Live from CES Day 2: Top Takeaways and Words of Wisdom for Marketers

If CES Day 1 delighted our minds with the technologies of tomorrow, Day 2 nourished our soul with discussions on how marketers should engage this new era of connected consumers. From content and storytelling, to data and video, we covered it all.

Check out our top 5 takeaways for marketers from Day 2 of CES:

1. Back to the (Content) Basics
Was it just us, or did we detect a subtle hint of nostalgia in today’s sessions, as panelists called for a return to the basics? Lindsey Nelson, Vice President & Global Head of Brand Strategy at Vox Media, brought this home for content creators by pointing out that “the virality of content was intoxicating for a long time.” Now, marketers need to beware of getting wrapped up in outrageous video views, and think more “like a programmer or media company.” Having a thorough understand of your audience and business goals is essential before embarking on any new campaign. Nelson even suggested that a re-look at traditional advertising philosophies may be what the industry needs.

2. Storytelling Goes Visual
With 200-300 thousand emojis used every hour on Twitter, the future of storytelling seems inextricably tied to visual messaging. This was the resounding takeaway from the “Modern Marketing: Digital Hieroglyphics” session, which included panelists from Giphy, Twitter, Tinder and Emogi. Adam Leibsohn, the COO of Giphy described the power of visual messaging: “GIFs allow you to borrow the equity of other content so you don’t have to think as hard…and consumers can use them to express themselves.” For brands, visual elements serve up a casual, shorthand path to authentic engagement—a branded “language.” “Instead of saying what you stand for as a brand, you can just be it and embody it,” said Leibsohn. And what about Tinder? Starting a new conversation with an emoji has shown to garner more responses, according to Tinder’s CMO, Ferrell McDonald.

3. Big Data vs. Smart Data
It wouldn’t be a tech conference without a mention or two of “big data.” But today’s conversation shifted from collecting data, to making sense of it. Gayle Fuguitt, Chief of Customer Insights & Innovation at Foursquare, joked that “marketers are dying of data indigestion.” She emphasized that researchers needs to deliver more substance with their analysis. “We should never deliver information to a marketer that doesn’t tell the ‘why’,” she said. The demand for actionable, data-driven insights is at an all-time high—not just because there’s so much of it, but because the need for personalized messages has reached a critical level.

4. TV’s Not Dead, Just Different.
TV as we currently know it is changing, causing more and more marketers to question its ability to reach consumers. Even Hershey’s General Manager & Vice President of Confection (aka the coolest job title, ever!) noted today that she moved 30% of last year’s media to non-TV areas. The reasons why TV is changing provided fodder for many conversations today. According to Richard Au, Head of Content Acquisition at Amazon Channels, “it’s too hard to find the content you want to watch.” Tech innovations have left consumers overwhelmed with choice and short on attention. Industry leaders seem to be looking forward to the promise of artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve the discoverability of TV and video content. “The more I learn about the end user, the more targeted I can be with the content I produce,” said Ralf Jacob, President of Verizon Digital Media Services.

5. This is the Year of Video
Turner’s VP and Group Creative Director, Otto Bell, made a bold statement during his Storyteller session that “2016 was the official handover from text to video.” It makes sense when we consider consumer internet usage is growing at 31%, and that by 2020, a million minutes of video is expected to crisscross the internet every second. Bell explained that video has a superior ability to “combine sound, vision and dialogues to bring stories to life in ways that create genuine, emotional connections with viewers.” What more could a consumer or advertiser want? We can expect to see a lot more from marketers on interactive video, virtual reality, 360 degree and more in the next year.

Miss any of the action from the first day of CES? Get up to speed by reading our top takeaways and words of wisdom for marketers from Day 1:
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