Posted by Lisa Middleton, head of communications and marketing at Legal Futures Associate mmadigital
This is the fourth and last blog in our series looking at the digital trends of 2015 and how they will affect law firms.
Wearable technology has been being talked about for the last few years and every year predictions suggest it’s going to blow up and it’s never really fully materialised.
There’s been plenty of talk about wearables needing to be functional but fashionable to take off. Indeed when Apple announced its much-anticipated Apple Watch last autumn, editors of the world’s esteemed fashion magazines were invited to attend.
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this month, rapper and entrepreneur will.i.am said he looked to classic Chanel bracelets for style inspiration for his Puls product – a smartphone on the wrist with built-in 3G and SIM card.
With mass production of the Apple Watch set to begin shortly, plus developments in other smartwatch products from Samsung and Pebble, it takes mobile to a whole new level. The Ipswitch survey suggests that 25% of UK businesses expect to introduce wearables to the workplace and 33% expect employee-owned wearables to enter the workplace.
Wearable tech will not only further increase the ‘always on’ customer and business, but will create an even more demanding online user. While you may be thinking that it will bear little relevance on your business at the moment, perhaps creating a user experience that works on wearable technology is more important than you think.
Employing a law firm is pretty personal business and with an ever-growing customer base of Veruca Salts – i.e ‘I want it now’ – regular emails, texts and phone calls are part of the everyday interactions between lawyers and clients. (And let’s not get started on social media and where you need to be at with that.)
So, with the expected advent of the smartwatch, personal communications are about to get more personal. A client will choose whether your brand and user experience is enough to make them want to receive your updates on their wrist.
Of course, it might be a while until your client base are actively using wearable technology, but the suggestion that it will become mainstream means that law firms have a fantastic opportunity to be prepared. Take time to figure out what your brand is, where you want it to go and really think about your user journey and experience, whether you work direct with individual clients or in a business-to-business environment.
At the rate that new technology is evolving – many of the big electronics producers including Apple, are constantly tinkering and updating their best products or those they view as future big sellers – wearables will be doing more than offering notifications on your arm.
Undoubtedly, wearable technology will make communications more personal than ever and those using it will expect to only receive the very best content and updates on their wrist and will become even more choosy about the brands the follow and interact with. Be one of those brands by getting your digital marketing strategy right now.