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CES 2019 Marketer Recap - Consumer Electronics Show

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At CES 2019, what were the trends, technologies, and themes that mattered most for marketers and advertisers? David Berkowitz of Serial Marketer breaks it down, covering news from Google, Amazon, Audi, Intel, Procter & Gamble, Honda, and many others. There's a focus here on voice assistants, health tech, automated cars, and plenty more.

Note: I will make some updates after this is uploaded; please reach out to me at david (at) serialmarketer (dot) net for the latest version.

Published in: Marketing

CES 2019 Marketer Recap - Consumer Electronics Show

  1. 1. CES 2019: What Matters for Marketers David Berkowitz www.serialmarketer.net @dberkowitz david@serialmarketer.net
  2. 2. “Things are blurring like a m************!” -overheard at CES 2019
  3. 3. Introduction I’ve attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) every year since 2007. Continuing in the tradition of my many years of recap decks, including one recapping my first ten years attending, here is another highlight reel stressing what matters for marketers, with some topics of general interest thrown in. I like to have a bit of fun with it too. It’s a big, crazy show. Most of the takeaways and coverage are equally ridiculous – exercises in bias confirmation rather than meaningful prognostication. My own role in this is no better, but at least I’m transparent about it, and in the process, I will show examples from anywhere and everywhere. Lastly, sources are linked throughout. If you need additional source information, I can send you the PowerPoint. Thanks so much for reading this. Please contact me if you have other feedback, or you know of something I should include in this deck. David Berkowitz
  4. 4. Connecting ideas and people • I love sharing knowledge and learning from others. To further the exchange of ideas, I produce two ongoing media properties: • My weekly newsletter, Serial Marketer Weekly (see bit.ly/seriallysignup), includes an original column about marketing trends, plus job and event listings. • My Slack group, Serial Marketers, brings 350+ senior professionals together to discuss tech, trends, events, jobs, and more. Visit serialmarketers.net for an invite. 4
  5. 5. Overarching themes, part 1 • It’s the Year of Voice! Again! And it will be in 2020! • Software continues to be generally more important than the hardware at CES – not unlike the tech industry writ large. Even for voice-powered devices, the key theme is how Amazon and Google platforms integrate with other devices. • The most impactful technologies, such as automated vehicles that transform how and where people work and live, may take decades to fully play out. • Despite all the floor space that is still dedicated to increasingly high-definition TVs (perhaps 16K resolution will soon replace 8K as the platinum standard), so many critical technologies and paradigms are invisible. • Artificial intelligence is used to improve countless software innovations. • 5G networks, as they gradually roll out, will power many of the next enhancements in hardware and allow consumers and professionals to do even more with their mobile and other internet-connected devices. • Insert something about blockchain here. (This line needs to be in every recap for marketers.)
  6. 6. Overarching themes, part 2 • While the automotive industry commands prime real estate in the Convention Center’s North Hall and gets some of the largest Fortune 500 brands to make a splash at the show, look for the healthcare exhibitors to give a taste of improvements that can materially benefit the largest number of people. Yes, many if not most of these are frivolous and wouldn’t (and probably shouldn’t) make it to market, but quite a few others should impact people’s quality of life – and a handful will save lives. • The ‘trade war’ between the US and China may be the biggest macro- economic factor that affects so much of what happens after CES. China in turn is preventing currency from leaving the country. This could cool the overseas expansion of some Chinese startups, it could increase prices of goods relying on parts manufactured or assembled in China, and it could further close off China as a viable market for US companies.
  7. 7. Most important trends for 2019 • Here are the three stories that are jumping out as I process all of this during the show itself. • The New Story: Privacy. I don’t recall privacy coming up much in years past. In 2018, marketers were getting ready for GDPR (the European privacy legislation), but it didn’t seem to overtake CES. Now, with every device collecting data, it is top of mind, and marketers can’t avoid fielding and asking tougher questions. It’s all the more intriguing that Honda is using this show to announce its Dream Drive program that has so many privacy implications for buyers, sellers, and consumers. See many more thoughts on that further on. • The Evergreen Story: Voice. As noted in the slide above, the mantle passed from the Year of Mobile to the Year of Voice. Just keep that in your decks at least through 2030. • The Evolutionary Story: 5G. At CES, the launches and conversations around connected devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) have been going on for about five years. It’s 5G that is now making all of this possible at scale, with bandwidth and speed that consumers and manufacturers need. It’s just funny that 5G is such a hot topic now, but it seems like everything that one can actually do with 5G has been out here for awhile. And that is to the credit of CES, not its detriment. If you’ve been coming for a few years or following it, 5G is the glue that’s been needed. And this is also going to be a complex, multi-year story going forward.
  8. 8. Shadow CES Already getting nostalgic at the start of 2015, I wrote a LinkedIn Pulse column describing the experience of attending CES my first few years. It will probably always be relevant. Excerpts: • This was my ninth straight year attending CES representing a marketing agency. It was a strange experience in earlier days. Clients weren’t there, unless consumer electronics brands happened to be clients. I’d spend time hitting up side events of some digital pioneers I admired like Chris Heuer’s Social Media Club and Jeff Pulver’s 140conf. I was the only person representing my agency, and most places I went, I was the only person representing any agency…. • Then, I got to the meat of the story, discussing the differences between Public CES (the one everyone talks about) and Shadow CES (which is where most of marketers’ education and deal-making happen). • The other CES is the Shadow CES. This is the one that tends not to get as much attention, but for some brands, it’s more productive. It happens at places like the Cosmopolitan or Four Seasons. A more official version of the Shadow CES took place at the Aria this year. Dubbed the C-Space, it was where marketers could meet up with established media companies like NBC Universal and emerging ones like Samba TV. They could also meet with each other. I joined one private discussion with select executives from an advertising trade association. While it had little to do with CES directly, it was a terrific opportunity to learn from these people who I wouldn’t have readily met otherwise. •
  9. 9. Use this framework to chart the impact of what you see at CES (note: this will vary for everyone, so you need to customize it for what’s right for you; a voice-powered home appliance running on a 5G network may be Essential for one business but Irrelevant for another) New Useful InnovativeIrrelevant Applicable Essential
  10. 10. CES 2019 Perspectives
  11. 11. Is CES Closer to “Gender Equity”? Yes, but with a long way to go. “’Diversity is about having people who see things differently — frankly, disagree with you and tell you that you are stupid,’ said Tania Yuki, CEO of social media analytics company Shareablee and an attendee of CES for the past several years. The big question, she says, is whether CES has really listened to its critics.” -AP
  12. 12. Same as it ever was “‘A.I. will pervade the show,’ said Gary Shapiro, chief executive of the Consumer Technology Association, which owns CES. If this all sounds like a repeat of last year, that’s because much of it is. Artificial intelligence was 2018’s hottest tech trend, too. In other words, the tech industry is in a state of iteration rather than making leaps and bounds with something totally new.” -The New York Times
  13. 13. John Koetsier’s “13 Amazing, Odd, And Wonderful Things To Expect At CES” (read the full article for context) 1. Smart luggage 2. Underwater drones 3. Smart home bonanza 4. Robots for everything 5. AI for everything 6. Voice for… yup… everything 7. 5G 8. 8K 9. Cars (smart & otherwise) 10. Better 3D printing 11. Better batteries 12. Better privacy 13. AR & some VR (but will it be better???) Source: Forbes
  14. 14. ‘Digital wellness’ pervades all gadgets – not just health tech “As a growing concern in today’s global culture, digital wellness goes well beyond the gadget capabilities that will be featured in CES 2019’s health and wellness track, which focuses on medical, wearable, fitness and accessibility applications. Holistic wellness is something that consumers now expect to be intrinsic to gadget design. Perspectives on digital wellness vary widely, but a seamless, frictionless and ambient user experience is common to them all.” -James Kobielus, Silicon Angle
  15. 15. Apple Snubs Google (and less directly Facebook) via Vegas billboard Source: @chrisvelazco
  16. 16. What agency execs hope for and dread about CES “At CES, I want to see ideas, tech and services that help marketers connect and stay relevant with this new engaged and empowered person. Technology is the conduit through which brands tell their stories, but understanding how tech, ideas, new behaviors and trends, products & services, and interactions all crystalize to power daily living – that’s what’s going to create the true consumer connections of tomorrow.” -Tim Jones, CEO, Publicis Media Americas in Campaign (visit the link for many others’ perspectives)
  17. 17. Macro Trend: Keep an eye on China and how the trade war could hurt tech sales “China accounts for about $52 billion in sales for Apple, and is its third- largest market… For Qualcomm, a chip maker whose technology is used in many Apple smartphones, the figure is $15 billion, or about 65% of its total sales, according to an estimate by FactSet. Others with big bets on China include Intel (24% of sales), Micron Technology (51%), and Texas Instruments (44%)… Tariffs were supposed to hurt China by hitting its exports to the United States. That hasn’t happened. Should it persist, the trade war will, of course, hurt Chinese companies, just as it has already hurt so many American companies. But if the conflict eventually drags down Chinese consumer demand, businesses all over the world will be the losers.” -Weijian Shan, The New York Times
  18. 18. Say “5G” five times fast if you want to sound smart about CES “Coming into CES, the odds-on favorite for most talked-about technology was 5G, the next generation of wireless connectivity that is supposed to let people download entire movies to their phones within minutes, if not seconds. Top execs from AT&T and Verizon will talk about the telecom giants’ efforts to light up their 5G networks in respective keynotes. And many other sessions throughout CES will explore various applications of 5G, from self-driving cars and smart cities to ultra-high-definition streaming entertainment and virtual reality.” -Tim Peterson, Digiday CES Briefing
  19. 19. Our phones which might be killing our sanity could save our lives “Phones are the new medicine. Digital health and wellness have grown increasingly popular over the past five years, but innovations in the space now go far beyond wearables that count your steps and track your sleep. Nearly 120 digital health companies will be at CES this year, a 23 percent increase from 2018. There will be plenty of the usual watches and smartphone apps, but consumer goods are getting in on the digital health game too — though most remain shrouded in mystery. Pantene promises to use AI to improve your hair, Olay is debuting a new skin gadget and L’Oreal is launching some type of health sensor. Sleep will also be a central focus again this year, with gadgets that promise to soothe you into dreamland with meditation, calming sounds and hypnosis.” -OZY CES briefing
  20. 20. Marketers must not see Facebook Story ads on Facebook, so Facebook puts them on airport doors instead “These days Facebook’s biggest topic to discuss with marketers is its story ads, said Rabkin. The company has been increasingly pushing the full-screen vertical video ad format since copying Snapchat’s story product for Instagram and eventually Facebook and Messenger. The company even plastered signs promoting its story ads on automatic sliding doors at McCarran International Airport, so that marketers coming to CES see them when exiting terminals on the way to the taxi line.” -Tim Peterson, Digiday CES Briefing
  21. 21. Hungry? Eater has your guide for where to take a client or treat yourself
  22. 22. Need some good reading material? Check Gary’s book club
  23. 23. E.B. Moss at MediaVillage has video recaps for Day 1 and Day 2 (and perhaps others not here yet)
  24. 24. The New York Paper of Record Crowns Virtual Assistants and 5G the CES Victors
  25. 25. DigitasLBi: B2B brands tap CES to find partnerships, control internal costs and learn about the future (with lots of specific brand activation examples) Source: Advertising Week
  26. 26. View Twitter’s own roundup of CES tweets from its marketing team (how meta) (and yes, I’m psyched they cited my tweet-storm on Honda)
  27. 27. Tech Highlights
  28. 28. Honda dashboard gamifies rewards for drivers with brand integrations “With Honda Dream Drive for Drivers, drivers can earn points for using the connected dashboard to navigate to their next destination, pay for gas, order food or purchase things like movie tickets. Passengers also get points for listening to the radio or playing games through a Honda app.” -Ilyse Liffreing, Digiday (image source: Honda)
  29. 29. So many questions for Honda re: Dream Drive • How easy is the opt-in/opt-out process for drivers? • Will participants know exactly what data is shared with who? How easily can they be tracked, or can personally identifiable information (PII) be surreptitiously tied to an individual? • Do passengers have any say in this? Does getting in a driver’s car mean you implicitly opt in to their data collection? It’s one thing to have to accept their taste in music, but now you have to accept their data? • Could there be a worse time to announce this? See Vice’s investigation on data resellers, or The New York Times’ piece analyzing data that apps collect, or this new lawsuit against The Weather Channel. • Is all of the skepticism overblown? Are consumers – actual Honda drivers – likely to be that concerned, or will they welcome getting a free cup of coffee for something they do anyway? • See more on my Twitter thread: https://twitter.com/dberkowitz/status/1083009982092664837
  30. 30. CES: The Show Where Real Companies Put out Real Press Releases with the words “Intelligent Toilet” From a very real press release: “Use app or the remote to program personalized presets for different users, and you can use voice to access the preset/profile (in case you misplace the remote). There is probably a difference between you, your spouse, and your children when it comes to washing; this lets you easily program and select personalization using voice and app.” - Kohler
  31. 31. Also, there are smart toilets for dogs… Source: Inubox
  32. 32. Every Smart Home needs a Swidget (this is a plug for a friend’s company, and it’s not a bad idea to minimize hardware clutter)
  33. 33. HTC wants to be “Netflix of VR” – but Netflix is a media company, and VR needs to get over many hardware issues as well as offering must-watch content Source: Adweek
  34. 34. Again at CES, everything is connected to a mobile app and has a screen – such as the Whirlpool Connected Hub Wall Oven concept “Our new Connected Hub Wall Oven will act as a helping hand in the kitchen – teeing up recipe suggestions based on preferences, offering cooking tips, maintaining the busy family calendar and providing step-by-step cooking instructions – straight from the oven door. It will offer families a whole new, automated way to approach getting food on the table.” -Whirlpool
  35. 35. Yes, there were some token mentions of blockchain Source: @dberkowitz
  36. 36. The informal favorite gadget that kept coming up in conversation: BreadBot Source: CNET
  37. 37. Wellness company accuses CES of gender bias for rescinding innovation award Source: Lora DiCarlo
  38. 38. Dean’s Best of CES roundup leads with P&G “Procter & Gamble showed up at CES at with five innovative products, including the Opté Precision Skincare Wand. It scans your skin with a blue LED light to find your age spots. A microprocessor analyzes the age spots and customizes the serum instantly to apply to them. It uses inkjet technology to deposit the customized serum to cover each imperfection, careful to avoid putting the serum on non-blemished skin.” -Dean Takahashi, VentureBeat
  39. 39. Intel/Warner Bros show off how immersive entertainment could look in self-driving cars Source: Intel / Adweek
  40. 40. Neutrogena launches MaskiD, a 3D-printed sheet mask
  41. 41. Serenity now! Mental health tech has a big year at CES “One key trend that absolutely exploded this past year is mental well-being. Between the sleep, relaxation, concentration and meditation products on display, you couldn’t walk five feet without encountering another pitch. The list includes some familiar faces (to us, at least) like the Muse meditation and sleep headsetsand a whole slew of new entrants.” -Brian Heater, TechCrunch
  42. 42. TechCrunch: Holoride in-car VR ‘best thing at the show’ “After days of demos and announcements and miles of walking, I’m confident in declaring Holoride the best thing at this year’s CES. The designation of ‘The best thing at CES 2019’ is my badging. This isn’t an official award handed out by a governing body. This is just me saying Holoride is the best thing I’ve seen at the show…. The thing that impressed me the most is from Holoride, a startup from Audi that wants to put VR in cars to entertain and reduce motion sickness.” -Matt Burns, TechCrunch
  43. 43. It’s the Year of Voice (Part II, or III, or IV, or…) Remember the 20 years in a row of the Year of Mobile? They’re over. Just in time for the next 20-year cycle.
  44. 44. Alexa voice skills are up 120%, but quantity isn’t a barometer of quality Source: TechCrunch
  45. 45. It’s the Decade of Voice “The baton has been passed from the iPhone to Alexa as the most transformative technology over the next decade.” -Scott Galloway, Gartner L2
  46. 46. Smartest branding and partnership: Google Assistant reps were around as extra hands in booths with products that integrated with Google (even if the products also worked with Amazon and others)
  47. 47. Not every brand is taking sides with Google or Amazon Source: LG
  48. 48. Stuff Delivery races ahead of People Delivery Source: WSJ
  49. 49. Simplehuman’s latest ‘innovation’ is neither simple or something any human wants: a mirror that is also a lamp and Google Home speaker Source: The Verge
  50. 50. Simplehuman, hold my beer… Source: Mike Murphy
  51. 51. Alexa, stop screwing up my demo Source: Buzzfeed
  52. 52. 360i gives Google the edge in voice "The war on voice is going to be won in your pocket, on your mobile device. Not your smart speaker. What's less understood is that Google is coming on extraordinarily strong, and their advantage is the smartphone. It's Android; it's what's in your pocket. That's going to lead to a lot of strength for Google.“ -360i CEO Jared Belsky in Ad Age
  53. 53. Voice assistants “conquer” CES; which one can you trust? “If virtual assistants haven’t yet taken over the entire tech world, they’ve at least conquered CES, the annual tech expo that’s going on right now in Las Vegas. Alexa, Google Assistant, and various also-rans are de rigueur among this year’s wares at the conference, animating everything from lawnmowers to dishwashers to a $7,000 smart toilet.” -Will Oremus, Slate
  54. 54. Fun with CES Some highlights from past years with new updates for 2019
  55. 55. What innovation really looks like Source: @dberkowitz
  56. 56. 2 days later: Reddit’s founder sees it my way! Source: @alexisohanian / CNET
  57. 57. Facial recognition needs a rebrand Source: @dberkowitz
  58. 58. Blockchain Bingo: Check the box when you hear someone say blockchain is the solution for… Transparency Apathy Herpes Supply chain management Fraud Beating Jeopardy! Internet of things hacks Fake news Locusts Declining productivity Beating LeBron Food poisoning FREE (store your Bitcoin here) Bed wetting Hollywood’s reliance on sequels Forgetting lyrics Anti-Semitism Halitosis Kardashians Digital rights management World peace Self-driving car accidents Atheism Rabid ferrets Nougat
  59. 59. Voice Assistant Bingo: Find any of these voice-powered devices Refrigerator Hose Razor Ice cream cone wrapper Pepper grinder Lamp Bridle Selfie Stick Minivan Vacuum Watch Toilet FREE (shut up and enjoy a rare moment of quiet here) Condom Stilts Rosary beads Luggage Gas pump Umbrella Dog leash Thermometer Bra Toboggan Pack of gum Shoes
  60. 60. Drone Bingo! Find a drone that… Slices bagels Waters plants Takes selfies of you Takes selfies of itself Kills spiders Whispers sweet nothings in your ear Hallucinates Tickles Farts so it covers up when you do Shuts up movie talkers Plays a perfect game of Jenga Fights fires FREE (recharge your drone here) Dances Clips toenails Votes Tampers with elections Builds walls Sweeps chimneys Plays soccer Collects stamps Cuddles Gives rides to hamsters Fetches newspapers Holds your place in line
  61. 61. Still the best thing to ever come out of virtual reality: Oculus founder Palmer Luckey memes Source: The Verge
  62. 62. And this year, there’s CES Middle East! Source: David Weinberg
  63. 63. This was from CES 2015, and it remains one of the craziest show announcements ever. The Belfie Stick got more buzz than some of the CES keynotes, and it has one of the best logos ever. Now that’s category innovation.
  64. 64. See you at CES 2020? Let’s plan ahead! David Berkowitz david@serialmarketer.net www.serialmarketer.net Connect: • LinkedIn: David / Serial Marketer • Twitter 64 Subscribe: • bit.ly/seriallysignup

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