Tabletpalooza or Just Loozas?

This week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was billed as an introduction of new products. But what’s really new? And — more importantly — what really matters? With more than 80 tablets introduced in Las Vegas, some called it atabletpalooza. However, many of the products are destined to be loozas(losers). This should be a warning to marketers that have been (in my opinion) ill-advised to spend their time and resources trying to reach consumers (and engage with them) via these second, third and fourth-tier tablets devices. More than 100,000 people made their way to CES, a trade show that provides a platform for thousands of manufacturers to bring their products to the world stage. You could say that the attendance signals an improved economy and increased business confidence. Or you might also conclude it shows a little foolishness on the part of companies who jockeyed for our attention by showing off products that were little more than tweaks on what was previously shown. In any case, the progressive companies were able to have their day in the sun (figuratively that is since it actually snowed in Las Vegas). Others, such as Intel, were deemed to be behind the times. (In other words, loozas). It used to be hard to drive headlines during busy trade shows like CES. Today, in the Twitter era of instant and often communications, it has become nearly impossible. In fact it could all just be too much of a good thing. It’s conceivable that wireless products shown in Las Vegas that fail to get the attention of the press/blogosphere will matter to marketers down the road. And keep in mind that still more products will be introduced next month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.  What we hope to see in Barcelona is a CATEGORY breakthrough, not just so-called enhancements to existing product lines within existing categories. The tablet device was a game-changer and marketers have had to get smart fast as they consider the product for their marketing mix. But they are fast on their feet. I’m still waiting for the next something that really changes the marketer’s world and transforms the messages we deliver. More from my weekly column.