These are the top tech trends for marketers
In its 51 years and with 4,000 exhibitors, the annual exhibition in Las Vegas is a great place to spot big and small trends. As expected much of what was on display concerned itself with smart homes, cars, wearables, and crucially smart cities to integrate tech within the public space. There was a whole host of Internet of Things (IoT) proposed here – ideas and devices that connect over the internet, talk to us, to applications, and one another. These include retail experience from a small screen, augmented reality-enabled mobile devices, and virtual showrooming.
The overriding message is that brands need to adapt to the changing nature of consumption. They need to be flexible and not too rigidly connected to one type of technology. D-commerce (digital-commerce) is the new term to combine e and m-commerce. It seems, shopping purely online is no longer the preferred route. Instead, increasingly companies are taking a more multi-channel, holistic approach to include the digital presence, physical shops, and advanced technology to allow the transaction to take place anytime, anywhere with as little effort as possible.
Amongst the IoTs on display at CES were advanced TV sets. Predicted to remain the centre of the household and the base for connectivity, they appeared in all shapes and sizes. For instance, integrated with fridges for a smart refrigerator that can do your shopping.
Elsewhere, the big players are competing for the smartest smart home virtual butler. Amazon’s Alexa was installed in the bathroom mirror to show how we can pass commands through voice and gesture to our smart home appliances. Meanwhile, Google revealed its competing voice-activated virtual assistant Google Assistant. Top TV brands Sony and LG showed how this device functions within their gadgets as did some of the carmakers in their entertainment systems for hands-free access to Google apps.
What is apparent is that technology is no longer only here to deliver communication. The various ecosystems by Google, Amazon, and Apple offer a complex consumer journey. Therefore, it is vital for companies to understand the impact of artificial intelligence and other software in how consumers make decisions, and how new devices impact on behaviour, which is no longer as straightforward as predicted.
Images: MINI Living is a pop-up concept to excite the consumer for a less direct path to brand awareness; Audi City London is a virtual car showroom where brand awareness is the main focus; Toyota e-Palette at CES proposes is a flexible vehicle to tailored to various functions and lifestyles.
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