Strategic advisory and business development firm MediaLink is heading to CES 2017 to expose its clients—a mix of Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Madison Avenue and Wall Street—to “immersion and experiences in terms of sensations in marketing,” according to President and COO Wenda Harris Millard.
If that’s not enough, there also will be disruption, the kind that is sweeping the video and television business and which MediaLink Chairman and CEO Michael Kassan will discuss on stage with media executive Barry Diller.
“We will have many other programs that focus on sensation,” Millard says in an interview with Beet.tv. “Lots of client meetings, lots of panels and our own immersive experiences.”
Among other challenges, MediaLink clients are “trying to get their arms around” the ever-changing video sector, according to Millard.
“It does seem very overwhelming with all the opportunities, but they are opportunities and markers are decidedly interested in being where their audiences are,” says Millard. “It’s almost an imperative for them to play in this new video environment and to figure out what works for them.”
Experiences and sensations involving virtual and augmented reality will be a particular focus at CES, even though “only a small sliver” of consumers has been exposed to these technologies, according to Millard.
“Like many things in this world, the East Coast and West Coast have a little bit of a lead in terms of what’s new,” says Millard. “I think the rest of the country in this particular case is probably not very up to speed on VR or AR.”
Nonetheless, she thinks it’s important for marketers to understand such emerging technologies.
“I think CES at large is a great opportunity for us not to necessarily focus on the technology itself buy the change in consumer behavior that’s facilitated by technology,” Millard adds. “And then look at the implications for our business and the potential applications.”
With virtual reality alone Millard sees “quite extraordinary” opportunities, citing sectors like education, health and entertainment.
“Exactly what that is and how we reach the mass audiences that so many marketers need, that’s all to come,” she says.
This interview is part of our series “The Road to CES,” a lead-up series in advance of CES 2017. The series is presented by FreeWheel. Please find more videos from the series here.