Marketers are imagining new mobile campaigns and content now that Apple revealed the future of the iPhone at its developers conference this week. There were hints at how iBeacon technology could work, and announcements that were mostly intended for the developer community held clear implications for advertisers.
"A lot of services Apple introduced, HealthKit and CloudKit [in particular], are going to offer opportunities for brands to engage," said Craig Elimeliah, svp, director of creative technology at Rapp.
Here's a summary of what Apple's moves mean to marketers.
Advertisers and brands were hoping to hear more about iBeacon, a device that could revolutionize shopping with the help of data, but Apple did not reveal the hardware.
"What they did at least was speak about something that will make beacons appeal to brands and users even more," said Jeremy Sigel, client director of mobile at Essence.
Sigel was referencing the next mobile operating system, iOS 8, which has a notification system perfectly designed for retail messaging through beacons, Sigel said. Dubbed Interactive Notifications, it allows messages to get through to users engaged in other activities on their phones.
"There's a fear on the brand side," Sigel said. "They don't want to be interruptive."
The notification also can serve content that users can easily interact with or ignore. Marketers expect the iBeacon to allow them to share that content while consumers are walking the aisles at stores.
Apple's HealthKit is a platform for users to monitor their general wellness. Brands focused on health, healthcare, nutrition and activity will be looking to connect on the iPhone. Elimeliah, who works with Pfizer and Merck, said big pharm brands are natural candidates to build for Apple in ways they were previously reluctant to explore.
"There are challenges to get clients to innovate in that space but, now that Apple provided a platform there, will be less apprehension," he said.
The HomeKit is Apple's biggest step into the connected world, turning the iPhone into the ultimate remote control. People will automate their environments based on time of day and what they’re doing with settings for "partying" or "ready for bed."
"Targeting people based on moods and context is very much on the table," Sigel said.
App is back
Brands see new incentives to build their own apps with Apple's new coding language called Swift. It is expected to make it cheaper and easier to build apps.
"More brands will develop apps in the next year or two than we’ve ever seen before," said Ryan McLaughlin, chief strategy officer at Tribal Worldwide.