CES 2020 Is A Wrap. What Does It All Mean?


Another CES visit is in the books…now what did we learn?

First of all, let me add some Thank You’s and acknowledgments that don’t get buried within the headlines. Thanks to Fred and Paul Jacobs and Erica Farber for inviting me to their tremendous industry event that brought leaders of broadcasting together to celebrate CES, along with insights from Ben Arnold of the NPD Group.

Also, it’s always fantastic and inspiring to hang with Steve Goldstein from Amplifi Media, walking the floor and learning from the event.

Lastly, it’s always tremendous when some newbies hit the scene like my old boss Peter Smyth and dear friend Jim Ryan from Entercom. Love that new energy they take from the event!

So what energy and insight did I take away?

Customer Service and Customer Experience

The critical importance of understanding and maximizing customer service and the customer experience is a loud priority that rings true after attending CES 2020. I firmly believe after attending the event that this continues to be one of the major opportunities for improvement that any organization can make within their infrastructure.

When I see great execution in real time I notice it quicker, and when I see a flaw in the process I also am more aware as well. At Shelly Palmer’s Innovation Summit, Grace Dolan from Samsung said it so simply: “we need to be obsessed with pleasing our customers.”

Delta Airlines was an exhibitor for the first time and Fred Jacobs predicted that much like when Ford first started the automotive showcasing years ago, we will see other airlines follow suit at CES shows of the future. Delta is also obsessed with customer experience excellence and their CES showcasing reminds us that the pursuit of customer service should never end.

The Delta PR elevator pitch is beautiful: “We know delays are often unavoidable but in the future we’d like to cancel cancellations.” It reminded me of my old boss Mel Karmazin who famously said, when the economy took a recession downturn, “I’m not participating in the recession.”

Delta along with other brands uses the philosophy of finding “customer pain points” and using the problem-solving process to improve the customer experience every step of the way. It sounds simple but quite obviously it’s not.

American Express was a presenter at the excellent Voice Summit, and their current roadmap with Google Assistant is all about a seamless user experience with the aid of voice.

We need to keep raising the customer experience bar to stand out from every form of competition.

Marketing Differentiation

After attending CES this year I’m reminded of the importance of marketing differentiation.

The importance of standing out and being noticed is more critical than ever. Great brands want to continue to stand out in a crowded marketplace, and the point of difference they is crucial.

Buzz Knight is the CEO of Buzz Knight Media and can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]


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