Three Major Marketing Takeaways from CES 2016

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is largely considered the be-all and end-all for technological innovation. This year’s event certainly didn’t disappoint, showcasing everything from hybrid hoverboard-robots to autopilot drones. In addition to the highly anticipated products at this year’s show—which took place in Las Vegas from January 6-9—were pieces of advice that marketers would be wise to consider as they kick off the new year.

So, what were the best marketing takeaways from this year’s CES? Here’s our two cents…

  1. Marketing is (and always will be) about evoking emotion: If the products unveiled at CES ‘16 suggest anything for marketers, it’s that successful marketing is about evoking emotion. For example, consider this year’s emphasis on emotive robots, which are designed to recognize, process and interpret human emotion and behavior. It’s much less likely that a product or service will lead a customer to spend money with a business. Purchasing decisions usually have much more to do with how a customer feels about a brand (i.e. its level of service, how it engages with customers). Intel CEO Bryan Krzanich put it best when saying that “We’re entering a new era in technology where consumers are choosing experience over products.” The same goes for marketing.


  1. Don’t forget to tell your company’s unique story: Between the time consuming tasks of your everyday marketing strategy, it can be easy to forget the most important aspect: telling your company’s unique story. Consider the advice given at CES ’16 by Amanda Bradford, Founder and CEO of intelligent dating app The League: “Put aside the product when thinking about marketing and tell a good, interesting story.” At the end of the day, you cannot forget that you have a compelling story to tell. Ensure that every piece of content you create, every Web page you develop and every customer touchpoint is tied to your story.


  1. Ignore the importance of data at your own peril: Metrics, reporting and data gathering have become nothing short of fundamental for marketing success today. At CES ’16 Artist Nick Cannon explained that, whereas people used to say content is king, “data is an even stronger king.” The bottom line is that today, you must use data and analytics to fine tune and improve your marketing strategy. This is especially true for small businesses. Consider that 73 percent of small businesses are using marketing analytics to find new customers; 65 percent for improving their customer experience; and 31 percent for developing new products, according to 2016 research from Overall, the findings show that companies that use data and analytics experience an increase in both profits and marketing ROI.

Use these three CES takeaways to support your marketing strategy this year and beyond—good luck!

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