Wearables and smart watches top list of most overhyped technologies

2015 is fast-becoming the year of live-streaming, with one in five (19%) marketers planning to use apps like Periscope and Meerkat in campaigns, according to Greenlight's 'Hype or Ripe' study. However, with both apps caught in a cutthroat battle for users, marketers fear backing the wrong horse, with one in ten (12%) having made this costly mistake before.

Greenlight commissioned a survey of 100 senior marketers to understand which technologies are seen as overhyped and which are ripe for investment. The 'Hype or Ripe' study reveals that 70% of marketers think wearables and smart watches are more hype than substance – twice as many that think crypto-currencies like Bitcoin (36%) are overhyped. Around one in four marketers think virtual reality (27%) and beacons (24%) cannot live up to the hype, while one in five (20%) aren't convinced by augmented reality.

With Facebook mulling over plans to make it easier for brands to contact consumers via its Whatsapp service, it's not surprising that mobile messaging apps are viewed as being most ripe for investment. Almost three out of ten (28%) marketers plan to experiment with mobile messaging in 2015. Live-streaming apps like Meerkat and Persicope are also proving popular, bolstered by high-profile campaigns from brands like Spotify and DKNY, and celebrity fans such as Madonna and Jamie Oliver.

Greenlight found that peer pressure plays a major role in marketers' decision to embrace new technologies. A third of marketers are influenced by what competitors are doing (34%), while a further 33% pointed to the example set by major brands. A good gut feeling is important to almost two-fifths (37%) of marketers, while opinion is divided over the need for solid ROI. Just one in two (51%) marketers said that they would need reassurances that new technology would generate results before investing.

Commenting on the study, Andreas Pouros, Greenlight's COO and Founder, said: "It's easy to be dazzled by the industry buzz around shiny new playthings like the Apple Watch or Oculus Rift, however our research suggests that marketers are increasingly reluctant to drink the kool-aid. Hardened by past mistakes, we are seeing marketers take a wait-and-see approach to new technologies and platforms before making an investment. The live-streaming market is a classic example. As the battle for market share between Meerkat and Periscope heats up, we could see some marketers get burnt if they back the wrong horse. As ways, our advice is to invest in technologies that are proven to deliver ROI."

The 'Hype or Ripe' study reveals that two-fifths of marketers (41%) regret investing in a new technology or platforms. The main factors for disappointment include user adoption being lower than expected (24%), poor business results (13%), the belief that a competitive service would have been a better choice (12%), wasted money (8%), or a lack of understanding about what they were getting in to (4%).

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