Timing the Ascent of the Apple Watch and It’s Importance to Mobile Marketers

Timing the Ascent of the Apple Watch and It’s Importance to Mobile Marketers

The word crude comes to mind when we look to describe the introductory phase of Apple Watch.

In some ways, Apple’s high-profile wearable has met or even exceeded expectations since the first wave of consumers began wearing it in late April. Personal and relevant information has been delivered quickly and unobtrusively. Users have been able to choose what they want sent to their wrists and what to keep away.

Conversely, many have voiced major disappointment. Among the complaints: at the outset, developers worked blindly and the user experiences showed the problems with that, including apps that timed out before freshening.

Marketers and those who build for iOS have had only a limited view of how the apps were performing.

There is reason to believe that much of this is about to change.

WatchOS 2, to be released in the fall, will allow developers to create native apps that are powered by the Apple Watch instead of the iPhone. This is widely expected to significantly improve performance and satisfaction.

Just as important is a significant upgrade in analytics.

At FollowAnalytics, we have developed the only analytics solution that tracks every interaction on the Apple Watch natively.

Not only will marketers and devs get analytics on all custom events for Apple Watch apps, they will be able to see how users are interacting with an app on the iPhone vs. the Apple Watch. Combined with backend CRM data, marketers will have a robust understanding of their users and their behaviors.

As a result, businesses using the platform will be able to use contextual data to segment and personalize the way they engage users.

Some use cases:

  • An airline or travel company can send flight status to users on the day of travel
  • A hotel can invite users to happy hour after they unlock their rooms using Apple Watch
  • A pharmacy can track refills of prescriptions using the tap of Apple Watch

Personalization will be taken to a new level. Businesses can define and track custom events, follow a user’s path from watch to phone hand off and learn how they prefer to use each medium. They then can craft conversion funnels from watch to phone.

Analytic enhancements will include:

Notification metrics

  • Open rates
  • Static and dynamic notifications
  • All handoffs between watch and phone
  • Notification interactions: when it’s displayed, custom button tapped

Glance metrics

  • When Glance is opened
  • When Glance is tapped to open full app watch interface
  • Any handoff that occurs from Glance to phone

Watch app metrics

  • When app is launched
  • Session time uniquely on the watch
  • Custom events on the watch
  • Interactions on the watch’s main interfaces: tap, scroll, swipe
  • Interaction funnels: handoff from the app on the watch to the phone

Beyond user experience improvements and upgrades to analytics, marketers will benefit from the learnings gleaned from phase one executions.

Atop any list of best practices is the importance of only sending relevant and timely info to one’s wrist. As Expedia Chief Marketing Officer David Doctorow said at the recent MobileBeat event in San Francisco, brands must respect the personal nature of a wearable.

As an example, he said that Expedia serves customers by sending such crucial updates as gate changes and flight time adjustments. What would be a disservice is the dissemination of a marketing message for the rental of a car for a trip six weeks into the future.

None of us need a watch to know that it’s the early days in wearables. But there is new reason to believe that it’s timely to consider Apple Watch initiatives as you plan for the fall and beyond.