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Digital Marketing Lessons From SXSW14 Interactive

Posted on the 14 March 2014 by Discerningdigital @DigiDiscern

"Software is eating the world—yes, for better for worse, every business is now becoming a tech business” - Hugh Forrest, director of SXSW Interactive.

The 21st annual SXSW Interactive wrapped this week in Austin, Texas, leaving marketers and businesses to digest five days’ worth of presentations and panels on emerging technology and digital creativity.

It’s tempting to relegate the event to the definition of tech subculture but as attendance has tripled to 30,000 over the past six years, with more large brands and non-technical events and speakers present, the conference has become increasingly more mainstream.

Catch up with the key developments from some of our favorite articles and observations surrounding the conference.

SXSW Interactive Takeaways

(Image credit: Emily Prapuolenis).

Disruption Lessons for Marketers

Marketing Magazine highlighted the optimism, energy and talent of the ‘international Technorati’ as setting an important example for marketers, namely the ability to convert this talent into tangible outcomes capable of positively disrupting lifestyles, businesses and markets.

The key takeaways for marketers?

  • Think participation, not communication.
  • Look for lifestyle hacks.
  • Develop elegant solutions.
  • Build a kickass operation system.

Read the full article here.  

Tech Goes Mainstream?

Adweek asks if SXSW is losing its cool factor, with the young tech crowd staying away on account of the rising attendance of industry executives. Tech’s transition to mainstream was apparent by some of the speakers, who were less tech-marketer oriented than ever before, with the most-hyped speakers including Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Clinton.

Promotional activities for brands reached epic proportions this year, with top examples including Oreo making personalised cookies for people in real time and Chevy laying on 50 cabs to give free lifts to conference attendees.

SXSW Interactive takeaways for marketers

(Image credit: Business Insider).

Catch the full article here

The Unforgettable Moments

HubSpot wrote a fun article identifying the nine most unforgettable moments from the event.

From it, our recommended takeaways for marketers were:

  • Mashable’s clever lesson in content virality.
  • The power of social media as demonstrated by AirBnB, who furnished an entire apartment in two hours after receiving a tweet.
  • How charitable organisations can utilise social media to reach an emerging, socially-conscious market, the ‘Philanthroteens.’
  • Why you need to be able to sell your business clearly and concisely, especially to investors.

Get the full write-up, plus discover why tech author and investor Guy Kawasaki seemed to have the best time of anyone, here.

Cartoon Takeaways

If that’s enough reading for you, catch up on top takeaways from the keynote speakers in the form of these superb graphical drawings (we really like the Top Tech Innovation Trends for 2014).

What was your most memorable moment from SXSW14 Interactive? Would you add anything to this list?

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