What Did CES 2017 Mean for Digital Marketers?


Each annual CES Research Summit provides an enlightening snapshot of the latest consumer tech products and trends – many of which will have serious implications for how digital content is experienced by the end user. We’ve trawled through the highlights from this year’s CES conference in Las Vegas to identify a few key insights that you can take forward into your future digital marketing planning.

VR and AR have arrived

In a fascinating CES discussion titled “AR, VR and the Future of Content”, immersive journalism expert Nonny de la Peña spoke on the outstanding potential of AR and VR, pointing to The New York Times’ appointment of an in-house VR team as evidence of the momentum behind the emerging platforms.

Last year, a crop of virtual reality systems gained a foothold with consumers for the first time – and on the strength of this year’s showing at CES, AR is primed to follow suit in the very near future. According to a study by Digi-Capital, the AR smart glasses market will reach a value of $90 billion by the end of the decade. Several commentators at the CES conference singled out exhibitors Vuzix – who demonstrated their Blade 3000 Smart Glasses at the Sin City event – as likely leaders in this growing field.

Learning about new technologies is part and parcel of being a digital marketer, but even for very adaptable practitioners, moving into VR and AR is likely to be a challenging journey. At this stage, our advice is simple: get hold of a headset for your team to use in order to acclimatise themselves to VR. By offering VR play-time as a reward for hitting targets, you’ll provide an incentive for your staff which also gives them a valuable grounding in how the platform operates. This will be an immense asset when the time comes for your organisation to branch out into VR and AR marketing, as many digital marketing teams surely will.

IoT opportunities are growing fast

According to a relatively conservative estimate from Markets and Markets, the value of the global Internet of Things market reached a new high of $157.05 billion in 2016. The IoT is growing fast, and scores of products with immense digital marketing crossover potential were on display at CES 2017. This represents a gilt-edged opportunity for digital marketers to identify and secure innovative collaborations that pack immense commercial potential. Here are a few of the items that caught our eye:

  • HiMirror – a smart mirror which gives the user make-up advice.
  • Panasonic Smart Table – IoT hub meets tablet, meets kitchen table! Smart tables have the potential to emerge as an important new platform for digital marketers to master.
  • Alexa Voice Service – the sheer volume of devices exhibited which were compatible with Amazon’s voice platform was the talk of CES 2017.

The digital marketing opportunities already abound in the Internet of Things, for those adventurous enough to find them. Much like VR and AR, by learning this new technology before it hits its peak popularity, digital marketing teams may safeguard their future competitiveness.


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