Startup News

How to Use the CES Marketer Matrix

January 24, 2013

The Consumer Electronics Show, with its 150,000 attendees and miles of exhibit space, is overwhelming for anyone – even people who have been going for decades. Brand marketers have been paying attention relatively recently and joining in recent numbers, and it can be particularly tough to process what’s relevant for them. To help with that, we’ve developed the CES Marketer Matrix.

The CES Marketer Matrix

This started as an idea literally on the back (or perhaps front) of a napkin during one morning of the conference. The X-axis shows “relevance to marketers,” while the Y-axis shows “awesomeness.” Then, it was time to polish it up to make it easier to fill out for presentations.

How does it work in practice? Let’s look at an example of one filled out, precisely in a way that one might do so when sharing it with a senior marketer during a recap of CES. Consider the matrix below:

Interpreting the Matrix

There are a lot of things that get a lot of attention but aren’t particularly exciting. Below, in the bottom left, the Sharp 8K high-resolution television has a gorgeous display but is an evolutionary step and will change little if anything about advertising.

The top left is for the most innovative technologies that shouldn’t have an immediate impact for marketers. For instance, the Muse headband by Interaxon reads brainwaves and doubled its goal for its Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. Yet there is still a fairly small audience for such devices right now, and brainwave scanners will probably only go mainstream when they are directly built into more popular devices such as the Xbox or iPhone.

Spanning the top two boxes is the latest innovation from Vuzix, its M100 smart glasses. This is going to compete with Google’s Project Glass eyewear, but Vuzix should get its device to consumers first. Perhaps the gadget itself should be more firmly on the left-hand side, but wearable computing is about to hit the market in a big way and should gain wide adoption fairly rapidly in the coming years, so marketers should start getting their heads around what this trend means for them.

Finally, moving along the right-hand side, the focus is squarely on what’s relevant for marketers. A great example is Samsung’s AdHub, the electronics manufacturer’s own digital multi-screen ad network. Samsung started promoting this at CES 2012, but now in 2013, it has such strong market share across televisions and mobile handsets that marketers should at least consider it. It also ties in elements that compete with second screen applications such as Shazam and Yahoo’s IntoNow, plus the kind of natural language voice search to rival Google and Apple’s Siri. Its relevance for marketers is hard to question now, though Samsung doesn’t yet have the same cachet in advertising as it does in electronics.

This is just a small example. There were thousands of products and services at CES, and there are infinite ways to create such a matrix. Consider one of the products that got the most buzz at CES, the HAPIfork. For a restaurant chain or consumer packaged goods brand it may be an extremely fascinating connected device, while for a car dealer it is probably irrelevant. Grab a napkin, sketch out the matrix, and then complete it in a way that makes it truly your own.

Want more CES coverage? Get my full recap below.