||What CES Means to Radio Salespeople and Managers
There has been plenty of coverage of the 2012 International CES. The new product announcements, celebrity appearances, and awards for "Best in the World" at the Consumer Electronics Show captured the attention of consumers.
There were three important aspects salespeople and managers can learn from the recent Show.
New Devices Mean New Ad Products
- New innovations in devices and connectivity change the nature of the advertising products you sell.
- Marketers and advertisers are looking for new ways to reach customers.
- Digital gadgets can help you do your job better.
In only five years of existence, think what the iPhone has done to make mobile a viable advertising medium.
Technological innovations are creating new content platforms that open up new marketing and advertising opportunities. Each of these new opportunities changes the landscape for all existing media.
Many stations are embracing the new advertising platforms and from what we saw at CES, we need to be ready to develop and sell even more media...and quickly.
Everywhere you turned at CES you saw accessories for iPhones and iPads: phone and tablet covers, keyboards, car mounts, desk stands, floor stands, wall mounts, cup holders, kiosk display mounts, HDMI docks, and video projectors. There were robots, large and small, with iPhone docks to control the robot, play your music library or stream, and snap photos. There were iPhone and iPad connections to exercise equipment, medical equipment, gaming consoles, easy chairs, cameras, camera lenses, tripods, and movie making equipment.
Of most interest to us in radio, there was a preponderance of audio systems for home, car and on-the-go with digital connections.
The latest audio systems are including iPod/iPhone/iPad connections, Bluetooth connectivity, Ethernet, Internet-only radio streaming, Cloud streaming, satellite, and USB. The new devices sometimes include an FM tuner. Almost none include AM. To find a radio with an AM tuner, you had to look to old U.S. companies like RCA, Sylvania or Phillips. Radio's efforts to move more toward digital must accelerate from the look of the future audio devices that will be available.
There were some bright spots for radio. Blackberry announced it has an FM chip in two smartphones, and Nokia, using the Windows operating system in its mobile phones, is including an FM receiver. Our challenges will be to get the listener to listen to our stations amidst the many audio choices, and to create an advertising product that takes advantage of the audio, video, visual, and connected capability of mobile phones and other devices.
Connectivity Changes Everything
Connectivity was a central theme throughout many of the keynotes and presentations. Devices are coming together in two ways: 1) A convergence of technology, like in a Smart TV where you can watch broadcast TV, cable, DVR, satellite, NetFlix, YouTube, or any other Internet video; and 2) Mobile capability over cellular to connect almost anything, anywhere.
Cellular networks are rapidly expanding. All major cellular companies had a strong presence at CES. The CEOs of AT&T and Verizon participated in keynote presentations. With 3G and now 4G connectivity available in smaller and smaller cellular chipsets, almost anything can be connected to the Internet. Beyond the obvious mobile phones and tablets, we saw examples of connected automobiles, cameras, home security systems, medical devices, refrigerators, washer/dryers, shopping list tablets, furnaces, and dozens of commercial applications for everything from trucking and inventory control to stand-alone kiosks and Digital Out of Home (DOOH) advertising displays.
Qualcomm, the world's largest provider of wireless chipset and software technology, showed its new Snapdragon processor. It is designed for better battery life, faster processing speed, enhanced multi-media experiences (including 3D video), and multi-tasking of phone, texting, streaming, and other apps. This new wave of processors will open up more mobile devices.
Advertising sales opportunities will expand. You can take part by using the creative abilities that have driven radio over the years.
Marketers Are Looking For the Next Opportunities
CES attracts CEOs, CMOs, brand managers, and advertisers. They are looking for what could be the next breakthrough media for them to deliver their messages to consumers. Some of the top brands in the world spent time at the Show: Unilever, Ford, Coca-Cola, Walmart, Procter & Gamble, Sony, Microsoft, Hyundai, AT&T. In total, CES estimated 500 marketing and advertising executives attended. More than 5,000 attendees listed "advertising and marketing" in their registration information according to Ad Age.
Few marketers attended the Show until recently. Now they are not only looking for what is next, but they are using CES as an opportunity to meet with some of what are quickly becoming "traditional" media: Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and AOL.
Digital Gadgets with a Salesperson In Mind
Cell phones, voicemail, and email changed the way salespeople operate. The newest wave of gadgets like smartphones, tablets, and ultra light laptops bring more change.
These mobile devices allow us to make more impactful presentations, keep CRM tools at hand wherever we are, and stay in touch with clients and the office.
The number of iPhone and iPad accessories at CES was staggering. Portable power packs are extending the up-time of any device when away from electricity. Bluetooth keyboards are making data entry into phones and tablets easier.
Laptops are coming that have two displays in the lid, one facing each direction so you and your client can both see a screen. Portable video projectors, battery-powered and small enough to fit in your shirt pocket, can display your presentation from an iPhone, iPad, laptop, Android phone, and even an SD card.
Portable amplified speakers can play audio of your station demo or a spec spot from your mobile phone or tablet...and again are small enough to carry in your pocket. Many have power enough to fill a client's office with quality sound.
Digital salespeople use electronic devices to demonstrate their advertising products during client presentations. Advertising agencies and clients have come to expect presentations that show the advertising product. Bringing in a paper presentation is not enough. Create a custom PowerPoint presentation, include audio and video, include photo images of your station events, and use a live demonstration of your website with WiFi or cellular connections in your laptop or tablet. CES clearly pointed out the tools that are available to you.
My Personal Shopping List from CES
It is a good thing exhibitors are not permitted to sell at the show. I could have spent thousands of dollars. But as time passes and I become more rational, there are still several new gadgets I intend to purchase.
WOWee Pocket-Sized Wireless Speaker -- It uses Bluetooth technology to allow connection with smartphones, tablets and laptops. Audio quality is excellent and the gel bottom temporarily adheres to any flat surface for a louder listening experience. It has a built-in mic for hands-free applications and 40Hz to 20k Hz bass sound range. It weighs under 5 ounces. The internal battery provides up to 10 hours of play-time. It can be recharged using a standard USB cable. The WOWee One Pro will retail for $149.99 and is scheduled to be available in stores and online in late March 2012.
Zaggkeys FLEX -- This is a thin, lightweight, and compact portable tablet keyboard. It comes with a cover that coverts into a stand to prop up any tablet or smartphone. Street price is $80.
3M Pocket Projector MP180 -- This small, battery-powered projector was designed with the on-the-go professional in mind. You can truly leave the laptop at home with this portable office, which allows you to share Power Point presentations, files, photos, and MS-Office files including Word documents and XLS spreadsheets. With a full, two-hour battery life at 30 lumens, full-color gamut and SVGA resolution, the 3M Pocket Projector MP180 produces a sharp, vivid display and battery length to get you through any presentation. New features include wireless and Bluetooth compatibility, making it easy to transfer files from laptop or PDF or stream content from the Internet. The Pocket Projector MP180 has 4GB of built-in memory, as well as a micro SD card for additional storage. Street price $400.
(Source: John Potter, VP/Training, RAB)
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