Another Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has come and gone, with more than 3,600 exhibitors trying to attract attention (and investment) from more than 160,000 attendees. It would be easy to look at the Bluetooth-enabled baby bottles and self-adjusting belts and dismiss the event as a gadget circus for tech geeks.
But that would be at the peril of ignoring the wider themes at the event.
Understanding these themes is key to ensuring you are shaping marketing strategies that will keep your organization relevant. The themes that emerged at this year’s CES included:
- Improvements in consumer TV display technology
- Widening use cases for sensored devices as sensor tech gets smaller and cheaper
- Embedded tech in autos
- Advances in 3D printing (mostly in materials vs. printing hardware)
- Battery charging tech
What does this mean for marketing professionals and organizations? The answers can be found in a trio of focus areas.
How will your organization stay current and evaluate all of the new initiatives coming online to reach customers with both brand and transactional messages? New solutions in automotive (e.g., GM’s “AtYourService” or Jaguar’s “360 Virtual Urban Widescreen”) and television (e.g., Cisco’s Sky AdSmart linear TV platform) are just two examples of how technology is opening up new forms of experiences to reach consumers. It’s up to you to embrace them.
Jaguar’s “360 Virtual Urban Widescreen” offers lots of potential for location-based marketing.
New Sources Of Data
How can your organization take advantage of the unprecedented behavioral data becoming available about consumer households? For example, Nest’s “Works With Nest” program is very quickly adding scores of new partners—the newest include Mercedes Benz, Whirlpool, Jawbone, LG, Ooma, Kwikset, and Automatic—that will be able to share data with Nest devices. Many of these connections will offer consumers the ability to create profiles of their behaviors (or they will be created automatically), which could then be used to develop marketing profiles that will have potentially unprecedented detail about consumers and their home lives.
Nest’s ability to share data with all sorts of connected household devices is poised to offer marketers a new era of behavioral-based household data.
Many vendors see the network benefits of the ecosystems Apple and Google have developed around iOS and Android and are attempting to build their own. For example, Samsung is rolling out its Tizen Smart TV OS to all of its newer TVs and will be looking for marketing partners to support it. The same is true for Intel’s new Curie Wearable Platform.
Marketing organizations will be blanketed by a number of these new ecosystems in 2015. As with any audience, you will need to consider whether the costs and reach of these niches is appropriate for your brand objectives.
It can certainly seem overwhelming. But if you keep your eye on the key themes, rather than the actual tech, and spend a little time this year thinking about how your marketing organization might want to adopt those themes, you’ll be able to adapt as needed without falling victim to the hype.