple Watch, aid­ing devel­op­ers, agen­cies, and busi­ness to serve adver­tise­ments and mar­ket on the tech­nol­o­gy.

While most of our com­peti­tors are focused on ban­ner ads and lega­cy plat­forms, we are focused on inno­va­tion and next gen­er­a­tion plat­forms,” said Ash Kumar, Co-Founder and CEO of TapSense. “Apple Watch has the poten­tial to be a cat­e­go­ry dis­rup­tor sim­i­lar to iPod or iPhone and we believe that it pro­vides great oppor­tu­ni­ties for brands and devel­op­ers to deliv­er engag­ing expe­ri­ences to con­sumers.”

If Apple Watch gains the wide­spread adop­tion that has fol­lowed the launch of new Apple prod­ucts thus far, the hyper­local adver­tis­ing space could under­stand­ably expe­ri­ence a peri­od of strong growth and invest­ment. The inno­va­tions that the smart­watch brings to hyper­local adver­tis­ing and inte­grat­ed pay­ment sys­tems in par­tic­u­lar give us every rea­son to keep a close eye on the space.

3 Reasons Why Apple Watch Could Take Off in 2015

  1. Inter­ac­tive inno­va­tions that rev­o­lu­tion­ize ban­ner adver­tis­ing: Ban­ner adver­tise­ments have been around for more than 20 years. As screen sizes have become small­er, new inno­va­tions in tech­nol­o­gy have been nec­es­sary to main­tain the rel­e­van­cy of the medi­um, and Apple Watch hopes that in pro­vid­ing inter­ac­tive inter­faces, tak­ing cues from GPS loca­tion data, glance recog­ni­tion, and seam­less full-screen tran­si­tions, the prac­tice will see a resur­gence of the chan­nel, serv­ing more rel­e­vant and use­ful infor­ma­tion to con­sumers.
  2. Hyper­local tar­get­ing: Hyper­local adver­tis­ing is often report­ed in a high­ly favor­able light, and there is a great deal of data and reports being released that advo­cate the pow­er of the con­cept. How­ev­er, the prac­tice has yet to achieve any kind of wide­spread adop­tion, and this is per­haps due to the fact that when we do inter­act with our smart­phones it is to gen­er­al­ly to ful­fil a spe­cif­ic pur­pose. Apple Watch has the pow­er of func­tion­ing in the same way broad­er adver­tis­ing such as bill­boards or broad­cast adver­tise­ments do in rais­ing aware­ness and con­nect­ing new con­sumers, while also offer­ing low­er fun­nel incen­tives, such as coupons or dis­counts as con­sumers are close to trans­act­ing in brick-and-mor­tar stores.
  3. Apple Pay Inte­gra­tion: Apple Watch also pro­vides full inte­gra­tion with Apple Pay. It means the poten­tial of a tru­ly seam­less expe­ri­ences for con­sumers, who are able to use the dig­i­tal wal­let func­tion of their phone to trans­act. TapSense points out that dig­i­tal pay­ment for offline pur­chas­es rep­re­sents one of the last touch­points of the con­sumer jour­ney to be effec­tive­ly tracked and dig­i­tized, mean­ing the pay­ment sys­tems could yield much more insights attri­bu­tion data in the near future.

How should brands be prepar­ing for the pos­si­ble dis­rup­tion Apple Watch will bring, and what do you think are the biggest oppor­tu­ni­ties in hyper­local adver­tis­ing?

Pat Hong

Written by Pat Hong

Editor at Linkdex/Inked, Linkdex

Pat covers the SEO industry, digital marketing trends, and anything and everything around Linkdex. He also authors Linkdex's data analysis and reports, analysing the state of search in various industries.

Inked is published by Linkdex, the SEO platform of choice for professional marketers.

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