Consumers don’t believe marketing. We believe our experiences. Our friends’ experiences. Even complete strangers’ experiences. In an always-on, social media-enabled world, consumer experiences – and consumers’ willingness to share them in the moment – can make or break a brand. For brands, it’s not what you say but what you do. No longer can brands hide behind a façade of artifice. A big idea and a break-through campaign may generate buzz, but is it a big idea that could be slapped on to any other brand in the category? If so, the rewards will be fleeting.
Austin is an incubator for the quirky and creative. It’s also an epicenter for authenticity, with a culture not afraid to call bullshit. We’ll explore what it takes to build a brand with the authenticity to sustain and flourish in the cynical, exposed world of social media-empowered consumers: the rewards, but also the risks, and the challenges you can expect to confront along the way.
Panelists from some of Austin’s most beloved brands -- Alamo Drafthouse, Hotel San Jose, YETI coolers, and McGarrah Jessee, brand advisors to Shiner Beers, Whataburger, Costa sunglasses and Frost Bank –- will share their stories and discuss the paths they took to achieve success.
Higher education isn't known for early adoption of innovation. As an industry, it tends to lag behind. This has been generally true of social media implementation as well. And yet some institutions have been successful at creating social media programs that are strategic, integrated, measurable, innovative, and most important, highly successful. How have they overcome the obstacles? Who made it happen? What changes were required to normal ways of doing business? And what can we all learn from it?
As more and more students take online courses and work multiple jobs to pay for their education, they physically visit campus facilities less often, effectively disengaging them from the institution. As we live more of our lives online, how can we create more opportunities to connect with and engage our students through online networks?
Bob Vila remains a household name, 32 years after the premiere of his first TV series, “This Old House.” Many consider him the father of reality television. How does digital video contribute to the strength of his brand today? How does online video complement or substitute for a broadcast television presence? What leading edge video platforms are available for brands to exploit? What digital tools give today’s brands an edge in understanding their video audiences? Where does mobile fit in? Learn about maximizing digital video to build brands through the example of Bob Vila.
What if agencies and marketers created products and services, not just ads? And what if they made these things for themselves, not just for clients? They do. But tackling things like product design, creating new businesses or building complex real-world experiences requires a creative, technical, managerial and entrepreneurial spirit more associated with Silicon Valley than Madison Avenue. It demands new roles, agile approaches, external partnerships, technologies, investments and compensation models that can drive even the most hardened finance director crazy. And in some cases, it may even require a complete reboot from the ground up. The ability to make something that isn’t an “ad” is no longer optional in modern advertising. But it's certainly not easy, either. So what can we learn from the makers, technologists and agencies already playing in this space? Turns out, a whole heckuva lot.
Check out four teams that have combined machines, specialized interactive software and the web to create rich interactive experiences. The result: Raving audiences and media buzz. Breakthrough interactive machines including the LiveStrong Chalkbot, the Unilever Share Happy Smile Machine, Real Art’s Santa Claw and Welcome2College’s Mobile Automated Research Vehicle are featured. Panelists will share how they integrated facial recognition software, microcontrollers, Kinect hacks, and addictive experience with their machines. Want to know how they did it? What were the challenges? How did they measure results? Stop by for the whole story and find out how you can translate these tech developments into experimental marketing success for your company.
A hands-on crowd experience of leading edge technologies, this panel seeks to define what the key factors of making new technology work in a promotional marketing program or experiential state. And believe it or not, it’s not always about technology itself. With live demonstrations of technologies you might not see every day--directional sound, mobile sync, crowd-controlled gaming, and a host of emerging technologies even WE haven't seen yet, because they have just been invented.
Smokey Bear has been a national icon since 1944 and has had a Twitter icon since 2010. Meet Smokey and the man behind the bear's tweets. While Smokey usually reminds folks that only you can prevent wildfires, in this session he'll help you see how you can build a social media wildfire, responsibly. Learn how staying in character is critical to improving the quality of your connections and interactions and get a better sense of how you can make a legacy brand relevant today. Attendees will walk away with 7 tactics that will revolutionize their communication strategy through social storytelling and create social good through social media at the same time. All attendees will also receive free bear hugs.
9th–13th March 2012