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Insights

TECHNOLOGY TRENDS FOR 2011

10 January, 2011 - Source: McCann Manchester

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the world’s largest consumer technology trade show and educational forum. It’s one of the essential resources helping companies understand new technology and expand their businesses. Mark Jackson, Chief Technology Catalyst for McCann Worldgroup, discussed five key themes that emerged from this year’s event.

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the world’s largest consumer technology trade show and educational forum. It’s one of the essential resources helping companies understand new technology and expand their businesses. Mark Jackson, Chief Technology Catalyst for McCann Worldgroup, discussed five key themes that emerged from this year’s event.

With approximately 300 sessions, 900 expert speakers and 20,000 new consumer technology products launching each year, CES is the premier trade show for understanding the latest in consumer platforms.

Technology is changing the nature of the relationship between consumers and products. An increasing number of life choices are now dictated by and connected to an operating system of preference – Microsoft Windows, Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android/Chrome ecosystem. Emerging trends in technology are rewriting the rules of how we engage with our audiences. Marketers need to sit up and take notice.

Transforming Data

Data is at the heart of all we do and understanding both the opportunities and pitfalls it offers is crucial. Understanding how to employ aggregated data and content to increase the value of customer relationships is an imperative. For example, retail brands must come to grips with the online/offline “consideration journey” and develop creative and technologically targeted tactics to build dialogue pre- and post-purchase.

Data can also be used for research and development. Often product insights and new product ideas are at the core of a consumer’s response to your current product offerings. “Milling” these conversations can lead to product innovation and new invention.

Finally, building trust with your audience in order to continue to have access to this data is vital. If your brand has loyalty or CRM programs or even a social network fan base, then continuing to build trust among these audiences regarding confidentiality is key. Once that trust is lost, it will be very difficult to manage. Moving forward, the key for data management is to value, reward and protect those people who choose to share it.

Transforming Identity

As technology develops and as more of what we do lives online, our digital footprints will increase in quality and depth, enriching profiles, which in turn will enrich the experience, fostered by closer relationships with trusted tools and brands, and creating “integrated experiences” of consumer content.

By leveraging consumer data and a consumer’s digital identity, contextually relevant content can be served up to that consumer wherever he or she is.

The result is the creation of the most discriminating consumer we’ve ever had, where technology has enabled them instant access to information, changing their behaviour.
For example, shoppers can now use their phones to scan bar codes at retail outlets to look for better prices and reviews online. Or alternatively, they can use their devices to share in purchase decisions with friends. Retailers need to adapt and embrace these
changes and create platforms that optimize and engage, tapping into the content a user produces in-store. Technologies such as Near Field Communications (NFC) open up tremendous opportunities. Retailers can deliver product information as well as coupons and offers based on what they know about you within a short distance to a device. They can also leverage gaming dynamics with rewards programs to create
more sustainable value, tailored to the profiles of their potential customers.

Key Understandings


All of this opens up the massive question of how to manage the information avalanche, with a larger network to manage and a wider data set to consider. Will consumers look to subscribe to a universal identity, one which seamlessly connects to any online destination? What information will a universal form of identity provide? Facebook
Connect is looking to make it easy to log in using a form of universal login but when it comes to transactional information, who will own the commerce piece, and what will consumers expect regarding their privacy? Who will own and help manage identity? Will it be Google? Or will consumers prefer a brand that manages money/transactions like MasterCard or PayPal?

Transforming Home

The profound effect of a connected world, where systems can for the first time be developed and enhanced through unifying technology, will give us a completely new level of insight into consumers and consumption behavior. This opens the door for creating more relevant relationships with the consumer and delivering on a brand’s
value proposition in a way that was never before possible.

Transforming Wellness

With the investment of Government programs and the interest of large corporations to decrease healthcare costs, healthcare management, wellness and fitness will take on a new meaning. Coupled with technology advancements and the ability for a consumer to stay connected at all times, personal health devices will become a natural
extension of our increasingly “always on” environment. Opportunities will abound for leveraging new marketing channels in these environments as well as reaching targeted demographics such as the U.S. “boomer,” who is poised to spend the most discretionary income on this part of their lives.

Transforming Automotive


Automotive is one area of our daily lives that will undergo an accelerated development path as multiple trends converge in one place. The automobile is now the focus of intense innovation to ensure it is consuming the least amount of energy, utilizing the road network efficiently, and entertaining and protecting its passengers. The automobile represents another touchpoint for the brand marketer, as a consumer’s digital lifestyle extends to their primary mode of transportation, their car

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