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Content: Ready, Willing, And Wearable?

By Rob Hawse

Wearables may not have totally delivered on expectations to date, but if history is any indication, the Apple Watch is poised to change all of that – and very quickly.

“Smart wearables are about to take a major step forward with the launch of the Apple Watch this year,” said Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s Wearables team. “The Apple Watch raises the profile of wearables in general, and there are many vendors and devices that are eager to share the spotlight.”

Changes are already occurring and markets are reacting. For example, in March, BMW announced its iRemote App, which is tied to the i3 electric vehicle and i8 hybrid. More about that here. And Apple CarPlay is coming to 40 models later this year.

To ensure your company will be there with the content your customers need – not just when but also how they need (and want) it – here are a few things you need be thinking about right now.

Number one: look at your content strategy and make sure it prescribes not only what content needs to be created but also what format that content takes based on the device it will be consumed on. Then deliver it based on where your customer is in the buying cycle (assuming you already have a customer relationship ecosystem in place that tells you this).

What you want to do is create a robust “service layer” that enables customers to efficiently find what they are looking for on the device of their choice.

That service layer could be something like an app but it could also be something as simple as a quick and dirty email digest of relevant info bits a la The Skimm, a daily e-mail newsletter whose value proposition is “we do reading for you – across subject lines and party lines – and break it down with fresh editorial content.”

In wrangling all of this, there is simply no substitute for direct experience. You need to be looking at your content on every device you can get your hands on, including the watches. Here’s an assignment: Find someone with an Apple Watch and get a sense of how people will experience your existing content. You will be surprised. It is not a miniature iPhone, guys. Apple has (once again) reworked the entire experience rendering all new possibilities for communication.

If you seek to understand these changes now during this early adoption period, you can create a little runway so that when it is widely accepted you’ll be ready. If you’re not ready, well, remember what it’s like to try to view a website built in Flash on your iPad? Don’t be that. This is your chance to get in front of it and ensure your customers have the experience you really want and need them to have.

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