Tech Trends: Insights From CES
In January, more than 135,000 attendees gathered in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), an epicenter of breakthrough innovation.
My return to CES, after a break due to the pandemic, was eye-opening. The event has grown beyond its consumer electronics roots into a dynamic center for media and marketing innovation.
Alongside other key leaders from Mod Op, I immersed myself in the bustling atmosphere, engaging with top executives and thought leaders, and contributing to important discussions on marketing, technology and their societal impacts.
As marketers, we play a powerful role in shaping culture and society. The emerging technologies and trends highlighted at CES are more than just the future of consumer tech. They are indicators of our societal evolution and the paths we set as pioneers of this transformation.
Here are a few key insights from CES 2024 that demonstrate how we influence the direction of both marketing and broader societal trends.
Artificial Intelligence: Transforming the Marketing Landscape
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in marketing isn’t just a buzzword anymore—it’s a pivotal force reshaping the industry. AI is now a key player, driving innovation changing how we work, and impacting agency-client relationships.
AI is no longer just about making things faster and more efficient; it’s about making things we never thought possible happen. Imagine having a marketing sidekick that can quickly sift through tons of data, giving you the insights needed to make fast strategic decisions. You can quickly adapt to market changes, customize campaigns to talk directly to the right people, and even predict what your customers will want next.
AI is also making it easier for anyone in marketing to get creative. Now, you don’t need a huge team to make quality content—you’ve got tools for that. “We saw an array of AI tools at CES,” says Aaron Sternlicht, Chief Growth Officer at Mod Op. “Notably, the GenAI partnership between Nvidia and Getty Images introduces tech that uses prompts to create licensable images owned by clients, avoiding copyright issues.”
And don’t forget about talking to customers. AI chatbots and virtual assistants are making those conversations personal like they’re part of the team. They have natural conversations, helping with everything from answering questions to selling products.
When it comes to AI in marketing, focus on these key areas:
- Change How You Work: Look at your current marketing processes and see where AI can streamline operations, reduce manual efforts, and increase efficiency. This could be anything from customer segmentation to performance tracking, all done smarter and faster with AI’s help.
- Effectively Use More Data: AI thrives on data. It’s a great tool for predictive analytics, customer behavior analysis and real-time market trend monitoring. Use the power of AI to analyze large data sets and uncover hidden patterns, spot trends and provide insights into customer behavior.
- Team Up with Forward Thinkers: Work with agencies, like Mod Op, that are good at bringing AI into the marketing mix. They can help you evolve your marketing strategies to help future-proof your business. A forward-thinking agency can guide you to not just keep up but really take advantage of all the new opportunities AI brings to the table, so you can stay on top.
Marketing is quickly evolving due to AI. It’s creating an industry where innovation, efficiency, and personalization are key. But as we race ahead to incorporate AI into everything we do, my colleague Tessa Burg CTO at Mod Op, who also attended CES, provides a word of caution.
“It’s important for marketers to understand how the AI models were trained, what data is being used, and how much effort it takes to deliver the personalized, predictive, and generative outputs to ensure accuracy and efficiency.
AI isn’t just ‘cool tech’ anymore—CES proved that it’s sparking a whole new way of thinking in marketing. Agencies and clients are starting to use AI to shake up strategies and redefine the way we work.
Cookie Deprecation: What Every Marketer Needs to Know (if you don’t already)
One of the biggest topics at CES was about moving away from third-party cookies in web browsers, especially on Google Chrome. This change is all about protecting user privacy—something other browsers like Safari and Firefox have already started doing. Third-party cookies have been key for tracking users across different websites, enabling targeted advertising and retargeting campaigns. But as we phase them out, we’re losing valuable data that we’ve relied on for so long to guide online advertising strategies.
The marketing industry is adapting to focus on first-party data collected directly from online visitors. It’s a win-win because first-party data is more privacy-compliant and allows businesses to understand customer needs and tailor experiences based on user interactions with their company’s own site.
Burg says she was impressed by Reddit’s first-party data collection. She says, “I find their ‘Key to Context’ activation so refreshing because it showed how conversations with customers can provide data that leads to more accurate marketing. At Mod Op, we often focus on building lasting customer relationships through community. Data from that wealth of user interactions is becoming a crucial tool for targeting in marketing.”
Unsurprisingly, advertisers are hoping AI will fill the gap left by third-party cookies. AI can help keep data clean and unified, which means we can count on accurate customer insights. AI can also hyper-personalize marketing strategies thanks to data analysis, predictive algorithms and machine learning.
But watch out for ‘dirty data’—that’s inaccurate or incomplete customer information, which can lead to ineffective strategies. That’s where tools like Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) come in handy, helping to make sure the data you use to power your marketing campaigns is clean and reliable.
Maximizing ROI with AI: Media Attribution Engine Transforming Marketing Efficiency
AI-powered media attribution tools are changing how we measure and optimize media ROI. These tools provide a clear, accurate picture of campaign effectiveness across different channels. In fact, we use the Mod Op Media Attribution Engine to guide our clients through a maze of publishing platforms. It’s a standout tool that simplifies a complex space.
AI attribution tools process vast amounts of data from multiple sources, providing a full view of the customer journey. This shows marketers which channels and strategies are driving conversions. The Mod Op Media Attribution Engine is a perfect example—it lets our clients see the real impact of their marketing across many platforms. This means we can make smarter decisions about where to invest our marketing dollars.
These AI tools are real time-savers. They automate data collection and analysis, freeing up marketers to focus on developing and executing strategies. Plus, with automation, we reduce the likelihood of human error, which means we can trust our data more when making big decisions.
Technology is rapidly reshaping the way we work and live. Staying on top of it is no longer an advantage—it’s a necessity. Pay attention to the technology, trends, and ideas shaping the future of our industry and leverage them in your future marketing strategies and initiatives.
About The Author
Jonathan Verk has been building companies and brands in entertainment, advertising, tech, and media for over 25 years. He was named the Executive Vice President of Growth and Business Innovation at Mod Op following the acquisition of CreativeDepartment in 2023. After the sale of an early AI ‘telehealth for divorce’ app in 2021, he launched CreativeDepartmint to help Fortune 500 companies navigate and leverage Web3. CreativeDepartmint helped clients such as Warner Brothers, CBS, Fox/Blockchain, Creative Labs, and Boston Pizza drive over $10M in revenue launching NFTs, metaverse activations, and Blockchain games.