Earlier this week, an earthquake rocked northern California in the wee hours of the morning. According to CNN, it was the strongest earthquake to hit the area in 25 years.
Jawbone, makers of the ‘UP’ fitness band/sleep tracker, smartly used their aggregated user data to insert themselves into the conversation in a rather brilliant way. The UP measures your sleep quality – it keeps track of your movements at night, and uses that to tell you the quality (and quantity) of sleep that you’re [likely] getting. Other fitness bands do this, too, but Jawbone is the only one making use of that data by releasing some graphs showing how the earthquake affected their users’ sleep habits.
It’s nothing earth-shattering (pardon the pun), but it’s certainly a smart way to accomplish two goals:
1. Insert themselves into the conversation – some people call this a form of ‘news-jacking’, but I call it using your owned data to generate conversations about yourself. Normally, a fitness band wouldn’t be a part of any conversation around an earthquake. By using their data, Jawbone was able to tastefully insert themselves into the conversation and add value along the way.
2. Highlight UP’s sleep-tracking capabilities – by presenting the data in aggregate, Jawbone helped push the perception that *everyone* is using an UP (or at least a large number of people) to track their sleep. Thus, their sleep tracking functionality must be useful and important to their customers.
It’s a good lesson for any marketer or analyst – your data is valuable, and it’s most valuable in ways that you probably aren’t thinking of right now. Be on the lookout for tertiary opportunities to use your data in ways that your competitors won’t think of.