Apple Watch Brings Hyperlocal Advertising To Consumers' Wrists

Three reasons why the Apple Watch could take off, and what it means for marketers.

Mobile & Apps

With the Apple Watch widely expected to launch in March of this year, with rumors that internal development teams are undergoing the latter stages of an extensive testing program to finalize the product, the question on everyone's lips is what opportunities the new technology will present? Among the new features of the are a number of potential opportunities for marketers to reach consumers with relevant, useful information.

When the iPhone was first released, it found success in reinventing an already established piece of consumer technology while expanding and modernizing the available features of a device people were already using. In this sense, the Apple Watch seeks to do much the same.

While no official date has been confirmed, the Apple Watch could see the market as early as next month (if a leaked document from Apple’s senior vice president of retail is anything to go by), and already the product is making a few headlines for the innovations it will bring in the field of local-advertising and digital near-field transactions.

The Hyperlocal Advertising Opportunity

One of the most exciting prospects of Apple Watch is in the virtual “screen real estate” it will bring to consumers. The introduction of a new digital screen in people lives, that unlike a smartphone doesn’t predominantly live in people’s pockets, presents a tremendous new opportunity for marketers in hyperlocal advertising.

Hyperlocal advertising utilizes the Watch’s built-in GPS functionality to deliver screen advertisements about businesses in close proximity. For example, a consumer walking down the street could be alerted to a nearby coffee shop’s promotion for a free drink, or they could be alerted to an available discount or coupon code while browsing a store in order to encourage a conversion – all delivered seamlessly to a consumer via an unobtrusive wristwatch alert.

Marketers have good reason to believe that an investment in hyperlocal advertising will be rewarding. A September report from Thinknear found that hyperlocal advertising campaigns possess the largest share of accurate ad impressions with 47 percent served in the U.S. in Q3. This was up on Q2 figures of 34 percent showing that it represents market that is growing fast.

A survey on mobile advertising my consumer research consultancy Nielsen found that 51 percent of U.S. mobile device users stated that they preferred mobile ads with geographically relevant info. It makes for an industry that has a lot of potential to grow, and Apple Watch represents the kind of technology that in time can transform such research into a marketable reality.

Also, as reported by eMarketer, Berg Insight also estimated that investment on mobile-location-based is set to increase to $14.3 billion, rising from a $1.6 billion figure.

How Is The Apple Watch Different?

TapSense, the mobile ad exchange platform, has released a ‘Programmatic Ad Platform’ for the Apple Watch, aiding developers, agencies, and business to serve advertisements and market on the technology.

“While most of our competitors are focused on banner ads and legacy platforms, we are focused on innovation and next generation platforms,” said Ash Kumar, Co-Founder and CEO of TapSense. “Apple Watch has the potential to be a category disruptor similar to iPod or iPhone and we believe that it provides great opportunities for brands and developers to deliver engaging experiences to consumers.”

If Apple Watch gains the widespread adoption that has followed the launch of new Apple products thus far, the hyperlocal advertising space could understandably experience a period of strong growth and investment. The innovations that the smartwatch brings to hyperlocal advertising and integrated payment systems in particular give us every reason to keep a close eye on the space.

3 Reasons Why Apple Watch Could Take Off

  1. Interactive innovations that revolutionize banner advertising: Banner advertisements have been around for more than 20 years. As screen sizes have become smaller, new innovations in technology have been necessary to maintain the relevancy of the medium, and Apple Watch hopes that in providing interactive interfaces, taking cues from GPS location data, glance recognition, and seamless full-screen transitions, the practice will see a resurgence of the channel, serving more relevant and useful information to consumers.
  2. Hyperlocal targeting: Hyperlocal advertising is often reported in a highly favorable light, and there is a great deal of data and reports being released that advocate the power of the concept. However, the practice has yet to achieve any kind of widespread adoption, and this is perhaps due to the fact that when we do interact with our smartphones it is to generally to fulfil a specific purpose. Apple Watch has the power of functioning in the same way broader advertising such as billboards or broadcast advertisements do in raising awareness and connecting new consumers, while also offering lower funnel incentives, such as coupons or discounts as consumers are close to transacting in brick-and-mortar stores.
  3. Apple Pay Integration: Apple Watch also provides full integration with Apple Pay. It means the potential of a truly seamless experiences for consumers, who are able to use the digital wallet function of their phone to transact. TapSense points out that digital payment for offline purchases represents one of the last touchpoints of the consumer journey to be effectively tracked and digitized, meaning the payment systems could yield much more insights attribution data in the near future.
How should brands be preparing for the possible disruption Apple Watch will bring, and what do you think are the biggest opportunities in hyperlocal advertising? Let us know in the comments, or tweet us @momentologyNews.