If the years previous CES event had blown commentators away with the staggering possibility of technologies like virtual reality, drones, and the internet of things, the 2016 edition left some wanting more.
The interesting thing is that the problem wasn’t a lack of innovation, but a maturation of technologies to the point where they were actually getting set for general consumption. Instead of a slew of prototypes and concepts, many exhibitors brought the products they were actually bringing to market in the months to come.
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This maturation has interesting implications for advertisers. It’s been clear for years that connected devices would collect a massive amount of extremely interesting data. At the same time, the capacity to use that data has always been something that advertisers have been able to push off building until tomorrow.
No more. As wearables and connected devices become normal parts of the consumer experience, marketers have to figure out what the scalable unit is when everything isn’t just another screen.
For advertisers who are used to thinking in terms of demographics, this sort of behavior + context represents a fundamental shift. Rather than just advertising to who people are, brands can advertise against what they’re doing or intend to do.
While the data available from mobile phones already provides some of that event tracking & context, the data available from connected devices could layer in radically more specific and comprehensive information.
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In a world where everyone has a fitness tracker on, you don’t need to manually log in to an app like Run Keeper — it will be able to tell with some accuracy what type of workout you did, how many calories you burned, and when you’re done. If it knows that that’s the 3rd day in a row — boom, reward.
Devices in the connected home will also drive more information about events and context. The notes that families leave for each other on their smart fridges could be a trove of data, as could the patterns of food in those fridges. That, plus cooking apps, could show all sorts of interesting information about how you’re doing with your goal to cook dinner home more rather than always order in.