The One Thing Marketers Need to Know About CES

by Paul Cowan

CES 2015 came and went with a tsunami of new companies who are trying to connect your home, make everything ‘smart’ or print you something in 3D. This really was a landmark year for proliferation, specifically the proliferation of companies who have jumped into the wearables and internet of things game.

This is the one thing you need to know as a marketer: You are going to be able to access even more data than they ever imagined. Yep, more data.

CES showed that the connected life is here to stay. Wearables are going to be tracking everyone’s health, muscle tone, and sleep patterns - connected devices are automating all aspects of people’s lives. This will resurrect the Big Data buzzword as the exponential growth of data accompanies the growth of ways to track it. Still, the marketing industry is barely keeping up with the ability to integrate social data and other unstructured sources, let alone know how to sort out the ways they want to analyze it.

The data that is going be collected, stored, and mined is massive. Wearable data alone can provide an intense look at people’s health and nutrition patterns, but connecting data sets and inferring other activities will help marketers amass a huge amount of empirical data on what customers are actually doing.

Take for instance a wearable device that has a Twitter account login: The company not only has all the nutrition, exercise and sleep patterns, but it can also look into that person’s Twitter profile, scape their posting activity and understand several other behaviours like their favourite brands, topics they post about, and general interests. This is pretty crazy. It provides marketers with a real one-to-one understanding of who their customers are beyond the purchase or transactional nature of the brand-to-customer relationship. Gone are the days of needing to conduct panels and focus groups. If marketers can't access data by finding ways for their customers to give it to them, they are doing something seriously wrong.

So the four-letter 'data’ word is still around. The new technologies that are encouraging consumers to track and create massive amounts of data on their own patterns is the next frontier of data mining. The smart marketers will think of how they can get their customers to give them access to it now.