The mark of a New Year always kicks off with us asking ourselves the tough, big picture questions like 'what does the future hold?'
For our industry, many of those initial indicators appeared at the first major event of the year for technologists and marketers - the Consumer Electronics Show during the first week of January. As marketers, the showings and announcements at CES signal strong trends to take note of, and especially how they are presented to consumers and their positioning within the marketplace.
This year a major focus was around the “Internet of Things” with an emphasis on the connected lifestyle. Brands like Samsung, Panasonic, Sony and LG all had strong showings of their own visions of how their technology could make our lives a little bit better by being seamlessly connected and integrated.
As January comes to a close and the buzz of CES fades, it’s worth taking time to consider the big pictures trends that are here to stay as we move full force into 2015.
The Connected Lifestyle - Consumer preference will always dictate adoption
According to Samsung’s Chief Executive Yoon Boo Keun, “The Internet of Things is not about things, it is about people,” and creating an Internet of Things that did not place improving people’s lives at the core of its mission would be “like a bedtime story for robots.”
Many displays at CES this year highlighted the pain points and consumer benefits of a connected lifestyle. Brands like LG, Panasonic and others displayed not just one or two products that connect to each other - but rather ecosystems of integrated and connected devices
As marketers look to enter this new space, it’s easy to get swept up in all of the new technology but we need to remain focused on the core of our business - the consumer. This forces us to think about the implications for our business as we enter into the early ideation stages of how best to position our brands within the connected lifestyle. Without the lens towards solving for consumer needs, nothing is viable. As marketers seek to find solutions and their place within connected future, make sure you are putting the needs of your customer at the heart of your strategy.
Fragmentation means more work for advertisers and marketers
Some brands have been clear to indicate that they’re seeking an open platform for software developers to take a stab at creating services for their connected products. While a few boasted that of an “open ecosystem” others didn’t make the connection. Nest made it clear that there were specific restrictions on the data that would be exposed and how it would be used.
Whether one company is right or wrong isn’t what marketers should be taking note of. What’s important to understand is that there’s a great deal of fragmentation in a somewhat new digital frontier - and if the trend follows that of the mobile device/platform wars of the last decade, consumer preference will be at the core of driving this fragmentation.
One size will not fit all and as content creators, we need to plan for the fragmentation of these ecosystems. The best way to do so is to start with a solid content management foundation, and plan for your content to travel to just about any screen that will connect to the internet.
Potential for new monetization opportunities
What will marketers do with all of this new consumer data? How will they manage data, interactions and content portability? One thing is clear here - now is the time to experiment. We’re early enough that no one is late to this game – get ready to try, fail, learn and gain insight for the future.
Kayla Green is the Digital Strategy Director for Saatchi & Saatchi in Los Angeles