These are the top tech trends for marketers

 

MINI Living by Asif Khan
 Advanced technologies are changing the face of marketing. The reality is that consumers are constantly evolving how they interact with brands, with products, and with purchasing. And much of this is shaped by new functional technologies, some of which were revealed at the all-important consumer electronics show, CES, earlier this month.

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.

Audi City London, one of the first virtual car showrooms
This is an argument that has been on the scene for some time. Yet it has become even more evident that the retail space needs to engage more with the consumer, providing excitement, experiences, friendship, and a sense of community. Much like social media platforms, they will increasingly become a forum for sharing thoughts and ideas. This could involve experimental retail, spaces that are artistic, pop-ups, and temporary structures in unusual locations to excite and create brand awareness.

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.

Toyota e-Palette is flexible so to be tailored to various needs and lifestyles
 

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.

Spinach Branding is a specialist branding agency based in London. We work with established businesses and start-ups around the world to build and refine their brands. See how we work and get in touch to discuss your brand.

 

Toyota e-Palette, at CES, is an automated, electric, flexible vehicle that can be tailored to various needs and lifestyles
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