The program was surprisingly good as I wasn’t sure what to expect. The day started with breakfast for new CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) members and I was invited as Amplified Analytics became a member in the beginning of this year. It was good to meet some new and some veteran members and conversation was pretty lively.
The first session I attended was “Five Technology Trends to Watch”. I am not sure whether there were in fact 5 technology trends discussed, but it was interesting and engaging even though 2 out of 3 panelists did not show up. Jon Healy of LA Times along with Shawn DuBravac and another CEA VP discussed trends in consolidation of customer entertainment experience and implications of these trends for environment participants. I am still trying to digest the information discussed and see if it has any implications for our business or business of our customers.
The second session was presented by Brian Wesbury, “Top Economic Forecaster” and contributor to Wall Street Journal. The man is surely entertaining, but people like that give economists a bad name IMO. I suppose he is not funny enough to make a living as a stand up comedian and training in mathematics, he eluded to, makes it difficult to gather large enough audiences. I found methodologies he seem to follow, too loose for my taste and interpretations of economic data to be be either bad or not too honest. At some point I got an urge to heckle and decided to walk away instead. Relatively large part of audience did the same, muttering something uncomplimentary under the breath.
Mike Allen, Chief Political Correspondent for Politicos.com offered his speculations for the next few years. The most interesting part for me was his observations about fragmentation of news sources and how content is disseminated by White House, political parties and businesses. All points to loss of marketing muscle by traditional media outlets. I would conjure that it translates into gain on marketing power by socially driven online outlets. This is surely not a surprise for me, but an interesting confirmation from yet another source.
Mitch Joel “blew off” the roof of the house. His presentation really rocked. Mitch is the author of “Six pixels of separation”and a very dynamic and engaging speaker. God knows there are tons of Social Media gurus making speeches on trade sponsored circuit, but there are very few who really understand the “soul” of the subject as well as Mitch. His examples were agnostic, practical and actionable, the way he answered some of the questions was very impressive. It was interesting to watch audience, that was a bit leery about subject of digital marketing, being won over and energized like that.
Throughout 3 out of 4 presentation there was an undercurrent of potential conflict between social media, digital marketing and privacy issues. This obviously hold more than casual interest for me , Amplified Analytics and many other market participants. CEA Market Research Analyst, Sean Murphy wrote a piece that is addressing this issue, and I had a private conversation with him on this subject. I also asked Mitch about his view of this potential problem. I want to address this issue in this blog later as I do some more research and I will quote the answers from Sean and Mitch at that time.
iStage presentations and competition for new products from small companies was quite interesting and while some of these products look intriguing, none of them sent me into “I want it now” frenzy.
That is my report. I am going to Amazon now to buy Mitch’s book now.