Digiday: 'A secondary agenda': What media companies and marketers really do at CES

By Sahil Patel, Digiday

“You can’t roll into CES and do it haphazardly and think that random conversations you have in a hotel lobby or casino floor is going to result in something that’s going to change the way you market for your clients,” said Cindy Gustafson, chief strategy officer for North America at Mindshare.

Mindshare, which is hosting more than 60 clients at CES this year, uses the conference to set the agenda for the coming year. At last year’s event, for instance, the agency decided that audio needed to be a critical part of clients’ marketing strategies for the coming year. With products like Amazon’s Echo making it easier for advertisers to interact with consumers — “when you can order anything just by speaking,” according to Gustafson — Mindshare made a major commitment for all clients to develop a “voice communications” strategy.

The agency also isn’t ignoring the show floor. While Mindshare will spend Wednesday and Thursday hosting private meetings between clients and media and tech companies — including a lunch with Amazon focused on commerce — the agency has also scheduled show-floor tours with CNET, Engadget, NBC and other publishers.

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