Wearable Technology: The New Data Revolution

Wearable technology isn’t a new concept. From a standard wristwatch to a pair of polarized ski goggles that protect your eyes from the sun and snow, basic wearable technology is everywhere you look.

But there’s a revolution coming that hinges on the constant connectivity and unprecedented data gathering that the latest wearable technologies promise. In short, interconnected, wearable technology provides wearable data that will push sales and marketing forward just as mobile and social have done.

Most of us are already aware of data-rich wearables like Google Glass, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, Fitbit, Jawbone and Pebble, just name a few. Fitbit, for example, helps users track their daily physical activity while syncing to their smartphone via mobile app so that they can monitor progress, review trends and compare themselves to their friends.

Wearable technologies have always been designed to make the wearer’s life easier or help him or her perform a task more effectively, and wearable data takes these capabilities further. With increased connectivity, geolocation and capabilities that can monitor users’ physical well-being and even track what their eyes are drawn to, the benefits begin to move beyond the user. Imagine a runner whose wearable technology knows he’s coming up on the 10-mile mark in a race, tracks the outside air temperature and even senses his dehydration by measuring the composition of his sweat. That wearable device (or combination of devices) uses geolocation to target a nearby convenience store and alerts the runner that the store sells Gatorade. Convenience for the customer? Yes. Opportunity for sales? Definitely.

Now, imagine that one of the runner’s devices also pings Gatorade about this sales opportunity. The thirsty runner receives an alert through Google Glass for $0.50 off a purchase of Gatorade. This is a great b-to-c example of data making life better – and it’s already happening today with mobile phones. Let’s take it one step further and say that this runner’s data is pooled with the data of every other runner within a 10-mile radius and combined with information about the weather, population, road conditions and vendors – including the popularity of products in a given area – and all of the numbers are used as variables in a data algorithm that help the convenience stores predict and order the right inventory for exactly when they need it. Just-in-time inventory is also nirvana in b-to-b.

Does this idea sound too far-fetched?  Remember, that’s what some marketers thought about the mobile and social revolutions.  The bottom line is that b-to-b sales and marketing organizations need to prepare today for the future of data. Wearable technology will be the next wave in personal data and will push the boundaries of marketing and sales as we know it.

Here are three things your organization needs to consider now to prepare for the wearable technology and wearable data revolution:

  • Understand how your buyers’ wearable data can complement existing data sources (e.g. mobile, social, Internet and internal systems and embedded sensors in devices, equipment and solutions). Strategize about how wearable data will work its way into b-to-b persona-building, content creation and sales processes.
  • Develop scenarios and schemes that address how your organization will use wearable technology and data to generate more leads, close more sales or increase buyer loyalty.  Look to your current social and mobile strategies as starting points.
  • Don’t trivialize the effects of personal data collection – and how your company decides to use it – on privacy and your company’s reputation and brand. Technology always moves fastest and is followed quickly by public sentiment and, eventually, laws that change to reflect the new reality.

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About the Author

Jacques is a Research Analyst at SiriusDecisions. He brings 12 years of IT research industry expertise and insight to SiriusDecisions' technology practice. He has proven success in account management, research and analysis, content development and delivery and communications and collaboration. Follow Jacques on Twitter @JacquesBegin22


2 Comments

  • Zak, 23rd October 2013 at 10:54 am

    Reply

    This has given me a brilliant final year project idea.

  • Jacques Begin, 23rd October 2013 at 11:45 am

    Reply

    Glad to hear it Zak. New concepts always take time to gain traction, acceptance and adoption. For most marketing organizations (particularly in the B2B world) it’s not entirely clear how wearable data can benefit them. When taken in a larger context (embedded sensors, geolocation, supply chain, just in time inventory, internet of things etc.) we see a vast array of data sources (adding to BIGger data) that can (and eventually will have to) be mined to making marketing (and ultimately sales) more effective. Early adopters tend to get a leg up on their competition (even if only temporarily) by recognizing potential in technology before it becomes a common trend.


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