Digiday ID’s the most “overhyped” marketing developments of 2015.

Digiday logoWhat were the most overhyped marketing stories in 2015? Media company Digiday‘s brand reporter Tanya Dua has come up with a list of four that she feels fits the bill.  See if you agree.

Apple Watch

Apple WatchDua notes that the Apple Watch was announced with so much fanfare that developers began making apps for it a half-year before the product hit the shelves — including big consumer players like Target and American Airlines.  But sales of the Apple Watch have been tepid at best.  There’s no way the marketplace performance of the product has come even remotely close to the company’s hopse for it.

Thom Gruhler, a CMO at Microsoft, says it well:

“When it [comes] down to the Apple Watch, one big question has still not been answered: Will anyone end up really ‘needing’ to engage with this shiny new technology?  What happened in 2015 was a disappointing start.”

Others appear to be even less charitable. A few are even equating the launch of the Apple Watch with that of another product that was similarly hyped:  Remember the Segway?  Everyone was supposed to end up having one of those — whereas the reality is closer to no one having them, with the exception of a few security cops and a few “trendy” businesses with long hallways.

Wearable Tech

wearableMany prognosticators were expecting that the “big data” promise of using wearable technology for experiences that were predictive and personalized would be fulfilled in 2015.  That’s hardly what’s happened.  According to Dua, wearables have yet to deliver anything like that in any meaningful way.

She quotes Julie Lee, Managing Director of marketing communications firm Maxus USA’s Chicago office:

“Technology, design and user experiences still need to be worked out. Though many companies are making great strides, we continue to watch this space to see if ‘what’s possible’ can truly become possible.  Wearables still hold great potential, but we’ll need to address today’s obstacles before we can become a ‘wearables-first’ market.”

Tanya Dua cites two other developments she feels were overhyped in 2015: Influencer Partnerships and Virtual Reality.

The problem with influencer marketing is when there’s little natural synergy between brands seeking to connect with their consumers more directly. “Authenticity” matters — and too often influencers are rather awkwardly tied to products few people would ever associate with them.

As for virtual reality, the problem is one of practical implementation and adoption by consumers; it hasn’t been happening — mainly due to lack of content and available hardware. Without those pieces of the puzzle in place, marketers simply can’t justify the cost having their brands present in the mix.  Instead, look for this trend to gather more steam in 2017 and years further out, Dua contends.

What do you think? Is Tanya Dua correct in labeling these marketing trends as “overhyped”?  What else would you add to the list?  Please share your thoughts with other readers here.

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