The Apple Watch presents yet another screen for consumers to pay attention to — or be distracted by — and another, more intimate way, for marketers to interact with these consumers.

But, how?

Keeping in mind that the Apple Watch creates a marketing screen that will require squeezing messages onto the watch’s 38-millimeter and 42-millimeter screen options, here are a few things that we, as marketers, can start thinking about:

  1. Social Media
  2. Incentives
  3. Companion to Phone Apps

And, why?

The global wearables market is predicted to grow from 33 million units in 2014 to 148 million units shipped in 2019. Whether consumers are buying the Apple Watch or a Pebble or an Android-based watch, there is no question that “wearables” will continue to gain in popularity and improve in functionality along the way. Which means that marketers need to be up-to-speed on the technology and what can be done with it.

Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat — on your wrist, all the time! Well, Snapchat is not there yet, but I expect it will be soon. Wearers can get notifications from all of these apps, choose what kind of notifications they want to receive and even engage (in a limited way) with the posts. We could see an increase is social media use (just when you thought that use was at a max).

As marketers, we need to start creating posts and messages that are optimized for small screens. Keep status updates simple and use more pictures if you want Apple Watch wearers to interact with the posts. It is more difficult, even impossible at the moment, to engage with videos, articles and links to websites from the watch. You should expect engagements from the watch to be likes, retweets and one word comments. It’s not easy for Apple Watch wearers to comment, so adjust your social media strategy accordingly.


Roughly 70% of retail shoppers have expressed willingness to provide data in exchange for rewards or incentives. Racking up points, completing a progress chart and competing against friends will still be done, but discounts for the effort may drive foot traffic to your stores. This might be discounts for sharing how much activity you have done day just by showing the cashier what your watch has tracked.

Companion to Phone Apps

A smartphone should continue to be used for displaying video, typing or long-form reading while the watch app receives notifications, plays music and receives short, pre-written input from the user. In essence, your smartphone and smartwatch apps will be companion apps, and you should think of ways the two can complement each other and encourage use of both apps since they serve different functions for users.

Marketing on the Apple Watch is coming soon. Start planning now.