SXSW Logic - Gravity Thinking

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SXSWi14 clearly showed that Social and digital has not just grown up but it now has free will and natural autonomy – this means when using these channels brands need to be agile, innovative and never stand still. From Miley Cyrus to Oreo Cookies and Upworthy my review will show you the real gems of #Logic that I observed that can help give you the edge over your competitors.

Text of SXSW Logic - Gravity Thinking

  • 1. SXSWi truly is the Zion of the digital and social community and 2014 saw no less than 33k smart phone carrying, tweetastic, tech lovers complete a pilgrimage to the city of Austin,Texas for 4 days. I was a #SXSWnewbie wide eyed and shaking with excitement, I was ready to rock South By.Tasked with wading through the waffle and the geek speak to find actiona- ble insights that we can implement immediately to make a difference, I approached SXSW with my typical no-nonsense attitude, a pair of very comfy shoes, many battery chargers and an open mind. I knew this wasnt going to be easy to find logic amongst a tribe of magic lovers. Everyone at SXSWi was looking for and expecting the next Twitter to be revealed, but alas, it would seem that innovation has plateaued and SXSWi was much more Logical than I might have expected. So, after attending 16 sessions, I am pleased to report that #SXSWLogic was alive and well and it gives me great pleasure to share 5 of the key logic themes I came across and share some of the actionable insights and links to further reading if any of these resonate with you and your brands.
  • 2. THEME #1 SOCIAL 2.0 ITS TIME TO GROW UP & EVOLVE "I feel like we are in a Golden Age for brands, and our ability to engage with consumers on a 1 on 1 basis is unprecedented." Jason Levine,VP of Mondelez (the guys who make Oreo cookies). Almost all of the talks I went to paid some attention to stressing that marketers have to evolve their approach to the digital and social media strategies that they are implementing. We are through the looking glass and some.When it comes to using social media to connect with customers and to grow our brands, we can no longer get away with winging it.Ten years into it (and that really scared me are we really a decade in?!) we really need to start taking social seriously. The simple rules of social no longer apply we need to evolve and start thinking more innovatively in these channels and we need to invest more into doing the right thing. Here are some pointers we picked up...
  • 3. CONTENT PLAN? YES, BUT YOU NEED A SOLID MEDIA PLAN TO GET IT SEEN. Whilst its true to say that creating content is really important,and creating good content is absolutely essential,the general consensus is that we need to move on from thelets post twice a week/ask your community questions!/share some behind the scenes content/create a Facebook app that tells your brand story through gamification!.The channels have moved on,and so must we (marketers). Namely,we need to start paying for our content to be seen in social channels.It was bound to happen at some point,and so it has.The feeling across the board at SXSW was very much one ofCome on guys,lets move on and stop moaning about it. The means ensuring their media and social agencies work closely together to maximize reach,engagement and the opportunities to be seen. It was interesting to hear how few of the marketeers that I spoke to in the halls had implemented paid media plans in social,mind and you can be sure that if you arent spending on media,your competitors probably are. NO ONE IS CLICKING ON BANNER ADS ANYMORE PEOPLE. I saw the stats. Divert that media budget away from banners and into paid media in social.
  • 4. STOP BEING SO CONDESCENDING FACEBOOK *MIGHT* BE DEAD For the last 5 years, brands have been convinced that Facebook is the platform to start with and certainly the one that they have invested the most money and resource into.After all, it has over 1.2 billion users andeven your Grandma is on Facebook now! So where do we go then?The age oldIs Google+ really worth it? came up quite often too.The answer?Yes. Do G+. But interestingly, no one seemed to be able to say why, other than to note that its Google it will improve your search rank and they are unlikely to lie down and just take a whooping from Zucks forever. If brands want to future proof their social strategies, they might want to start investing in other channels. Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest were the 3 of the more established channels that seemed to be on everyones lips when it came to where we think brands should be now. Future channels talked about were places like Secret and Shrtwv (anonymous sharing communities) communi- ties that are single minded in their design and purpose but that can be used creatively by brands for short bursts of activation that create engagement. For the last 5 years, brands have let their agencies and community management teams get lazy. Southby speakers ardently championed the call for brands to stopasking for likes, demanding shares or thinking that anyone wants to like a photo of your office HQ night janitor.
  • 5. PAY ATTENTION TO MILLENIALS Southby speakers felt strongly that marketers and brands are not paying attention to the next generation when it comes to social media and shared plenty of stats showing that Facebook is not the network for Millenials but and its a big but sometimes its not the channel, its what you do with it. Additionally, if we want to capture the hearts and minds of Millenials, we need to stop looking at ourselves when defining how we engage this tricky generation. How did amateur vlogger Michelle Phan get 5 million subscribers onYouTube when global brands spending hundreds of thousands and with teams of marketeers are still struggling to get to 100k fans on Facebook?Well She creates useful, unique content. She listens to her audience and creates content for them, not content that is about her (brands really need to think more like this).
  • 6. MILEY IS THE NEW MADONNA Celebrities with large social followings were referenced quite often as examples of how to engage mass audiences focusing on their ability totalk in-time with their fans and this ability as an example to brands for how to behave. Be more like your target consumer and less like you. seems to have been a popular answer, but many brand owners in the audiences challenged this sentiment. As a great way of demonstrating how out of touch we are, it was pointed out to us that once upon a time we thought Madonna was outrageous and that she was ridiculous.And now she is the matriarch of theWesternWorld.The outtake?Watch these huge megastars like Miley Cyrus carefully and notice how they engage in social media we {brands} can learn a thing or two about how to talk to our fans from these global superstars.
  • 7. THEME #2 WERE IN A POST-PC ERA 30 years ago this year Apple introduced the Macintosh and people wondered whether every one would need a PC on day this year the same question was being asked for very different reasons. After years of analysts and observers calling for the Year of mobile it seems we have now slipped past this to what is euphemistically now being called the Post PC era. Mobile is digital now, It's the domi- nant screen, and so the assumption is that everyone will be designing for Mobile first and with the burgeoning number of different devices and types of screen cross platform development is key.
  • 8. MOBILE FIRST! REPEAT, MOBILE FIRST! Almost every speaker noted that consumers no longer use their PC to actively search your brand out and find out more about you. Just a few of the mind blowing stats, for you: Mobile devices now account for 14% of all internet use across the globe a phenomenal increase in the last year that is really worthy of our attention and our action. Mobile penetration in the Middle East is currently 172% - that doesnt even take tablets into account. M-commerce through apps is now thepreferred way to shop by 75% of under 25 year olds in the USA. 25% of mobile web users in the USA are mobile-only users they rarely ever access the internet outside of theyre day job via a desktop computer (maybe the scariest and most jaw-dropping stat I heard!) Emerging markets are often mobile only with consum- ers rarely having disposable income levels high enough to have broadband and a home PC,but mobiles are affordable and data and free wifi means the internet is more accessi- ble than ever. So why are we all designing websites about ourselves in the parameters of a desktop and then adapting it last minute for mobile? We need to pay attention, a LOT more attention, to the way consumers are using their mobiles and how smartphones are almost wearable tech themselves (never out of sight and rarely far from ones person) and we have to start with mobile platforms and content that suit the device. The biggest benefit for brands of designing content mobile first?Youll focus on only the most important content you have to communicate, which is usually all your consumer needs to hear from you anyways.
  • 9. THEME #3 REAL-TIME MARKETING NEEDS TO GET REAL The rise of real-time marketing through the ado