Five Big CES Themes Marketers Need To Have On Their Radar

January 31st, 2018 | Jed Schneiderman, President, Tapped Mobile

Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada

Nothing like starting the year off with 170,000 of your closest friends at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

For the 4th year in a row, I attended CES. You might be asking why would one need to attend an electronics show if you work in marketing and media? Well, there are several reasons. First, electronics and technology shape the way consumers ingest/view content and in many cases affect exposure to ads and to messages from brands. Second, a lot of major tech companies – like Google and Amazon – unveil new technologies and new products at CES. And lastly, more and more media broadcasters and publishers, agencies and brands are attending CES, so there is a lot of good content and also good networking.

The purpose of this post is to share some of the key themes and takeaways from CES 2018 and put some of the announcements in context.

  1. Voice: In 2017, Alexa was the breakout star. In 2018, it was all about Google and Google Voice Assistant. Google had a very large presence and many exhibits where consumers could see how voice will be integrated into the kitchen, the living room and even cars. For marketers, the implications are that search will now include voice and brands will have to determine how they can be discovered in a voice-driven world.
  2. Connected Cities + Connected Vehicles: Self-driving vehicles are here and they are not fantasy. For example, LYFT had self-driving cars that were shuttling attendees back to their hotels and Toyota and other manufacturers showcased self-driving vehicles. But, beyond self-driving cars, we saw a glimpse of connected cities – cars and people moving more efficiently through cities based on new technologies. The implications are mind-boggling: Will consumers still learn to drive? Will consumers own cars if we use self-driving cars? What will we do with the extra time? Who will collect, store and protect all the data that gets collected (and who owns it)?
  3. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): CES is an electronics show. There was a lot of VR and AR. The headsets are still clunky and while the content is fun, I am not sure how many B2C applications we will see in the short-term.
  4. Internet of Things (IOT): It seems as though every device can connect to the internet. From pet collars to thermometers to appliances and devices that measure air and water quality in the home. The implication is that consumers will be able to collect a lot more data and also enjoy more conveniences with this tech. While the gains might be viewed as minor, it is likely that adoption of these devices will be the greatest of the tech showcases at CES.
  5. Creativity + Innovation: This year I spent a lot of time in EUREKA Park, which features startups and proves “if you can dream it, you can build it”. There were many inventors and creators showcasing new devices, new apps, new appliances. I’m not sure if we will be reading about these companies next year but it was inspiring to see inventors bring their ideas to life.

For those considering CES 2019, bring good running shoes (as there is a lot of walking) and plan ahead to determine which of the 3,900 companies you’d like to check out.

Jed Schneiderman

Jed Schneiderman is a proven leader in the traditional and new media space with expertise in digital marketing, mobile marketing, brand and CRM marketing. He is a proven marketer who loves to build and grow businesses.

Prior to starting Tapped, Jed worked at Microsoft Canada where he managed the BING and Windows Live portfolio. Jed has also worked at CTV Television Inc., held senior marketing positions at Procter & Gamble and AOL Canada.
Jed is a founding member of The M2T Collective which is a new job training and rotational program in the marketing and media space and he is an advisor at the Ryerson Digital Media Zone (DMZ).