Moms & Tech: Takeaways From CES 2012by Sandy Abrams
I have wanted to attend CES (Consumer Electronics Show) for a few years now since tech plays such a big part in my life, but the show is traditionally only for people inside the tech world. Luckily, I was asked to help to do some research for McCann Worldgroup's panel on Mom Bloggers Connecting with Brands. This opportunity allowed me the coveted badge to attend.
While I enjoyed walking the immense and chaotic show floor of exhibitors, I spent most of my day listening to the panels at Mommy Tech Summit. As I've said before, tech is amazing for networking and connecting with new people via Twitter and FB, but nothing is like the true conversation that happens IRL (in real life). That's why I'm a trade show junkie - I love the real connection you can make with brands and the people behind them. I adore tech but at the end of the day, I'm a "people person."
Mommy Tech Summit was a nice little section within CES and it was exactly where I wanted to be. I listened to several panels and here is what was discussed...
1. Moms rely heavily on our friends both online and off for recommendations. We trust both equally. We have built communities online whose opinions we truly value. Word of mouth from friends and social media groups trumps a brands advertisement or testimonials. We want to hear from someone in our circle that something is good and will add value to our lives.
2. Brands are listening and paying close attention to moms. They are seeking them out online and finding new ways to have them participate in product reviews, therefore getting exposure via these "Influencers." Brands are very active on social media platforms and are aware of the powerful engagement taking place.
3. We get our expert advice from our girlfriends. We all have a few girlfriends who are super "in-the-know," and we tend to turn to them for expert advice. These influencer types are known as "Mavens" to the brands. We have friends that love to chat it up about medical issues, fashion and lifestyle topics, academics etc. The mavens within these categories usually have blogs. That's what makes them "mavens." Just like back in school, they are the "popular" girls who made themselves "experts."
4. Moms rely on tech heavily to make life more efficient. Apps are popular if they help us save time and help organize some facet of our lives.
5. It's important to set limits on our tech use. Technology can also get in the way of being present at home and can intrude on quality time if we let it. Personally, I try really hard not to be texting and checking e-mail if I'm with my kids. Thanks to technology, I can be back in touch online very quickly, but cannot make up for lost time with my kids.
PS: Great product ideas that I saw on the show floor for moms:
- iPad holders to slip the iPad into when your kids are playing on them, so they don't break or drop them. Think beach ball with a hole in it for the iPad!
- Cool and cute pedometers (think Jibbitz) for kids to put on their sneakers to engage kids who need to be more active.
- In the future, there will be protection for cell phones to be waterproof, hurry up, please!
- Cool watch bands for iPod nanos to slip into (I had bought my son an iWatch for Hanukkah).
Here's to next year at CES!