Smart watches will pave the way to the "next frontier" in connectivity which could see the rise in popularity of implants, according to Unilever's global senior vice president of brand marketing Marc Mathieu.
Speaking at IAB Mobile Engage in London today, for which The Drum is media partner, Mathieu said emerging technologies and the "intimidating" pace of changet they have brought about has "drastically changed" how brands must approach marketing.
"People are always on, never offline. That is the next frontier. Now we have it on our wrist, but I would be surprised if we don't do it in an implant form pretty soon. Why have it on your wrist if you can have it permanently in you?" he said.
He pointed to the rise of mobile, social media and increased consumer demand for content, along with the internet of things as just some of the catalysts prompting a radical change in how marketers build their brands.
"The question is how do we ensure we bring the consumer on the journey with us in this world that is changing? It's easy for us to think technology first, not people first. We must remember we are doing our job as marketers for people first," he said.
He added that the former "interruptive" model that brands have historically adopted to grasp consumers' attention is broken. "There is a reason why Apple and Google are ahead of Coca-Cola in the top brand rankings. It is because we have built our brands in an interruption model.
"We had to because that was the only way to address audiences at scale. So we had to basically push a message at scale. What technology changes is that today people can actually pull brands into their lives multiple times a day based on their needs at that moment."
People pull in brands like Apple because of iTunes, and Google with search, maps and email "multiple times and on our terms", Mathieu said.
Therefore marketers must be constantly questioning the utility of what they provide, and ensure they only ever exert "micro interruptions" rather than enforcing a brand's presence on them. "The audience is not listening to you any more. we need to think about that in terms of how we build brands in the future," he added.
Mathieu's comments follow those of IAB UK resident psychologist Dr Simon Hampton, who urged brands to consider carefully what kind of information consumers will want in an internet of things-driven landscape.