Now that you know the basics about connecting with your niche audience at a range of touchpoints, itís time to look at some of the hottest new trends in digital marketing: location-based technology, including wearable technology.
Many people carry their smartphones, and a whole new generation of wearable technology such as the Apple Smartwatch is making it easy for digital marketers to connect with prospects as never before.
The iBeacon, or beacon, was introduced by Apple in late 2013 and has already taken the world of location-based events such as conferences and conventions by storm. The beacons allow organizers to connect with participants, track their movements, facilitate meetings in what is often a huge and crowded venue, and more. It adds interactivity to presentations; organizers can send quizzes, polls and more to the people in the room.
The beacons are ideal for instant on-site registration at live events, notifications of upcoming sessions about to start, and more. The only downside is that users need an app to connect to the beacon, and anyone without a smartphone will be missing out.
Radio Frequency Identification
Radio frequency identification, or RFID, is being used in a range of ways. You are probably most familiar with it as a microchip to help find lost pets. RFID requires a tag to identify an item, and a scanner to locate the item.
RFI is one form of automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) ñ a range of methods of automatically identifying objects, collecting data about them, and entering that data directly into computer systems without human involvement. Another familiar example of this would be barcodes. They carry data about the product, including price, and also help businesses keep track of inventory and re-ordering needs.
RFID and AIDC mean more information for marketers, and more opportunities to analyze data and consumer behavior. Possessions, products, even people (such as those with dementia, and small children) can be tagged and tracked. The main concern is about peopleís privacy.
In addition to smartwatches, people are now wearing a whole new generation of fitness and activity trackers. Some are internet capable, while others communicate their data when you walk past a hub. The information on them is automatically sent to a computer for storage and analysis. Patterns can be tracked over time. If you want to make sure you are getting in your 10,000 steps a day, for example, a FitBit or similar wearable tracker can help.
I’ve seen projections for 35% to 50% growth for smartwatches in the next four years. Messaging, advertising, and specialized content suited for these small screens will all help you connect with your target audience.
Ever since Google announced Oculus, their virtual reality headset, there has been a huge buzz about the emergence of virtual reality devices, with dozens scheduled to launch in the next couple years. Some are built for specific applications like video games. Others are designed for more general use, such as Oculus Rift, launching in Spring 2016. Game, movies, and yes, ads and connection with social media accounts, will all be a part of the Rift experience.
Now that I’ve covered the basics about connecting with your niche audience using the latest technology, itís time to look at one of the hottest trends in digital marketing in the past seven years or so, and how you can move beyond it to even greater success for your business. Can you guess what it is? Watch out for my next blog post to find out.