CES 2020 with David Paull (S1-E027-02)

Written by PortMA

CES 2020 with David Paull (S1-E027-02)

Part One of this blog highlighted some of the most exciting consumer technologies being developed right now. In Part Two, we examine what it all means for experiential marketers looking to maximize event impressions and deliver unparalleled ROI. Spoiler alert – taking a leaf out of the book of consumer technology may mean removing the numbers from the process.

We sat down with David Paull – founder of Dialsmith, Lillian Labs, and Engagious – at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2020 to discuss the changes in consumer behavior. If you missed Part One, you can find it here.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Successful Products Solve Problems

All product design starts with a problem that needs a solution. As market researchers, we identify those problems and then look to engineers and creatives to solve them for the consumer. With the solution ready to be launched or already in the market, research moves on to analyzing the product’s use. How do consumers interact with it? What features do they like and which features are not being used?

Traditionally, those would be questions for observers or focus groups. Today, much of this data can be gathered in real-time, using apps connected to the product (check out part 2 of our last blog for an example) [please link to the previous blog]. This development makes market research faster and much more cost-efficient, but it doesn’t tell researchers why consumers act the way they do.

(You can listen to the full episode of the podcast below.)

Numbers Don’t Change Consumer Behaviors

Apps can gather all kinds of data, but researchers still need in-depth interviews to understand the reasons driving customer behavior. And one of the most interesting outcomes of those interviews has been this:

It’s not numbers or facts that are driving changes in consumer behavior. It’s emotions. People change behaviors because of how they feel.

Anthropomorphizing products or the feedback products give their users creates a simple, quick, subtle dynamic of validation. That’s an important takeaway for experiential marketing professionals. Rather than focusing on the features of a product emphasize how a specific product can make users feel. This emotional response is the real driver of behavioral change, such as buying a new product.

The features of the product may be what people value, but the way they feel when using the product is the driver behind their purchase decision. Any experiential marketer looking to integrate technology into their campaigns and activations would do well to remember the importance of emotions.

Never Underestimate Emotions

Emotions will help you create those all-important connections between your brand and your customers. In order for people to do things differently, such as buy a new product rather than the equivalent they have always used, the new option has got to be easy, cool, and fun.

To create successful events that drive conversions and deliver outstanding ROI, it’s not enough to focus on the features of a product or a service. You have to show consumers how using a product will make them feel. It’s the only way to drive a behavior change.

David Paull is the founder of Dialsmith, Lillian Labs, and Engagious. For more information, visit David’s LinkedIn profile here or visit davidpaull.com.

Additional Resources


  • Experiential Measurement Blueprint
  • Event Impression Calculator
  • Experiential ROI Benchmarking Reports
  • Event Measurement Video Tutorials
Click for Additional Resources