January 9th, 2014 by Maria Minsker

From sleek, sophisticated wristbands to dorky eyewear (I’m looking at you, Google Glass), it appears that wearables are hear to stay. Wearable computing devices took center stage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, but analysts agree that the trend will be making a major impact not only on consumers, but on businesses as well. According to a Forrester report released earlier this week, though the wearables market is suffering from an undeniable hype bubble, wearables will “become critical assets for enterprises to differentiate themselves with in the age of the customer,” and will become commonplace within the workplace, according to analyst and report author J.P. Gownder. What does this mean for marketers, customer service professionals and those in the sales force? There are several implications for the world of CRM, but I believe most fall under three key categories:

Strengthen Customer Engagement and Improve Customer Experience

As wearables become more mainstream, the technology will give companies an opportunity to stay connected with their customers on a constant basis, which could play a particularly pivotal role in the healthcare, insurance, and fitness industries. For instance, “an insurance provider could lower its rate based on a customer’s demonstrated commitment to exercise, while a personal trainer could monitor a client’s progress remotely,” Gownder writes in the report. With little effort needed on the part of the consumer, wearables can enable companies across a variety of other industries to deliver more  deeply personalized marketing campaigns, drive sales and boost overall customer experience.

Transform Data Recording, Delivery and Analysis

Not only can wearables record data including location tags, video, voice, or imagery, but they’ll soon also have the capability to analyze and deliver relevant, actionable data to marketing and sales professionals. “Solutions like non-intrusive heads up displays will eventually use facial recognition software to match against the readily available trove of personal information found on networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and the disparate web,” Himanshu Sareen, CEO of Icreon Tech, a global IT consultancy, wrote in a post for GIGAOM. With more development, wearables could revolutionize the process of tracking down prospects and engaging with leads. Just imagine: soon, you may be able to spot a potential client from across the room, just by looking at him.

Boost Adoption for New, Innovative Approaches to Marketing, Sales and Customer Service

A high adoption rate for wearables could spell good news for other technologies, particularly those with tons of potential but not enough momentum. Augmented reality, for example, is becoming increasingly popular but could use a push from the wearables’ whirlwind. At its core, augmented reality allows smartphone and tablet users to point their mobile device’s camera viewfinder at a real object and instantly gain access to information about that object on their device. Fuel FX, a B2B digital marketing agency specializing in AR, for example, works with oil and gas brands and uses its AR capabilities to show the internal components of massive tools and demonstrate their inner workings. Currently, Fuel FX delivers AR experiences through a mobile app–in a facility tour scenario, the app acts as a virtual guide that can accompany visitors. Wearable technology, however, can take that experience to a new level.

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