The Consumer Electronics Show is a monstrosity. 150,000+ attendees. Three giant show halls. And backpacks. Lots of backpacks.


While most of the show’s focus was rightfully on the newest and most innovative technologies (see: wearables, robots, 3D printing), the action happening upstairs in the educational tracks wowed marketers even more than a self-balancing electric skateboard.

There are certainly more than just three major takeaways from the outpouring of knowledge over five days, but here’s a quick summary of some of the more compelling tips and statistics I took away from CES:

1. How Marketers Win
Marketers have an awful hard time sleeping at night these days. The noise level has risen, real-time marketing is now expected all the time and everyone is doing more with less. Here are five quick changes organizations can make to ensure they’re winning with all audiences (courtesy of 20|20 Research ):
• Lead by example
• Inspire and empower your teams instead of holding onto too much control
• Engage the entire organization
• Ensure brand consistency
• Build marketing capabilities

2. Big Data vs. Market Insights
Many companies are realizing just how important data is to creating measureable objectives that tie back to business goals and ultimately selling more stuff. But Adobe took a fresh approach to ensuring it was pulling only quality data and finding a single source of truth it could take action on.

First, Adobe stopped focusing on big data and moved efforts into market insights. This shift from data mining to insights optimization has allowed it to answer “So what?” and take action. Next, the company created a single, standardized metrics dashboard that integrates marketing and business KPIs for a true measurement of success. And finally, Adobe started to adding mathematicians and analysts to its marketing team for a smart new way to tackle analytics.

3. Second Screen Becomes First Screen
Marketers love talking about the second screen – the secondary device used to enrich the TV-viewing experience. Some viewers (42%) engage in synchronous activity (simultaneously using a second device while watching), while others (91%) are asynchronous, reaching for a second device before or after a show.

NAPTE recently conducted a study that uncovered fascinating information about second screen viewing. Here are just a few of the many findings:
• 71% of second screen activity is spent checking emails, followed by show-related activity (67%) and generally surfing the Web (65%)
• When engaged in show-related activity, 34% are looking up actors, 32% are checking Wikipedia or IMDB and 29% are searching more for information about the show they’re watching
• Women’s second device of choice is primarily tablets, while men tend to use desktops

What were your favorite marketing highlights from CES 2014?