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Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2012 of type Core Conversation about Brands

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Saturday 10th March 2012

  • Entertain or Fail: Brands As the New Publishers

    by Allen DeBevoise and Anthony Batt

    Brands today have more consumers at their fingertips than any TV show or magazine could ever offer thanks to an abundance of multi-connected digital platforms. But entertaining those consumers on multiple platforms is a role that brands have never had to play before. The opportunities are turning brands into this generations publishers. This is the next evolution in content creation -- when brands fully take on the role of publisher and entertainer. And the brands that do this successfully will win.
    Playing the role of publisher and content creator means moving beyond old-school push-message advertising. It means creating engaging content that invites the consumer in to make the experience their own, and it means allowing the consumer to be the copywriter in some cases. It also means that brands must constantly evaluate if their content is fresh, engaging, provoking and causing a reaction in their audience. It means that brands must entertain … or fail.

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Saturday 10th March

    In Capitol View North, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • How Brands Build Advocates By Anticipating Needs

    by Leigh George and Duke Chung

    Why are brands constantly pissing us off online? Despite the opportunities for engagement that digital technologies provide, most companies’ customer service-focus has been reactionary. Brands only reach out to their customers when there is already a problem, if at all. Hello Pepco, “Most Hated” company in America, I’m talking to you.

    But what if brands used digital technologies to take a proactive approach to customer service and delighted us with unexpected gestures that demonstrate how much they cared about us?

    This session will explore companies like Warby Parker, The Ace Hotel and others that anticipate customer needs. We’ll explore the technology and digital marketing tactics they use to proactively reach out and make customers’ lives easier. We’ll also explain why these gestures convert customers into advocates who share their experiences with their networks. Finally we’ll outline the metrics companies can use to measure advocacy.

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Assembly Room, InterContinental Stephen F. Austin

  • Your Marketing Sucks: Why You Need to Think Local

    by Mike Merrill and Tiffany Monhollon

    Every consumer is local. They live in a community. They’re engaging and interacting in their favorite places, online and offline. And much of today’s marketing misses the mark when it comes to connecting with local consumers online. In this session, we’ll share practical strategies about how any business - from start-ups to local businesses to national brands, agencies, and franchises - can think local in their online marketing and connect the dots between their digital strategies and their physical presence.

    Why does local matter for every brand? 86% of consumers use the internet to find a local business. 20% of all searches on Google have local intent. 1 in 3 mobile searches is local. Google map use is 40% local. After looking up a local business on a smart phone, 61% of users called the business and 59% visited. 100% of consumers are local.

    It all starts with picking the right strategy for your business type. We’ll share ideas and examples of thinking local from a strategic brand perspective: Content Strategy, Search, SEO & Keyword Strategy, Local Listings, Social Strategy, Online Advertising, Reputation Management, Ambassador & Engagement Strategy, and Mobile Strategy.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Assembly Room, InterContinental Stephen F. Austin

    Coverage slide deck

Sunday 11th March 2012

  • Brand As API: Connect Differently

    by Glenn Platt and Peg Faimon

    As brands finally begin to deliver on the promise of a 1-to-1 relationship with their customers (through social media, mobile, and data-driven tools), it is critical to develop a new foundation for that relationship. This requires brands to leave the “broadcast relationship” and, instead, build a relationship sharing communication, innovation, and the very product/service itself. Insight into this relationship can be found in the structure, language, and use of APIs (Application Programming Interface). APIs provide a set of rules – a language for connecting to data and services. To remix. To build. To leverage. To extend. Many API calls provide explicit metaphors for the ways brands can connect to customers. Generally, the API relationship provides insights into the role of brands in the customers’ life. This conversation will explore these metaphors, share case studies, and work to build a language for better connecting consumers with their brands.

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Assembly Room, InterContinental Stephen F. Austin

    Coverage slide deck

Monday 12th March 2012

  • Crowdsourced Creative: Friend to Advertising?

    by Neil Perry

    Perhaps no segment of interactive marketing is as provocative as crowdsourcing, a rapidly emerging approach to media creation that can cut traditional production costs by as much as 90% and is having profound effects on in-house and agency marketers alike. Hear pros and cons and see real-life examples, case studies, and lessons from the perspectives of leading global brands, agencies and crowdsourcing production companies on how the crowd is going mainstream and what it could all mean to you. Joining Neil will be Robb Miller, Director of Marketing for Site Content, Dell.com.

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Monday 12th March

    In Assembly Room, InterContinental Stephen F. Austin

  • Big Brands and You: Make the Love Connection

    by Craig Benzine and Alejandra Carvallo

    Brands want a piece of the social media pie. Content creators want to make money without compromising their voice and audience. The Rolling Stones once said you can’t always get what you want. But they were wrong. Big brands and content creators can get what they want while working together. Many brands and content creators collaborate in ways that bring value to their shared audiences. It just takes a little care, and a lot of trust. Panelists Alejandra Carvallo from Intel and one of the all time most subscribed personalities on YouTube, Craig Benzine (aka Wheezy Waiter), show what’s worked for them and earned hundreds of thousands of views of their content.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Monday 12th March

    In Capitol View North, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • Drugs, Milk & Money: Social & Regulated Industries

    by Glenn Engler

    Social media presents countless opportunities to engage target audiences. But many marketers in regulated industries are missing out because they constantly hear “we’re not allowed to” when it comes to social marketing. Previous bad experiences with regulatory agencies paralyze companies once known for their marketing prowess. In the meantime, customers continue to actively search for information online, share their brand experiences and sometimes get scooped up by competitors that have figured out how to engage while still remaining compliant. This session will discuss how brands in regulated industries like pharma, healthcare, food/beverage and financial services can successfully use social marketing to connect with and activate key constituents. Learn how organizations can effectively work with their legal and regulatory teams, create value-added content to engage current and prospective customers, build brand equity, drive sales and loyalty, and gain competitive advantage.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Monday 12th March

    In Assembly Room, InterContinental Stephen F. Austin

  • Sharing: A Window into the Human Psyche

    by Kurt Abrahamson and Kate Sirkin

    Like the proverbial tree falling in the forest, content might as well not exist if there's no one to acknowledge it. Every time you "Like" that cute cat video, tweet the latest controversial current event, or share an awesome deal with a friend, you validate the existence of that content. If it's shared, it matters, has value and is impactful. Luckily for content publishers – be it a media conglomerate or just that kid who wants you to share a YouTube video of him reenacting Britney's "Oops!…I Did It Again" – you're also engaging in a behavior that's hard-wired as a basic human impulse. We love to share, but we're a selective bunch.

    So how do web publishers compel us to share and what makes certain content irresistible? And how do brands tap into the immense power of sharing? We'll dive into examples of hyper-shareable content and examine how sharing provides insight into broader human behavioral patterns. Finally, we'll discuss how sharing is radically democratizing the way we think about spheres of influence. With sharing, everyone is important in the sharing economy. So instead of one person sharing with 1,000 friends, it’s more important that 1,000 people share just once. Virality doesn’t matter because everyone is an influencer.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Monday 12th March

    In Lone Star, Omni Downtown

Tuesday 13th March 2012

  • Digital Divas: How Girls Rule the Digital Universe

    by Graceann Bennett and Dayna Dion

    How can brands in low-interest, low-involvement categories truly engage women in the digital space? Which of women’s digital activities are purchase decision drivers vs. distractors? What do women really want from brands online? Ogilvy, Microsoft and Mindshare teamed up to tackle those questions and more with “Digital Divas,” a groundbreaking study of more than 12,800 women that reveals how the Venus-Mars analogy extends into the digital sphere: how women vs. men live and breathe online and what that means for brands. "Digital Divas" makes sense of the daunting deluge of data on women in the digital domain to tell the story of how women seek, share and shop across channels. We’ll discuss and debate some hot topics, like why women really “like” brands on Facebook and what a “like” is truly worth. We’ll share some surprising new digital developments, like what surpassed peer recommendations and store coupons in 2011 to become the No. 1 influencer of women’s online purchase decisions. And we’ll illustrate how even the least sexy brands are connecting with, captivating and cashing in on women in the digital domains they rule.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Tuesday 13th March

    In Assembly Room, InterContinental Stephen F. Austin

  • Taking Your Brand Back from Your Customers

    by Virginia Alber-Glanstaetten and Peter Wolfgang

    Consumers today expect more and more from your brand. While some would argue, consumer's now "own" your brand, we counter with the notion that companies who’ve lost their brands to their consumers did so because they failed to remain relevant.

    Traditionally, brand communications focused on "how" companies were going to tell the story of their brand. In today's market, the "how" is being replace by "what". The focus is on what is being said and through what medium. For brands to deliver on their unique value, and their promise, they need to create experiences, build programs, and offer entire solutions that demonstrate "what" brands are doing, rather than "how" they are saying it.

    Digital media allows for new ways not only for brands to connect with consumers, but also to learn from them, innovate, and strengthen their promise. Digital media and interactive products offer brands a new set of tools, and experiences to compel and engage audiences. As brand and product experience collapse into one another, branding in the interactive space calls for new approaches to both. This panel discusses how best practices from advertising, user experience and interaction design can be applied meaningfully to branding in the interactive space.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Tuesday 13th March

    In Assembly Room, InterContinental Stephen F. Austin