Google Glass marketers focus on transparency

Focus on people rather than tech specs, says head marketer

Google Glass marketing director, Ed Sanders, speaks at the AANA and WFA Global Marketer Conference in Sydney
Google Glass marketing director, Ed Sanders, speaks at the AANA and WFA Global Marketer Conference in Sydney

Google’s Glass marketing group is focusing on being transparent with consumers, and is trying to address the privacy concerns with its wearable technology, according to Google Glass marketing director, Ed Sanders.

“[We are] really forthright about having the debate around it and being proactive about listening to people’s concerns and fears and trying to address them,” Sanders said at the AANA and World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) Global Marketer Conference in Sydney.

“A lot of my challenges at the moment are around perception,” he said.

“It’s no secret that people are still worried about surveillance and being recorded.”

Sanders tried to quell concerns by showing that the camera is not on all the time. He also pointed out that similar privacy concerns were voiced when the first camera phone and even the first handheld camera were released, but the concerns turned out to be overblown.

“Any time we’ve had a really disruptive technology, it’s going to provoke massive debate,” said Sanders. “Unless you embrace that debate and acknowledge it, then you run the risk of being dictatorial.”

Glass was a tricky thing to market from the start, Sanders said. When Google first went public with its Glass, the marketers faced the interesting challenge of not having anything physical to show.

At that stage, Glass wasn’t really even portable—wires came out the device connecting it to a power source. It wasn’t ready to show the public, even though Google wanted to talk about it, Sanders said.

Instead, the Google marketers decided to focus on a trend of people being “buried in technology”. For example, people often staring down at their phones at bus stops and while walking down the street. Sanders said Glass would be a way to free people to multi-task more efficiently.

“We’ve all talked about how wonderful life is, and it shouldn’t be something that happens to you when you’re on a smartphone. Life is something that you’re in.”

So Google made a film showing concepts for Glass and what life could be like with the headset, he said. The marketing group deliberately avoided talking to engineers about technical specifications, he said.

Later, when Google did have a product to show, the Glass marketers again decided to avoid the highly technical hype that traditionally precedes the release of a new gadget. Instead, it launched the Explorers program, handing out early versions of Glass to real people to try for themselves, Sanders said.

As with the video, the idea was to focus on the possible real-world applications of Glass. Google decided that while it could get a bunch of smart people in a room and dictate what Glass wearable computing should be, it would be more exciting to let the world try it out for themselves, he said.

“Not only do you get incredible evangelists, [but] you get authenticity,” he said. “People don’t want to be preached to. They want to be included.”

Adam Bender covers digital marketing and wearable computing for CMO and is the author of a dystopian novel about surveillance. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Signup to CMO’s new email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

CMOs are talking the CX talk, but not yet walking the walk

Customer experience is eclipsing product as a competitive differentiator. CMOs are recognising this shift and talking the talk. But are they also walking the walk?

Will our manners go the same way as texting when robotic servants take over?

Much of the talk in the industry is focused on the limited amount of time that screens have left in our lives.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Social purpose: Oxygen for your brand health vitals

If trust is the new currency, then we’re in deep trouble. Here's why.

Carolyn Butler-Madden

Founder and CEO, Sunday Lunch

https://bit.ly/2t5z6fIView this brilliant service and then apply in your product marketing which will increase your sell ..

Sujay Patel

Why Gartner thinks brands are too uptight about strategy

Read more

The things who have mentioned are very convincing and will certainly work.

Lunna Walker

Xero evolves to fit a changing marketplace

Read more

The use of the virtual reality and the additional reality in marketing are only the first steps to the unlimited possibilities. When you ...

Viri VR

Treasury Wine Estates ramps up consumer engagement with augmented reality app portfolio

Read more

Personally, I know about using virtual reality in VR games or when watching movies. I live in Melbourne and often visit a club - https://...

Rafe Frost

3 brand new virtual reality experiences in action

Read more

Infographics are quick and easy to understand! Pictures indeed speak better than words. SEO in Mumbai

Tanushree

Image intelligence:10 must-see infographics for marketers

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in