More than 30,000 people converged on Austin, Texas for the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conference. In its 5th year, SXSW Interactive attracts global leaders in digital/social marketing, entrepreneurship and emerging technology. The key themes and trends at SXSW serve as poignant indicators of what’s important now and into the future. Here are the top ten takeaways:
Top 10 List
- Hardware is Hardcore: the divide between digital and reality is disappearing with the introduction of technology that enhances user experience by integrating with natural human behavior.
- The Best UI is no UI: Humans as the New Interface: the future of design and interaction will not take place on screens, but with the human body itself.
- Big Data and Social Media: Unlocking Social Media ROI? With Big Data, brands can monitor social (and shopper) behavior on a level that will allow them to segment individual consumers with personal and relevant messaging.
- Marketing in the NOW Real-Time Marketing allows brands to reach the right audience at the right time with the right message. Agility and timing is key. A framework to achieve this must be organizationally driven.
- Mobile means Mobility: Shifting Consumer/Shopper Landscape Mobile experience must enhance current behavior or disrupt that behavior enough that it changes behavior itself.
- Brands as Media Empires: Growing Importance of Content Strategy The number of messaging channels will only grow, so brands must create a strategic framework to develop quality content that shines in each of the consumer touch points. The challenges of these channels will continue to evolve as consumers will spend less time seeking out content, but rather they will expect it to follow them. Extreme personalization combined with sophisticated filtering will empower people to have more granular control over the kind and mount of marketing messages they want.
- Creating Meaningful Interactions: Brands at SXSW Whether they surprise and delight, or connect on an emotional level, meaningful one-on-one brand-customer interactions ruled the day at SXSW.
- Cats Still Rule the Web (and the world?): Memes at SXSW Celebrities like Shaq, Al Gore, Rachel Maddow and Mayor Cory Booker were definitely popular, but one of the most popular celebrity wasn’t human…viral star Grumpy Cat drew lines around the block!
- Wearable Tech: The Future Wearable tech gives marketer’s a fertile ground to create new integrated experiences in food and drink discovery and trial. Consider matching brands with active/sports technology companies and gaming platforms to secure critical product placement mentions. Example: when a wearable device detects the need for nutritional supplements, sports drinks or nutritional bars.
- 3-D Printing a Realer Reality? 3-D printing continues to mature and moves closer and closer to becoming a reality