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When one imagines the scene at a top-tier marketing event, the sun-soaked French Riviera may spring to mind sooner than Las Vegas in January.
But at this year’s CES, which will attract an estimated 100,000+ attendees, quite a few exhibitors and attendees are central to making the marketing and media world go ’round: Amazon and Google, NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. Discovery, Snap and TikTok. Even Netflix, which in November debuted an ad-supported tier, has a presence here. It makes sense: CES serves as the unofficial beginning of upfronts planning and dealmaking.
First things first: What do people do at events like this? Brad Simms, CEO and president of the agency Gale, considers the conference an opportunity to set the agenda for the rest of the year.
- “This is an opportunity for us to talk to media agencies, technology platforms, clients, and really listen [to] what they have prioritized, where they think things are going, what they view as important,” he told us.
- He said that means asking questions like: What’s on your priority list? and what are the two or three things you want to accomplish in 2023?
One big thing on marketers’ minds? The all-but-certain recession looming over the industry is expected to hit marketing budgets hard.
- “You have to optimize,” Don McGuire, svp and CMO of Qualcomm, said during an onstage conversation Wednesday. “We have to start thinking differently about how we can still accomplish our goals…but we also have to do it smarter and more efficiently because our budgets are being challenged.”
Some other interesting developments so far:
I’ll be here all day, so if there’s something interesting on the ground I should check out, or if you want to meet up, shoot me a note.—KS