Olivier Gers, global president of LiquidThread, Starcom Mediavest Group’s content division, offers his view of this year’s technology extravaganza in Las Vegas.
Each January, all eyes are on Las Vegas as we await the latest product releases and announcements that will impact both consumers and marketers alike.
One attends CES to learn, affirm and experience the intersection of marketing and technology through a week-long, sensory-overload experience. This year was no different, with more to keep an eye on. As we embark on 2016, marketers should keep these 5 trends top-of-mind while designing the brand’s messaging strategy.
Trend: Virtual reality is here to stay
While the number of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) continues to grow, the VR Universe is mostly made up of smart phone adapters which are relatively low cost and high performance devices which are expensive and are tethered to expensive desktop systems.
Three tiers of VR are emerging:
-Low cost smartphone-enabled VR headsets (Cardboard)
– Mid-tier hands-free headsets (Samsung Gear VR)
– High-end HD headsets (Occulus)
In November 2015, The New York Times and Google delivered 1.2 million Cardboard viewers and encouraged them to watch a VR film. This is the first of many to be released by the publisher. Facebook, Google, HTC, Samsung, Sony all have released or will release new VR gear. According to Deutsche Bank, adoption is increasing due to development of professional content and an overall better user experience.
Why you should care? VR allows consumers to feel something and immerse themselves in an experience. Consumers can actively participate either as an individual or with a community thus increasing time-spent with the experiences.
Implications: VR provides marketers with an opportunity to build platforms of content across key genres (travel marketing, experiential, procedural crime dramas, pain-relief/wellness), allowing marketers to quickly move from engagement to empathy, brands should begin to develop and test.
“Today’s drones make it possible for marketers to create sensory content”
Trend: Drones, drones everywhere
Personal aircraft has experienced an unprecedented increase in sales with over one million drones sold in the USA this past holiday season. Simple models cost less than £70 ($102) and today’s drones are empowering a new generation of videography enthusiasts to move beyond the camcorder.
Why you should care? From ‘mini’ drones to replace the selfie-sticks to humongous quadcopters carrying an individual, drones are becoming highly sophisticated yet accessible. Consumers are creating their own aerial content and with prices ranging from £70 to £700, 2016 will be the year of the drone.
Implications: OEMs will include drone add-ons to scan consumer behavior and activity while increasing their sensorial experience. Today’s drones make it possible for marketers to create sensory content, alternative views and to leverage consumer generated content in an immersive way.
Trend: The over-connected home
If last year was about the quantified self, this year is about the quantified home. Currently 12 OEMs claim they are using unified standards. Will we have walled gardens or will other OEMs get one board? It’s becoming the new OS race.
Why you should care? Contextual commerce currently being tested in New York. Everyone is asking, “What’s the next evolution of the Amazon Button?” Will consumers order groceries from the OLED screen embedded on their refrigerator door? Petro from their Keyring? Petfood from the dog’s bowl?
Implications: This space will continue to evolve with credit card companies and retail marketers leading the way. Marketers have a huge opportunity to create utility and action-based content and begin to test and learn. Customer RM meets real-time marketing.
“Marketers can begin to create content based on real behaviours, offering utility-based solutions”
Trend: The over-connected human being
With multiplication of medical led devices, marketers have the ability to go beyond straight data into real behaviors (i.e.: Fitbit, QardioCore EKG monitor). In the US, the FDA is expected to approve wearables enabling Health Care practitioners and the like to be able to help patients track their health in real-time at an accessible price. On the smartwatch front, the real challenge will be which OEM makes the smartwatch a necessity versus a “nice to have”.
Why you should care? Could be used by marketers to really understand true behaviors, not inferred ones, allowing for better targeting…
Implications: Marketers can begin to create content based on real behaviours, offering utility-based solutions.
Trend: The over-connected car?
The evolution of the connected car will enable consumers to have a constant in car relationship with media and services. 2016 focus for manufacturers will be based on communication, navigation, entertainment and autonomy
Why you should care? These new devices will enable auto manufacturers to move beyond data into behaviours. Smartphones will facilitate people to connect to the homes and services while in their cars and in the proximity of retail.
Implications: The constant in-car relationship with consumers allows marketers the opportunity to develop contextually relevant content in navigation, entertainment, utility and communication – the possibilities are endless.