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The Consumer Electronics Show might well be a gadget mecca for 160,000 people vying to see the latest wearable device, curved display, 4K drone, or 3D-printing technology. But there is a lot to see for us marketers, especially in the area of advertising technology.
Increasingly, CES is becoming the place to find out how we’ll advertise and market across these new channels, just as much as it is about the devices themselves. For example, TapSense has used CES to announce its platform for delivering ads to the Apple Watch.
In fact, marketing and advertising has become such an important part of CES that, for the first time this year, the conference has a destination specific to marketers, creative communicators, branding executives, agencies, and publishers — the C Space at ARIA.
With headline speeches and sessions between Tuesday and Thursday from the likes of Twitter, Google, Yahoo, iHeartMedia, and Havas Worldwide, this small yet extremely well-formed event even features an appearance, coincidentally, from Ryan Seacrest.
So, what else can marketers enjoy at CES?
If you want to look at the cutting edge and get a view on what the marketing channels of the future might look like, head to Eureka Park. Traditionally, you’ll find the edgier, more innovative companies there — those companies and creators that may spark your creative juices and give you a sense of what’s to come.
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You’ll also find several companies that converge gadgets with adtech, such as Pecabu. One of their three new products, CineGraph, is a plug-and-play solution for any HD Android media device, including Amazon’s FireStick, that places targeted ads on outdoor electronic displays.
Location-based marketing is starting to make waves at CES this year. Foursquare is in town talking about its advertising network, which it is pouring fresh focus on since splitting location check-ins from the main app, and RetailMeNot has marketing technology — fueled in part by its 35 million digital couponing users — that connects brands to users when they’re at the right location.
Proximity marketing solutions are moving beyond GPS data and smart beacons too. Companies like NewAer are building solutions that treat all devices like beacons. The company is launching its SDK at CES and bringing back its “Beacon Bar,” where it tags bottles of your favorite spirits with Internet-of-Things sensors so they can interact with tablet devices.
CES will always be the event that gadget-heads flock to each year, but marketers can gain a lot from visiting the Las Vegas show to find out more about new devices, channels, and platforms. The launch of C Space at ARIA is an indication that the organizers take marketing seriously, and the fact that the event is in January allows marketers to take the pulse for the entire year ahead.
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