sxsw

South by Southwest Interactive has come and gone, and with it another year of showcased tech innovations and fascinating presentations has wrapped in Austin, Texas. Our CEO Megan Cunningham was able to fly down south to attend the 4-day conference, and came back to NYC with an excited, fresh perspective on technology’s ever-growing relationship to storytelling, and with insights on how technology continues to inform, influence, and create cultural and content marketing industry trends.

Her condensed notes are as follows:

Cultural Trends

  • The successful startup founder is akin to the new pop star. Think Mark Zuckerberg, Biz Stone, Evan Spiegel (Facebook, Twitter/Jelly, Snapchat), who are either household names or are at least very well-known across the pop culture landscape.
  • Wearable technology is a growing, already humongous, and currently booming industry, a tech category that may very well overtake the cell phone industry as the next place where chipsets drive functionality.  Google created a stir this past Tuesday as it “unveiled plans to help develop the watches and other wearable computers based on its Android mobile operating system, which already runs more than three out of four smartphones sold worldwide.” Called The Android Wear project, it will be “open to software makers to create apps for the watches, putting Google at the forefront of efforts to jumpstart the nascent wearable computing market,” writes Reuters. And it’s not just big companies like Google making innovative wearables. See our recent post on the topic here.
  • 3D printing is impacting the industry, spreading “maker” culture (referred to as a tech-centric extension of DIY culture). See here and here and here for cool examples of what’s being done in this regard by companies and by individuals acting on their own accord.
  • It’s important now (and will continue to increase in importance) to adapt TV spots for digital platforms and audiences. Or vice versa. It’s also wise to utilize digital platforms to create branded video that can make an impact on TV.

Industry Trends

  • “Strategy” was the word-heard-round-SXSW this year; it was top of mind for everyone, almost so much so that the word itself is losing meaning (in the same vein as other jargony terms like “engagement” – what does it really mean anymore? It depends on how it’s being interpreted from one brand to the next.) Regarding strategy, which we of course value as extremely important for what we do, brands need to figure out what that word actually means for them in practical terms, and then needs to seek out ways to move the idea forward and implement said strategy.

Did you attend SXSW? What did you think of Interactive this year? Let us know in the comments!

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Any thoughts on SXSW Interactive? Do you have thoughts regarding Megan’s insights? Let us know in the comments and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.

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