What Advertisers Should Learn from Consumer Tech at CES 2017

Written by Tim Edmundson

More data! More transparency! Sounds a lot like the current mood in digital advertising, right? The same can be said about the latest and greatest consumer technology on display at CES this year in Las Vegas. As the world becomes more digital, the Internet of Things has taken hold, and everything from wristbands to houses are tracking, collecting, and reporting info to users.

There’s no doubt everyday life of the future will be driven by data, and the same is true of digital advertising. While there are some who still believe in only providing “key metrics” when it comes to reporting in ad tech, the fact is that marketers consider more metrics to be critical than ever before. The lessons and key benefits for consumer technology are the same for adtech – more data means better informed decisions.


It’s hard to argue that wearable tech has revolutionized personal fitness. With a quick glance to your wristband activity tracker, you can measure how many steps you’ve taken, how many calories you’ve burned, or even your blood alcohol level.

Cardio is a pillar of fitness, and with more data on how you’re performing, you can work to improve overall performance. Having your real-time data just a glance away makes it a lot easier to push harder to improve your mile time, or go above and beyond to burn an extra 100 calories. But consumers are not just looking for calories burned, they want to know steps taken, average pace, total miles, elevation, with charts of their progress month over month.

The same can be said of your digital campaigns’ performance – being able to see your real-time reporting is key to optimizing your performance. It tells you when to push harder, when to pull back, and where your focus should be.

Any ad tech provider you use to run your campaigns should offer you the same amount of transparency into reporting as FitBit or Nike SportWatch gives you into your physical activity. Nike+ accumulates your performance data, putting it into an intuitive dashboard that can be easily digested, and your adtech platform should do the same with your campaign performance. Data is great, but you need a strong reporting dashboard to organize it and make sense of it all – be sure your vendor provides an intuitive dashboard, or you may get lost in all that info.


Bosch is looking to personalize motorcycles, integrating them with their riders. Samsung is working to perfect the personalized television with their Smart Hub platform. Trends in consumer electronics are telling of what consumers are interested in in general, and there is a huge push for more personalization in consumer tech.

Werner Struth, board member of Robert Bosch GmBh, speaking at CES expressed the company’s interest in tech “act[ing] as partners with individuals.” Struth continued on, saying “This is why we see personalization as the next big connectivity front, and we are focusing on coming up with personal, emotional and responsible solutions.”

There’s a lesson for advertisers here. With ad blockers causing serious alarm in the industry, there’s a need for advertisers to offer real value to their customers through their ads – to “act as partners.”

By using customer and site visitor data in an intelligent way, advertisers can segment their audience and target them with creative that speaks directly to them. An ad that doesn’t connect with the person viewing it is a wasted impression, so be sure to create segments that make sense, and use your data to make better-informed decisions when it comes to your creative.

For example, create a segment for cart abandoners (shoppers who added a product to their cart but didn’t complete their purchase) and create ads that offer discounts to push them into completing the transaction. Be sure to combine engaging messaging with amazing creative to grab their attention, and ensure you have the right creative tools, like the SteelHouse Creative Suite, to get the job done right.


Digital advertisers should take a cue from consumer tech’s push towards more data, and demand transparency when it comes to performance, metrics, and reporting. When given the right information, advertisers can make better decisions. Whether it’s knowing which campaigns are performing and why, or knowing which ads to serve which audience, an advertiser armed with the right data can expect strong performance across all their campaigns.