Life Tracking Hopes To Enhance Media, Marketing Metrics

Havas Media has issued a new report about what it calls one of the hottest trends in media and marketing today -- so-called “life tracking,” which enables people to measure and monitor activities in their daily lives -- from eating, exercising and shopping to monitoring home electronic systems remotely.

The report cites research projecting that the number of wearable devices with fitness and wellness applications will grow from 16 million in 2011 to 93 million in 2017. The global retail market for smart wearable devices will reach $1.5 billion by next year, with North America and Western Europe accounting for the biggest shares of that market.

Revenue from sports and wellness apps will nearly triple to $340 million by 2016, per stats in the Havas report. The report cites a recent Pew research study that found that nearly 70% of American adults track a health indicator like weight, diet, exercise routine or a symptom of possible illness.

According to Rori DuBoff, senior vice president, director of global strategy, Havas Media, there are many opportunities for marketers to engage with consumers through life tracking. Sponsorship of branded challenges, and providing “real-time feedback and recommendations” are ways that brands can connect with consumers, she said.

Categories with life-tracking marketing opportunities include healthy living, competitive sports, home improvement, cost savings, educational training and sustainability, per the Havas report.

“Quantified numbers give a way for people to compare against others and hopefully evolve their performance,” says DuBoff.

One of the earlier and best-known examples of a marketer tapping into life tracking was Nike with its Nike+ Fuel Band, a wristband conceived for the client by Interpublic Group digital shop R/GA. The device tracks daily activity such as running, walking, basketball, dancing and dozens of everyday activities, as well as calories burned.

But life tracking systems go beyond wrist bands, comprising an array of wearable computing -- sensors, trackers and cameras embedded in shoes, hats and other apparel, per the report. They are also contained within connected smart devices, including mobile phones, monitors, home appliances and entertainment systems.

“Using these systems, one can measure, monitor and visualize performance; optimize daily activities to be healthier and more productive; make more informed purchase decisions; and manage social reputation,” the report states. It adds that marketers seeking to be more effective in reaching audiences now have "multiple opportunities that are now available within this dynamic new landscape.”

A Slideshare version of the report can be found here.

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