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Will wearables change the way we approach data?

Wearables

Following on from my previous post “How will wearable technology contribute to the future of email marketing?”, I wanted to really focus on how wearables are adding a new dimension into the conversation around data management. It is a fascinating conversation that is gaining more attention at the moment with the current proposals for EU Data Protection reform.

Data Collection and Privacy

Companies currently use a range of methods to collect data about their consumers in order to create a more personalized, targeted approach in their marketing strategy. This allows us as marketers to generate a higher ROI through email marketing because we are using data to decide when, how, and with what message to communicate with our audiences.

While collecting more data benefits both parties, it’s important to be transparent with consumers about the type of personal data you are collecting. This can make them more comfortable because they feel in control. Seeing as most wearables work by being connected to another device (most often a phone) – data streams will run between these two points. But is the technology ready to collect information about the consumers’ interaction with your emails?

A new layer of interaction with your brand

This insight will effectively bring a mass collaboration between multiple industries that are now big players in the wearables market e.g. Retail, Health Care, Medicine, Fashion – who will be looking to share best practice on how to create experiences for their users based on what they know about them.

How the law is changing to integrate wearables and data

The increasingly globalized nature of the way in which data will flow across countries in milliseconds and across multiple jurisdictions has promoted the necessity to reform the law so companies know where they stand.

For instance, the 2012 proposal by the European Commission for a major reform of the EU Data Protection Law framework focuses on updating the law in line with advancements in new technologies including wearables, embeddables and implantables.

The reform will focus on a single set of pan-european rules that sets out to form a regulation and not just a directive. This is part of an over-arching Digital Agenda for Europe – A Europe 2020 Initiative, which will help reboot the EU economy and enable Europe’s citizens and businesses to get the most out of digital technologies going forward.

So how does it affect email marketing?

Wearables ring

Image from Ringly.com

The good news is that email’s presence is likely to grow with the use of wearables. Smartwatches are likely to have the biggest impact in this respect, but other gadgets like talking handbags and flashing jewellery could contribute as well.

The landscape for email marketeers suddenly becomes a very personal means of contacting consumers based much more upon on hobby, or interest-based behavioural data.

In order to benefit from the growth of the wearables market, ensure that you comply with the law and you have obtained data preferably through organic list growth. Aim for a double opt-in approach, which requests the user to confirm subscription once they have submitted their details.

If you endeavour to follow the rules and cover all bases, you are more likely to grow an engaged organic database that is willing to hear from you on their flashing, vibrating, self-talking wearable!

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