Looking into a CE Marketer’s Crystal Ball
I’ve been in the consumer electronics (CE) industry since 1989. For me to pontificate about the benefits of selling accessories and attachments for host devices such as smartphones, tablets and TVs, or communicate the ecosystem for home automation, feels a bit like “preaching to the choir.”
I first joined the industry during the launch of Philips’ CD-i format and, as a member of a marketing agency, our task was to create a way to provide visibility to retail products. At the time, most of my experience was in packaged goods, so entering into the CE world was an eye-opener. The CD-i format, which launched in 1991, proved to be a commercial failure regardless of how many retailer sales training and direct-to-consumer product demonstrations we conducted. However, what I took from that experience was a lifelong fascination for new tech products, how they are perceived, and how they enter into mainstream usage.
Today’s Sales Opportunities in Retail
As a marketer, I’m intrigued by the nature of consumer perceptions and product adoption. Today’s Internet of Things offers a myriad of choices, and I feel as though we’re finally on the cusp of making many science fiction-esque technologies a reality. In an effort to understand if the future of the industry is really “now,” I asked my entrepreneur friends to comment on product categories that I believe are today’s sales opportunities in retail. Surprisingly, their answers seem to mirror the reactions of most American consumers.