Tenor conducted a media analysis of International CES 2014 to find the best PR and Marketing strategies for startups attending the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas in 2015. We’ve summarized a bit of our research in to which brands earned the most media coverage, which journalists published the greatest number of articles and which media brands covered CES most extensively.
Middle tier tech bloggers wrote the highest quantity of articles with writers like Julia Sugawara posting 52 stories for I4U News and Brian Heater at Digital Trends logging 50 total articles.
Top tier tech bloggers like Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat and Tyler Lee of Ubergizmo publish around two dozen articles during the event. A surprise from the Top tier national media, Jon Erlichman of Bloomberg Television is credited with 28 stories from the floor of the event in 2014. Go Jon!
1930 authors are credited with bylines in our research, which seems about right given the 2,500 media expected to attend. A number of those folks are support, publishing, sales or production (like camera operators).
All of this coverage is generated by a few of big tech brands that exhibit. In fact, 3% captured about 90% of all the brand mentions through the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas last year, 2014. A full 2/3rds of exhibitors get no press at all. None. In 2015, we expect that same outcome – with big brands getting the benefit of 29 private press events on Monday, January 6th, 2015 – one day before the event official opens.
Last year the top ten brand getting press were: Samsung, Intel, Sony, Google, Apple, LG, Microsoft, NVIDIA, AT&T and Qualcomm. Apple never goes to CES, but they always place in the top ten. Well, ever since 2007, when they launched the iPhone in Cupertino while CES was taking place. (Believe me, we’ve got the battle scars to prove it).
If you’re a startup marketer and thinking about PR at CES, it’s got to be daunting prospect. Consider that even the big brands get overshadowed by the biggest: Samsung at #1 had 10x the mentions as HTC at #28. The top ten brands had 43 percent of mindshare (brand mentions) and the top 50 had 75 percent of mindshare; The top 100 grabbed 88 percent.
But there is hope. In our analysis, we found that if a startup or smaller technology company wants to meet and talk to media at CES, the pre-show event, CES Unveiled is your best pre-packaged option.
With only 100 companies exhibiting the press to brand ratio is very good. While press coverage is not guaranteed the event provides a good chance of standing out from the big brands which collectively benefit from 29 press events on Monday, the day before CES 2015 officially opens. And since CES 2015 is produced by the Consumer Electronics Association and CES Unveiled is produced by the very same group, media attendance is quite strong.
We don’t have a count on the number of journos at CES Unveiled but it’s usually pretty packed. I’d expect several hundred. Back-of-the-napkin that makes for a 3:1 ratio media to brand at CES Unveiled versus 1:1.5 ratio at CES itself. Complicate that by about 100,000 people milling about and that makes the main showfloor a tough sell for any startup.
So, CES Unveiled passes our test for acceptable Startup marketing at the world’s largest consumer electronics event. Here’s a few tips and tricks to earn your share of voice.
1. Vote, don’t promote. Help media learn what’s interesting and valuable about everything they write, not the stuff that’s focused on your product segment, market or competitors. If you’re a game developer, comment on bookshelf speakers (you listen to music too don’t you?). Share your enthusiasm for the whole world of CE – that’s why so many of these reporters are at CES.
2. Stalk and talk. Settle on a few media you like before the event. Follow everything they create and share on social media, promote what you like and add opinion and insight where appropriate. Then try like hell to find them at the event itself and connect. Being a constant positive voice in their social stream is likely to help frazzled reporters recall your name and your product.
3. Booth Duty: If it’s busy be blunt. When press come to your booth ask them what they write about and if they are interested in hearing about YOUR GREAT PRODUCT! If they do, tell them your story. If you don’t make a quick connection, don’t waste your time or theirs with the hard sell. If the floor is slow you can spend more time trying to earn their interest or discovering the bigger trends they are writing about.