What every marketer needs to know about Apple Pay & Apple Watch

Reblogged by Keith Dickinson

 
Jay Wilson

by Jay Wilson

VP, Group Director, Customer Insights, Wunderman

Apple Pay and Apple Watch: What Marketers Need to Know

With Apple’s announcements today, marketers should be quickly preparing for ways that Apple Pay and Apple Watch will fundamentally change the experience consumers have with their brands:

Mobile payments: Will Apple Pay finally crack the proverbial nut on this one? I think the answer is a resounding “yes.” With the ubiquity of Square mobile card readers in the small business market, payment apps like Starbucks’, and mobile banking, consumers were already primed to use mobile for a larger share of household purchases.

Indeed, Forrester predicts mobile payments will increase nearly fourfold, to $90 billion, by 2017. The promise in today’s announcement is making those purchases more convenient and more secure, and brands that are deemed easier to do business with tend to differentiate themselves from competitors. And with mainstream retailers like McDonald’s and Target, as well as digital darlings Uber and OpenTable on board, it’s safe to say mobile payments came of age today.

Finally, Apple’s pledge not to collect or store credit card or transactional information raises the bar on data privacy, which impacts all data-driven marketers.

Apple Watch: Healthcare marketers have been early to leverage wearable technology, and Apple Watch, coupled with Apple’s HealthKit, only accelerates that trend, especially because of the Digital Crown interface, fashion-forward designs, and ability to personalize – all barriers that befuddled earlier entries to the wearable market. And brands in non-health industries also stand to gain – wearables have been successfully used by VirginAtlantic to speed the airport check-in process, and the PGA to bring tournaments to life for fans.

Non-healthcare brands will find innovative ways to tap into HealthKit and the range of sensors, like an accelerometer, in the watch. Meanwhile, other Apple Watch functionality – like the sketching and “virtual tap” features, may inspire new ways for brands to communicate.

The immediate impact of Apple Watch will likely be to help bolster the overall wearables market, which has been waiting for a breakthrough device to bring awareness and purchase consideration from a broader base of consumers. So you need to start thinking about the role wearables will play in your customers’ experience with your brand, even if they’re not immediately clear.

Finally, larger screen sizes and a new camera on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Moving to a 5.5 inch screen on the iPhone 6 Plus doesn’t represent a dramatic change for marketers, but confirms that visual content will continue to be vitally important in digital brand communications. Brands active on Instagram should take their content up a notch, and ensure that photos and videos, including profile images that may have been uploaded a few years ago, are of sufficient resolution and visual impact for a screen that’s going to be significantly larger. And the new phones will make this easier – with enhanced focus and image stabilization, and slow motion video, which opens lots of opportunities to create engaging content in the field.

Where do you see customer experience and branding opportunities from today’s announcements?

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