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Smartwatches Add New Dimension to Mobile Strategy

Mobile strategies are no longer a trend, but a necessity. The days of merely discussing how to appeal to mobile users are behind us, and now, marketing executives are allocating a larger portion of their budgets to ensure they actually have a mobile strategy, not just the idea of one. Furthermore, as technology advances, so must mobile engagement strategies. This means strategists have another device to consider… smartwatches, more specifically the Apple Watch™.

Currently, the Apple Watch is designed as an accessory to the iPhone®. In order to make phone calls, answer text messages, receive notifications and use third-party apps, you must be connected to your iPhone and using a Bluetooth or a shared wireless signal. Although the main device continues to be a consumer’s iPhone, the addition of the Apple Watch will change the way he/she interacts with a brand’s updates and notifications.

According to an article written in Adweek’s Social Times, “Glanceable moments will become the new currency of mobile engagement as 40 percent of consumers are tired of pulling their phones out of their pockets or purses, which is something they do approximately 150-200 times per day.”1 Glanceable moments are characterized by two user experiences: actionable notifications and Glances. So, when an app sends an alert to your phone, it will appear on your watch allowing you to interact with the notification through voice command, keyboard input, gestures or buttons. Glances display on the watch face similarly to the widgets on the iPhone. Here, you can view all your updates in one place and scroll up and down to read them all at once, and interact with the ones you choose.2

In a recent Forrester Research Report, smartwatches have an engagement period of three seconds compared to the 30 seconds associated with smartphones. Therefore, brand notifications must be short, enticing and easily digestible.3 By having these notifications appear on a watch, smartphones don’t need to be retrieved on a regular basis. These actionable messages are opened or dismissed with a simple click of a button.

But we mustn’t forget that Apple Watches aren’t replacing iPhones. Instead, they are becoming part of the many devices a person has at any given time. So while it’s essential that marketers adjust their mobile strategy to consider how consumers interact with smartwatches, it is part of a much larger picture. The smartwatch is now the gateway in which consumers will decide if they want to engage further with your brand. Marketers must design notifications based on user preferences and past behaviors to encourage interaction and from there, a much larger web experience should be waiting.

As we navigate our way through the impact the Apple Watch will have on the mobile landscape, it’s important to realize that the main concepts of mobile marketing aren’t changing. Consumers still expect a personalized approach, but now marketers must find a way to create enough excitement with shorter attention spans and physical screen space. From there, the user experience must be seamless whether interaction happens directly on the watch or iPhone.