Once again, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was filled with energy, big ideas and big brands. In fact, the buzz from the marketing crowd was a new name for the show – Consumers Engaged Socially (CES), a name that makes sense to those of us involved in media and marketing. I enjoyed listening to CMOs and VPs of Marketing share their thoughts about new media. The consistent theme focused on social media, connectivity, listening to the customer, responding to the customer and using data effectively.
One of the questions asked of the big brand panelists was, “What could you not give up in your daily life?” The unanimous answer was clear, “My smartphone.” I believe that would be the answer for just about anyone who owns one, too. Not only is our smartphone a business tool, even more importantly, it connects us emotionally to our loved ones, friends, passions and interests.
When technology and healthcare converge
Within the CES, there were two fast-trending conferences called the Digital Health Summit and Silvers Summit. The information imparted across panels was the belief that the technology of the future will have accurate diagnoses, effective treatments and individualized treatment programs. Not one size fits all. In fact, one amazing and long-awaited technology was announced by Life Technologies that reads human genes, detects mutations and prescribes solutions, under $1,000 and under two hours. Additional announcements and growth technologies included remote monitoring, smart watches, improved sensors and body monitoring that will help understand and affect behavioral change. It didn’t take long to understand all these devices will target and help Baby Boomers improve their health and quality of life.
Top 10 Highlights from CES, Digital Health Summit and Silvers Summit:
Generally we are all in agreement that technology improves lives. One of the trends discussed centered on the home and bringing family back to the kitchen. Current stats say only one-third of meals are consumed at the dinner table. Children’s school grades go up and their drug and alcohol use go down when more meals are shared at home. And note 40% of tablets are now used for reading recipes while cooking in the kitchen.
CES is the largest tradeshow in the world, drawing 140,000 industry executives. Four days of over 1.7 million square feet of exhibit space that is equivalent to 35 football fields. The average U.S. household has 24 consumer electronics and sales will exceed $190 billion in 2012 – marketers should keep in mind that boomers purchase the majority of technology.
In fact, Boomer spending according to Forrester Research includes telecom fees, gadget and device spending and overall online purchases. Boomers averaged $650 spent online vs. Gen X at $581 and Gen Y at $429. It also is worth noting that Boomers’ Internet behavior is such that 91% use email, 88% use search engines, 80% research health and 74% get news. Perhaps the new name for CES should be BES – Boomers Engaged Socially.