Once again it is time for CES. Technology is king and the smartest innovations in the world are brought together to be admired, celebrated and lusted after. Some of the very best this year include:
The adidas Smart Ball
Smart Ball is a soccer ball with an integrated sensor that detects speed, spin, flight path and impact point. Kick data is transmitted wirelessly over Bluetooth Smart where it is displayed in a highly visual way.
ZUtA Pocket Printer
The printer has been reimagined to fit today’s “on-the-go” working space. This little robot runs on the paper and lays the ink while doing so. The printer is small in size, yet can print on any size of paper and we want one for the Flock office!
The range of smart appliances is staggering and a lot of this amazing technology has the chance to enhance and change people’s lives, but how will people hear about it? Will it make sense to them? Will they understand the benefits it brings?
At the same time as all this product evolution makes headlines, marketing is also fundamentally changing. It is adapting to the world that the products are creating; it is working with new tools, new data, and new media and having to deal with new consumer behaviour and attitudes. So can technology marketers be as smart as their products?
They have to be – Marketing can make the difference between a winning and a losing product. With so many companies investing in ‘smart technology’ and its high cost of R&D, it is critical to win the marketing war and ensure that your product connects digitally and emotionally with consumers. The challenge for technology marketers is to embrace new techniques and technologies and adapt to new consumer behaviour in order to produce integrated marketing strategies and campaigns that live up to their products’ promise.
In this smart new digital age you need a smart communications plan. It is no longer simply about making a good TV ad. Historically the electronics industry has been pretty good at making big brand TV ads. Think Sony Bravia balls, Intel’s sonic ident, Apple’s 1984 Super Bowl advert, PlayStation’s Double Life… But did any of these extend beyond the 30” screen in your front room? Now a lot of the target audience is not watching TV and if it is, is probably fast forwarding through ads. To reach these elusive consumers, different channels and approaches need to be employed and the need for campaigns with more touchpoints and improved marketing integration is even greater than before.
So to help kick start your 2015 (q4) and 2016 planning, here are some common themes from some of the most successful integrated campaigns. Take a leaf out of their book and you will be on way to making your marketing as smart as your product.
Have one clear uniting idea – This stops every agency re-inventing the wheel. It helps ensure that every touchpoint is clearly delivering the right message in a consistent way. It saves money and time whilst delivering better results.
Do not talk about the technology – talk about its benefits. If you want a mainstream product you should avoid anything too technical. This may seem a bit of an obvious comment but looking at a lot of communication from technology products brands are still not doing this.
Develop flexible plans – Things are rarely as straightforward as they should / could be. Always build in a bit of room for manoeuvre. A little flexibility will help you tailor your campaign and ensure that it remains relevant and topical. This does not mean ditching all the hard work and the central idea, just ensuring that you have the capability to adapt if it is necessary. With a flexible, agile structure and process you will have the capability to deliver fast turnaround and tactical, relevant smart marketing activity – the type of activity that consumers admire and talk about.
Align all your agencies – You need agreement and understanding from all key agencies. Objectives must be agreed, everyone must know exactly why they are doing what they are doing. Land grabs, overriding agency objectives and creative preciousness should all be off the table. All necessary processes to encourage collaborative working must be in place and an open and honest working environment should be positively encouraged.
Personalise as much as possible – one to one conversations are now the norm, the expectation of consumer is that brands should understand them and tailor activity to suit their individual needs. With the ever growing number of personalised products, personalised marketing is expected particularly from tech companies.
Testing – this should be a key part of your plan, test, learn and then test some more, be prepared to change if you need to.
Overall, technology and marketing are both evolving and developing at dramatic rates, it remains to be seen whether most marketing departments can keep up with their colleagues in R&D. So if you are looking for a little support to generate a big idea, with an agency pitch or to develop truly integrated marketing campaigns, give us a call as we would love to help.
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