How Can Media and Brands Make Money with the Apple Watch?

Will big brands and media companies make a play for consumers' wrist-space?


The Apple Watch: we’ve all seen it and read about it. Some of us may have friends who already own one because they just HAVE to be the coolest kid on the block.

Our Adweek colleague Garret Sloane even used the Watch to teach us a new word: “trypophobia,” or “a fear of irregularly arranged circles.”

The main question, though: beyond people timing their runs and getting push notifications about upcoming meetings, what can the Apple Watch do for us as consumers? How can brands, influencers, and media outlets use it to make money?!

We spoke to three experts from the publishing, marketing, and tech design fields for their takes.

alicia navarroFrom Alicia Navarro, CEO of affiliate linking service SkimLinks:

“The opportunity with wearables is around bridging the online to offline gap in terms of tracking and attribution. Publishing companies (or their ad tech partners) could leverage this medium for linking online commerce-related content to fulfillment of an order offline.”

In short, she thinks that brands will use the watch to facilitate sales in more traditional spaces.

Matt MurphyFrom Matt Murphy, CEO of Chicago-based marketing agency Fusion92:

“Because this is such a niche product and specific to Apple, there’ll be a lot of exploration early on as brands investigate what they’re allowed to do and how consumers are engaging with the device.”

Murphy has some specific ideas. One is promotions that move or “ping pong” from the watch to the iPhone and vice versa:

“Maybe you accept an ad and it pushes to your phone for a fuller experience, or a third-party interaction. Depending on the capabilities, there could be rich media built into that.”

Murphy even suggests that the watch will help make old-school email marketing more effective via “a click-based ad model that triggers an email message consumers can check at a later time.”

Denis-MargolinFinally, Denis Margolin, VP of mobile solutions for tech consulting firm DataArt, thinks we may be getting ahead of ourselves here:

“Wearables are not meant to be general purpose devices. They are not supposed to be intrusive and occupy a lot of our attention.

Speaking about smart watch specifically, apps and content that demand a user to pay too much attention to their watch simply won’t work. To be effective, content providers must present only essential information, quickly and timely.”

It sounds like the Apple Watch will be a facilitator of campaigns tailored to other devices rather than a destination itself.

What do we think?