In case you have not crawled out from under the rock you may be living under -- not that there's anything wrong with that -- Last Friday was the day people far and wide can pre-order the Apple Watch. Three models are available ranging in price from $349 all the way up to $17,000.
Oh by the way, if you're curious like I was as to why the Apple Watch is not the iWatch, it has to do with trademarks and a now-defunct company based in Fresno.
And by no means is the wearable smart watch unique to Apple with luxury watchmaker Tag Heuer working with Google and Intel to make their own smart watch.
Will the Apple Watch be successful?
Obviously only time will tell but some are already going out on the proverbial limb with their predictions.
"With the introduction of the IWatch, Apple continues to demonstrate that they are more than one of history's greatest tech companies with their eloquence of deign and UX, but they continue to reinforce their preeminence as a lifestyle brand" - Jan Talamo, Chief Creative Officer, Star Group and M&M
"I think it will be quite successful, because it is as Apple always does: They rarely lead in a field. They watch how things develop, and then enter it and take it over. They've done that repeatedly, from computers to music players and so on." - Scott Tilley, a professor and director of computing education at the Florida Institute of Technology
However, not everyone is so sure the Apple Watch will be a hit.
"With only two weeks left before it becomes available to the mass public, and some early reviewers noting that, 'unlike previous breakthrough Apple products, the Watch's software requires a learning curve that may deter some people' -- there's a chance that the Apple Watch could be the first Apple product in over a decade that won't become an overnight sensation." - Jordan Cohen, Chief Marketing Officer, Fluent, Inc. who recently shared his views on CNBC.
Marketers, Watches and Wearables -- Oh My
Whether the Apple Watch is a big hit or not, there is no mistaking the impact of the overall smart wearables category as a whole. The International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts smart wearables will be over 25 million in 2015, more than five times the amount compared with last year.
Meanwhile, Deloitte predicts demand for wearables to increase to the tens of millions by the end of next year and surpass 100 million by the year 2020.
Make no mistake about it, with numbers like these marketers and advertisers the world over will be looking to capitalize -- both B2C and B2B marketers and advertisers alike.
According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Wearable Future report released late last year, "both the consumer market and the business to business (B2B) market stand to be radicalized by the mainstreaming of wearable technology."
Deborah Bothun, PwC's U.S. advisory entertainment, media and communications leader says any mobile marketing campaigns marketers create moving forward must "include the wearable revolution and deliver perceived value to the consumer in an experiential manner."
There are three key words from what Ms. Bothun said I want to make sure I call out specifically.
The first is "revolution." A very powerful word indeed that I think fits like a glove for this will most assuredly be a revolution; "a far-reaching and drastic change" that will impact everything and everyone along the lines of the mobile phone.
The next word is "perceived." Without question, perception is reality for many and consumers are no different for consumers want value -- relevant value that is.
The final word is "experiential." Customer Experience or CX is a major buzz term right now as it should be for not only does the consumer demand and expect relevant content they expect said content to be part of an overall ideal experience.
John Stetic Group Vice President, Product Development, Oracle Marketing Cloud says wearables offer yet another channel for marketers connect with their customers.
"The number of ways that consumers are able to get information is expanding at an ever increasing rate," he said. "What's really exciting about many of these new ways is they are a two-way channel. In a quest to create great customer experiences, marketers are able to leverage the myriad of channels available to them to communicate to their customers."
He adds that because these experiences are of the digital variety all of the interactions can be integrated with other online or offline data sources to provide a real-time personalized experience for the customer -- at scale.
"In turn this has the power to transcend traditional marketing by empowering marketers to know more about their customers and anticipate their customers needs."
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