Return on investment has become an obsession for many marketers. Now some can check it as often as they check the time or anything else on their Apple Watch-and get instant notifications when things aren't going according to plan.
Analytics firm Marketing Evolution has developed an app for the Apple Watch that allows 24/7 monitoring and alerts triggered by everything it tracks, from profits driven by marketing to the weather in Denver. The firm began beta-testing it last month with 10 clients and expects to make it widely available by year-end, said CEO Rex Briggs.
"We wanted to show brand health the same way you might follow your personal health," he said-and for many people these days, that means a wearable device. The Watch app connects to what Marketing Evolution calls its ROI Brain computer system. It can be set to deliver an alert if data monitoring suggests a media plan or sales are coming up short, he said, "so you can quickly intervene to get the business back on track."
That could mean buying more-or less-digital, TV or outdoor media based on what the ROI Brain predicts will happen.
Otherwise, the app is just handy if someone asks, "Hey, how is your campaign going?" Mr. Briggs said. "You can glance at your Watch and say, 'It's doing really well. We're getting $1.85 ROI, which is 30% above average.'"
Well, marketers at least hope they can say that.
In early tests, clients are split between those who want to get alerts 24/7 and those who want them only during working hours. Some, said Mr. Briggs, are still awaiting delivery of Watches due to supply constraints-something that maybe should trigger an alert on the Watches over at Apple.
You can also simply use the Watch app to dig deeper into what's going on with a marketing plan in your spare time, the same way Apple Health might show how many steps you took or calories you burned. The same charts can be pushed to a big-screen TV dashboard in the marketing department or to a smartphone, Mr. Briggs said, which can be handy during meetings.
Financial services firms were heavy in the group of 10 with raised hands for the beta test, Mr. Briggs said.
Nathan West, marketing effectiveness manager at Regions Bank, hasn't decided yet on 24/7 notifications vs. working hours only. But, he said, "We liked the flexibility of having an always-on tool for assessing information for key marketers."