Key Takeaways and Challenges for Marketers from CES 2017

#CES2017: We do life and create data. We are clearly on the cusp of some of the biggest technological changes in years. There are always cool, cutting-edge gadgets that come out of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) every year, but this year felt different with three major trends converging: 1. Autonomy; 2. Machine Learning; and 3. On-Demand Economics (aka. the on-demand economy).

As marketers, the most important thing to understand is that all the new technology produced today is a consumer touch point AND a data point. Which means… the velocity of data will only increase and continue to increase as we integrate more and more technology into our lives.

So what are the key takeaways and challenges for marketers? Shelley Palmer from the Palmer Group summed it up well for AdvertisingAge: “One thing is crystal clear from CES: the world is awash in data. We do life and create data. And it’s up to marketers to figure out – how to create data, collect it, make it actionable and get the rights to use it.”

The marketing paradigm is shifting – and there are now two distinct, but equally relevant avenues on which to place your focus: Active Engagement – where you call a consumer to action and measure it; and Passive Engagement – where consumers can just “do life” and create data, that you can then make actionable.

One technology and name was plastered all over the show and on the tip of everyone’s tongue (human and machine): Alexa. Why? To date, there has been no killer app for IoT (Internet of Things) – no interoperability for the home. Enter Amazon’s AI-driven assistant Alexa. Amazon is allowing you to “do life” while putting themselves squarely in the middle. Companies are now interested in developing products that are “Alexa compatible” (and with Alexa and Amazon Voice Services being API based, 1,100 plus companies are on this track). Bottom line: Amazon has created a “killer app” as they have just added interoperability through voice command and have positioned themselves as the dominate player in the connected home.

Beyond Alexa’s takeover, one of the coolest examples of the three top trends coming together was Mercedes-Benz Vision Van. Dubbed by MB as the next generation in delivery and logistics, this fully self-driving, autonomous, electric vehicle solves for critical last-mile delivery. With an automated cargo bay that passes packages through the roof to awaiting delivery drones, this vehicle of the future, knocks autonomy, machine learning, and on-demand out of the park. We’ve put a link to it below, so check it out…

The Mercedes-Benz Vision Van
The Vision Van merges numerous innovative technologies and serves as the central, intelligent element in a fully connected delivery chain.

Michael Chase, CMO
St. Joseph Communications


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