With the much-anticipated debut of the Apple Watch, now more than ever, marketers have the unique opportunity to create meaningful mobile moments and take customers on a relevant, personalized journey.
These mobile or “micro-moments” are born from user interaction – specifically, when a consumer turns to a device to find, learn, buy or answer something. It’s in these fleeting moments that decisions and purchases are made, providing brands and applications with a powerful opportunity to engage and influence.
Interacting with the Apple Watch is, essentially, a collection of micro-moments. The watch is Apple’s solution to streamlining device usage and getting the most “bang for your buck.”
Backwards as it may sound, adding the Apple Watch — or any other smart watch — to your repertoire curbs multi-device usage, by acting as a “one-stop shop” for texts, applications, emails and more. And unlike a smartphone or tablet, the watch minimizes the action needed to monitor alerts – requiring a mere glance of the wrist to determine the validity and importance of a notification in seconds.
As the Apple Watch continues to gather steam, adorning the wrists of early adopters and the general public, alike, brands have the freedom to venture into a new space, forging deeper connections and building off of micro-moments.
Here are five ways marketers can take advantage of these bite-sized moments:
1. The Apple Watch is the perfect vehicle for successful niche marketing – targeted specifically to the hobbies and interests of the consumer
Because the smart watch is easily accessible and highly personalized, marketers have the opportunity to deeper mine what people are interested in, creating a micro-moment that caters to those passions, while raising awareness or providing a relevant update to the wearer.
The micro-moment doesn’t need to be a robust experience, just an unexpected, welcome way to alert or notify the consumer of a store, product or special offer he/she has an interest in. For example, if you have an interest in craft beer, how cool would it be to receive an alert letting you know that a popular brew spot is just around the corner? Or what if you received a notification that your favorite watering hole just updated their beer list, now offering the brew you’ve been dying to try?
Unlike annoying pop-ups or relentless emails, these cultivated mobile moments are more welcome by consumers because they are deeply ingrained in their interests and provide relevant, up-to-date notifications.
2. Tim Cook has called the Apple Watch the company’s most personal device
That’s because it is literally on the user at all times. Because of this, brands need to be strategic – thinking carefully about the purpose and value of messaging. Blanket offers, generic messages and incessant notifications won’t work. In this case, quality over quantity rings true.
Micro-moments have the power to influence preferences and purchasing behaviors, but if overdone or invasive, they can turn consumers off to the brand.
3. Micro-moments are often triggered by proximity or location-based questions such as, “Where is the closest Thai restaurant?” or “Is there a drugstore nearby?”
With the Apple Watch, marketers have the ability to enable geo-fencing and send proximity alerts to consumers who are close-by. These alerts can be used to raise general awareness about a store location or incentivize the consumer to make the trek to the establishment, by offering discounts or coupons.
Remember, though, respecting consumer privacy is key. As such, these notifications can only be sent out to consumers who have opted in – by downloading the brand’s app or adding an offer to their passbook or Google wallet.
4. With the Apple Watch bursting onto the scene, marketers have a new channel to reach brand loyalists and reward purchasing behaviors with meaningful micro-moments
Loyalty programs have become commonplace in tech, utilizing smartphones and tablets to ping devoted customers about exclusive offers or freebies. Now, with the Apple Watch growing in popularity, marketers have a direct connection to faithful customers; combining the power of proximity alerts and the appeal of exclusive offers and delivering them directly to the gleaming watch-face.
These micro-moments can make a huge impact, drawing customers closer and establishing a close-knit relationship.
5. Consumers are wearing their heart on their sleeve
The Apple Watch is a personal, wearable technology that doubles as a fashionable accessory; but more than that, it’s a device that provides a direct line of communication.
As a result, brands have the unique opportunity to tailor the customer experience to the individual and connect on a deeper level, utilizing micro-moments to accelerate the customer journey.
In each micro-moment, consumers expect answers in their own personal way on the device and channel they are using. How marketers live in that moment and solve these basic consumer needs is paramount. Knowing that the Apple Watch is very personal, marketers need to not only be visible, but also strive toward providing an experience that gives the wearer the correct answers both quickly and in an individualized way.
With wearable technology on the rise, marketers have an unparalleled opportunity to build customer relationships through precious, short-lived mobile moments. In order to succeed in this new frontier, brands need to focus on crafting meaningful micro-moments that are relevant and provide value.
Jay Hawkinson is a digital marketing professional with 20 years of sales, marketing and merchandising experience including organic search optimization, paid search advertising, local search, mobile and social media. Jay joined SIM Partners in 2006 as an equity partner and currently oversees mobile, social media and emerging technology at SIM Partners as the senior vice president of social and emerging products.