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2 Important B2B Lessons from #CES2014

The marketing industry may have Dreamforce, but when it comes to the latest in tech, CES is where it’s at. This week, more than 150,000 people descended upon Las Vegas to absorb and unveil the latest in consumer technologies, which ranged from drones and bracelets that detect sun exposure to 100-inch bendable TVs. And while CES typically revolves around the flashy wares that have come to glorify the B2C industry, B2B isn’t that far behind — especially when it comes to the latest marketing technologies.

“The Internet of Things”

If you were at Dreamforce or Connections 2013, then you probably heard the “internet of things” mentioned more times than you could count. Unsurprisingly, this was a popular theme at CES 2014 as well. While the trade show often showcases physical technologies like giant televisions and high-tech watches, there was no escaping that the internet is what offers the ultimate in connectivity — a fact that apps, web services, and B2B companies have been embracing for years.

Web services may have been making use of personal data for a while now, but that trend is only just beginning to make its way into physical hardwares, gadgets, and appliances in a useful manner, known as connected gear. You may have noticed this with the latest state-of-the-art cars and household appliances, both of which have been designed to bring you more power, but with greater simplicity.

Sound familiar? This connectivity is nothing new to those in the B2B and technology industries, who are used to working with cloud-based applications and integrated mobile technologies like Salesforce1. Even marketing technologies like marketing automation have their place in the “internet of things,” due to their ability to collect, execute, and personalize based on unbelievable amounts of data — in real time.

The Time for Real-Time

Not only was the “Internet of Things” emphasized at CES, but also the benefits of real-time data (the two tend to go hand-in-hand). Having the ability to execute and personalize buyer and consumer experiences based on real-time data is what sets today’s all-star technologies apart from the pack. To those using marketing automation, this should be nothing new. With automation at your disposal, you’re constantly collecting data on your prospects in real time (think of automation like the Parrot MiniDrone unveiled at CES, deployed by marketers to gather information about their hot prospects), which you can use to tailor your marketing messages and sales pitches. The level of personalization you can achieve with real-time data is unrivaled, and will only get better from here.

With CES 2014 now disappearing into our rearview mirrors, and some of the world’s greatest technologies now officially unveiled for the world to see, it’s getting easier and easier to believe that the future is finally here.