As we approach the mid-point of 2013, marketers know one thing for sure- the landscape is quickly changing. Print ads are dissolving into video thanks to augmented reality. Social media is constantly updating and adding new features (along with new social sites.) And still email marketing and door-to-door flyers hold strong onto their niche of communication mediums. For the most part, small business owners have been willing (and dare I say eager) to adapt. Most are lovers of technology themselves, and many more understand the benefits added when one connects with their customers. Rarely does a technology come along that knocks the floor out from under marketer’s preferred platform (think television/smartphones/Facebook.) Google Glass seems to be one of those products, or at the very least of their nature.
Google Glass and You
While you may already know that Google has released some beta forms of Google Glass to various tech-venturers for documented testing, what’s not clear is how business owners (or society in general) is going to react to the onslaught of issues regarding the technology. Many have voiced concerns over a lack of privacy (not being able to see what/when someone is recording- availability for hacking into one’s vision.) Others, such as blogger Taylor Hatmaker, praise the headset for its uniqueness and ease of use. Hatmaker claiming in a recent article that, “Snapping a picture instantly from your eye’s perspective makes for unique photographic opportunities. Friends and cats are more candid than ever.” Most debates regarding Google Glass seem to be void for now, until it’s full launch sometime next year. In the meantime, should marketers be making changes now that could place their business ahead of the game when Google Glass’ers will inevitably appear?
Marketing with Glass
Many industries such as movie theaters and casinos are already banning the technology from entrance and would have to undergo drastic (and at this point unforeseen) changes before any allowance could occur. But for most small business owners the question remains, do the pros of embracement outweigh the cons?
Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of a nation of Glass wearers to marketers is the addition of social media involvement with one’s page. Just as the camera-phone launched social sites with a plethora of photos, Glass will serve as a catalyst for all forms of recordation. Check-ins, “foodie” photos, and general updates could potentially sky-rocket as a new form of communication demands our attention. Suddenly, precious content marketers have so longed for, could fall directly into their laps. A definite advantage for those with- vs those without.
Want to cut through advertising noise? How about running a promotion through a medium that links to your target’s eyeball. The possibilities for advertising with Glass are, in a word, endless. Video links, coupons, and even notifications when a customer is within a certain radius of one’s business, are not only possibilities but definites. In a future where Glass roams free one will be drifting constantly through a virtual/real world hybrid (the beginning of Kurzweil’s singularity?) complete with everything the internet has to offer. To market online but not within the Glass realm simply wont exist. Of course, only those who wear the product are susceptible to this virtual reality. Which, may be enough evidence to initially embrace the technology and therefore attract the users.
For now, marketers can just make plans and wait. After all- no one fully knows that the market for a funny looking cell phone will take off, and some who dig the look wont make it past the privacy concerns. To implement changes anticipating a target market that doesn’t exist is counter-productive in the truest since of the word. But if theres one thing marketers can know for sure- it’s that the landscape is quickly changing.