#1 | Brands need to keep an agile mindset
There’s a major disconnect between the planning period and media consumption. Even the SXSW festival is guilty of this as session and speaker applications need to be submitted a year in advance. It’s just too slow for real time consumption.
A great example of staying agile took place in Austin at the start of the interactive conference. Kraft capitalized on the unpleasant weather forecast by flying in umbrellas overnight with the lsogan “KEEP YOUR NOODLE DRY”. In order to get an umbrella folks had to tweet a picture of themselves and their new umbrella.
Leave some room in the budget and strategy to go off script down the road. You can’t prepare for the weather 6 months from now.
#2 | With this brand, I thee wed
Want customers for life? They you need to build a long term relationship with them just as your would with a marriage. This includes seeing life from your “partners” perspective and asking questions like: What will you know about me? Will you apply that knowledge in useful ways? What would life be like without you?
Chevy was a good example of this at SXSW. They parked new cars outside the Austin Convention Center and offered free rides to different session locations. A simple way to connect with customers and fill their needs at the given moment.
#3 | Most successful brands are like rappers
Rappers are fearless when it comes to marketing. One thing they have in common is staying legit to their audience while evolving all the time. They define an attitude and stick to it,
leveraging that attitude down the line.
Jay-Z is a perfect example of a hustler persona who has reinvented himself while staying legit to his fan base. He’s still a hustler, just a hustler of business.
During SXSW, American Express sponsored a Jay-Z concert. The show was free to card holders. They were able to use the star power of Jay-Z and his social media presence to greatly expand the campaign’s reach.
#4 | Mobile app + 30 days of use = SUCCESS
A lot of apps were showing their stuff at SXSW. It’s hard to stick out in the sea of apps. Once a user downloads it, how can you be sure it’s useful and engaging so that it sticks around for the next update.
Keeping it social is the key. And not just on Facebook. In some cases, people don’t want to post personal information like weight loss stats and fitness goals. Try creating smaller trusted communities to increase participation level.
Make it easy for the user. Integrate the app across variety of platforms so that it’s easy to switch between devices. If it’s too much work, chances are the app won’t make it passed the first day.
#5 | Everyone wants healthcare to be social
When it comes to social media in the healthcare space, a crazy gap exists between what makes sense and what can really happen between the three major parties: Docotors, Patients and Insurers.
Let’s say you’re a new parent and you’re curious if your baby is sleeping the right amount of hours. Doesn’t it make sense to be able to email your doctor for a quick response, versus scheduling an appointment.
From the doctor’s POV, this is easy, yet she or he doesn’t get reimbursed for this type of care. The insurer agrees, yet how do they quantify this type of care.
Social media plays a role in all aspects of our lives, but lags behind in an area that’s so critical to our wellbeing.
#6 | B2B is human, too
Social media has the power to drive innovation, sales and success in the B2B realm just as much as it does in any other industry. Using the right tools can help B2B interactions feel more human and consumable.
Some unique ideas that came from a panel were around using Facebook or Open ID for B2B Website Login. This is a no-brainer for consumer facing sites but in the B2B world it can help show a direct connection to sales.
#7 | Interruptive media VS. On-Demand media
“It’s not about creating digital work. It’s about creating work for a digital world.” This means stop repurposing a TV ad in the digital space. Ads aren’t shareable. We have force ourself to
constantly create social objects that can be shared.
Seth McFaralne was interivewed at SXSW about Family Guy and all the other venues he’s playing in right now (created the movie Ted and an old-standards album). Much like the rapper brands, Family Guy stays relevant by using referrnces from pop culture, forming partnerships (think Wheat Thins and Star Wars) that become objects worth sharing. They arent just putting something out there, they are inspring stories.
#8 | You’re only as good as your audience’s experience
There was a ton of buzz about the Samsung Twitter Art House. It was billed as an “interactive experience at the intersection of art, technology and social media,” Sounds fancy right?
This gallery was impossible to get access to for the first few days. And when we finally did get it, nothing worked.
You can have the coolest brand experience with all the bells and whistles, but what does it matter if your customer can’t connect to it?
#9 | Passion for beauty
Bruce Sterling, sci-fi author and futurist, gives the closing keynote at SXSW intercative every year. He’s observed a generation of festivals now and remarked at how better dressed we all are compared to 20 years ago.
“We’re actually dressing to live up to the design standard of the digital world we engage in.” The devices we use and the applications we use everyday have all been designed with an aesthetic in mind that has an affect on the real world.
Pinterrest was a hot topic at SXSW this year and a good example of our cultural obsession with beauty. As a society, we’re better at knowing “what looks good”. And we’re confident enough to label it as part of your own aesthetic.
#10 | There’s nothing social about Highlight
If there was one app we NEEDED to download before heading to Austin, it was Highlight. It would help us find other highlight users nearby who we’re connected with through our likes or friends on Facebook.
Other than being a massive battery suck, this social app turned out to be not so social in the real world. What could be more awkward than approaching a stranger and saying something like, “Hi, I’m on Highlight and we both “Like” ESPN.”
While the technology has the ability to provide a lot of data, it lacks the charm and engagement to make it a hit.