Participant Marketing

Now that the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) 2013 is officially over, you can go back to work without checking your Twitter, Facebook, RSS, and favorite gadget blogs every five minutes seeking updates. Or, maybe not. Performics had an undeniable presence at CES 2013. We attended multiple events, live tweeted daily, shared daily conclusions on our blog, and uploaded amusing pictures on Facebook. With our Global CEO Daina Middleton speaking on Citi’s Digital Trends panel and Performics co-hosting a myriad of events with VivaKi and ZenithOptimedia – this conference was a success. As a client, we hope you were able to take advantage of this year’s offerings, and we look forward to seeing you next year.

Marketing in the Participation Age (Daina Middleton) & Digital Wisdom (Shelly Palmer) were featured in the ZenithOptimedia LiveROI Lounge

IMG_5043 Shelly Palmer speaking at the LiveROI Lounge

 Daina Middleton and other Digital Trends Panelists

CES 2013 was the largest show in CES history: 1.92 million square feet of exhibits, 3,250 exhibitors, 20,000 new products, and over 150,000 attendees representing more than 170 countries. Within the overwhelming amount of product and technology developments to sift through, two themes particularly stand out: mobility and connectivity.


Everyone knows the world is moving more and more towards mobile devices. ComScore says smartphones have been adopted by 47% of the US population. With this growing adoption rate, manufacturers are developing cutting edge technologies in order to fiercely distinguish themselves. All to your benefit as the end user!

Many speakers at the conference spoke on device convergence. What does this mean? You and I are tired of carrying a laptop, tablet, smartphone, camera, pen and paper, etc., just to complete our day to day tasks. Participants seek one multipurpose device. One example we saw at CES 2013, was the Samsung Galaxy Note II, a five inch smartphone that blurs the line between tablet and phone. This is just one phone among many five inch or larger phones displayed at the show.


One reason we love the Note II and consider it “note” worthy is due to the integrated stylus feature. You are able to take notes just as you would with pen and paper. Combining this functionality with the camera and typical smartphone capabilities, this device slims down your pockets of other electronics despite its large size.


Whether we are talking about technology to “you”, or technology to technology, connectivity was one of the sexier tech themes of CES 2013. “Connectivity has gone from being a unique feature that makes some brands stand out for having it to being a must-have feature that make some brands stand out for not having it,” said Aaron Bragman, an auto industry analyst with I.H.S. Automotive.

Accessing content is not a new concept, however accessing content wherever and whenever is. Depending on where you are (at home, in the car, on the train etc.), determines exactly how you want to use their device. Some may want to watch television; others check email, or read a book, and obviously surf the web. This leads to the more versatile products being released. Quad core processors are becoming common – to that point that even eight core has been announced, longer battery life is expected, HD screen resolution is the new standard, and more RAM is being added to handle multitasking. All of these upgrades are turning our phones into a computer that fits into your hand, more so than ever before. A prime example of technology to technology connectivity at this year’s CES is i’m Watch. If you didn’t get a chance to see this, we first wrote about it on a previous CES wrap-up. This watch has full phone app integration, and even brings you calls and emails.

Another outstanding example of connectivity at CES 2013 was the Livio Connect.

Livio recognized a problem that participants have. All users want and expect their apps to connect with every owned system, whether a vehicle, smart phone, or music player. Livio’s solution is Livio Connect, which allows products to connect with each other using the same language. In their words, “Apps, meet cars, or any enabled hardware device.”

What is the implication to marketers concerning content streaming across multiple devices? With the blending of devices between large and small screens, marketers need to ensure their content seamlessly transfers between screens, and remains relevant to each platform.

At CES, many manufacturers displayed technology to send content from a phone to a TV wirelessly or to a tablet and vice versa. Participants would then see an ad specifically designed for their phone on TV. Is it still a good participant experience? Or look at it the other way, an advertisement designed for a smart TV is being shown on a person’s smartphone. Is it still functional? Does it work as intended for the participant? Do the resolutions match up? Is it HTML 5 so it adapts to multiple devices? As you can see, there are a lot of questions to be asked for the next round of marketers engaging digital platforms.

The marketing world and how we engage with customers is ever changing, especially in today’s marketplace. If there is one takeaway from CES 2013 it is that participants are demanding and expect things to work. There will be no sympathy for a company that does not match the ad with the platform it is served on. For example, if you are advertising on a mobile device, you need to have a mobile optimized app or site or something to lead them to because consumers won’t have the patience to be led to a partially functioning desktop site.

Undeniably, this is a very exciting time to be in marketing. As Shelly Palmer said at a LiveROI event, “technology is becoming more powerful and empowers consumers.” While the platforms to communicate are ever changing, as marketers, we have the ability to create and forge stronger relationships with our participants. Moving into the future, expect to see some facet of universality applied to electronics. This is a forced outcome as participants express their needs, and brands that wish to remain industry superheroes will seek to fulfill. For now, marketers must plan to optimize for numerous different devices, while focusing on providing a singular streamlined experience for participants.

Share with us your learnings from CES 2013, or favorite moments. What were the themes that you felt carried through the show consistently, and what were your favorite related products?

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