Why wearable tech and connected stuff will change marketing: Work Club's Paddy Griffith discusses the future of marketing

“Social media has changed marketing but it’s only telling the story of the participators as it is dominated by the minority of people who are typically very active and take part, connected stuff is about how we get everyone taking part, whether we’re sharing or not,” revealed Work Club strategy partner Patrick Griffith ahead of his discussion at The Drum 4 Minute Warning this December.

Griffith will be speaking at 4 Minute Warning this December

At the event Griffith is set to discuss the role of ‘connected stuff’ and what that means for brands and businesses.

“Connected stuff will mean suddenly the whole world will be more tuned into what we’re doing. And it won’t just be about those who think they’re witty or good at taking photos or the naturally big sharers,” explained Griffith. “The reality is everything we do is generating data, that data is generating stories and that generates a connection to other people in other places and other stories. Brands are starting to be able to use that to give us more personalised responses and that automates the marketing we receive back.”

Griffith argues that this can be seen as both a good and bad thing. On the one hand consumers will enjoy better service from brands as their data is tracked and available, but on the other hand it means brands may have more access to the consumer than they would like. Griffith suggests this will lead to something which he terms as ‘VRM’ which is the opposite of CRM and stands for “vendor relationship management”.

“It’s not brands deciding how they will talk to consumers anymore; it is consumers deciding how they’re going to talk to brands. We’ll decide what access we give different brands to our data and licence ourselves to those we want to hear from,” he added.

At the moment Griffith believes consumers are “totally naïve about the amount of data that is captured about them and how valuable this is to brands” but warns brands not to get complacent as it’s only a matter of time before we “realise the value of our data and begin to expect brands to know our name and get the message right” and “expect rewards by putting a price on our data”.

Griffith explains that wearable tech is just “part of the story” when it comes to connected data in the future. He explained: “At the moment my phone can tell you where I am and what I’m doing, but a wearable piece of kit can tell you how I’m feeling, or how healthy I am, or how hard I’m working. Wearable tech is just another interface and another way for brands to personalise your service.”

When asked how brands will cope with all of the data that will soon be able to be measured, Griffith said “there is a massive difference in the data you can have access to and the data you can actually do anything useful with” and draws on the example that currently brands are still using traditional media companies to find out what their consumers are doing despite having active communities of fans on social media that they could just listen to instead.

“Marketing research and methodology is locked into rules that were in place 30 years ago and people haven’t developed the systems to handle connected data, which suggests there will soon be a raft of new companies willing to swoop in and make good money by making the best use of new consumer data. It’s still early days but we need to be ready to jump,” he said.

If you want to find out more about connected stuff and discuss the trends that are likely to impact your business then join The Drum on Disruption Day for our annual 4 Minute Warning conference. Held at SapientNitro in London on 4 December, joining Anthony Mullen on the day will be Ambarish Mitra, Blippar founder and CEO; Seetheunseen materials alchemist Lauren Bowker; Forrester Research senior analyst Anthony Mullen and many others. The full line-up and agenda as well as ticketing information can be found on the 4 Minute Warning site.

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