Digital Playback SxSWi
 

Digital Playback SxSWi

on

  • 2,106 views

Nearly 25,000 people attended the SXSWi conference in Austin, Texas, held ...

Nearly 25,000 people attended the SXSWi conference in Austin, Texas, held
in March 2012. At more than 1,000 panel discussions over the course of five days, rich
conversations followed more than 14 tracks, ranging from the impact of the digital
discourse on everything from education to culture, science + play to government.

In this brochure, you’ll find our technology/social media experts from MSLGROUP Americas – Mark
McClennan of Schwartz MSL Boston and Laura Chavoen of MSL Chicago -- sorting through and reacting to trends,
conference themes and take-aways.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
2,106
Views on SlideShare
2,059
Embed Views
47

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
5
Comments
0

2 Embeds 47

http://mslgroup.com 25
http://www.mslgroup.com 22

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

Digital Playback SxSWi Digital Playback SxSWi Document Transcript

  • SXSWi PlaybackOur Insights & Learning as Recorded in Real Time
  • IntroductionI’m still recovering from SXSW Interactive. The sheer volume of the conference can overwhelm, and I findit a bit daunting to distill the number of ideas, perspectives, panels and conversations into somethingcohesive and, more importantly, actionable.Why SXSW?Let’s start with the numbers. This alone should serve as a great reason for anyone who has onlyconsidered attending to actually do so next year. (And yes, I do think you should attend next year.) I’veseen the tweets and read the posts and interviews saying SX (pronounced “South By,” for those in theknow) has “jumped the shark.” Maybe it has, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t offer value and benefit. Atthe very least, the opportunity to be surrounded by incredibly smart and creative and curious people forfive days is reason enough. To see things you’ll only see at SX. Oh, and the BBQ. Good BBQ. :)Austin360.com reports: “Tuesday evening, the festival said its official paid attendance count for 2012was 24,569, up from 19,364 in 2011, a change of nearly 27 percent. From 2010 to 2011, the fest grewfrom 14,251 to 19,364.”The panels were spread across 15 locations throughout downtown Austin, ranging from technicalsessions about Web and interface design, wireless innovation, and business operations to morephilosophical discussions about online marketing, social networks, and our relationships with newtechnologies.When I say “panels,” I mean not only actual panel conversations but also keynote addresses, solopresentations, interviews, and core conversations. Most sessions are one hour in length, though thenumerous “Future 15” talks run only 15 minutes. Toss in book readings, signings, workshops, theStart-Up Village and the many evening events, and suddenly you’re in the middle of a very busy hive ofactivity.The content followed 14 tracks — Design + Development, Better Tomorrow, Convergence, Health +Education, Government + Global, Culture, Science + Play, Start Up, Emerging, New Business, Branding+ Marketing, Social Networks, Journalism + Content, Featured Sessions and Keynotes — and was furthercategorized as Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced. Each track offered at least two options during everytime slot, and there were five time slots each day. That added up to more than 1,050 different panelsover the five days of the festival. Several times I just couldn’t decide between panels, so I reachedout to my Twitter followers to help me choose. All in all, I attended 19 panels, and I’ll share some of mylearnings over the next several weeks. I’m also using Storify to recreate key points from the panels Icouldn’t attend and will share any learnings that come from the wisdom of the crowd. 2
  • IntroductionI’ve spent time over the last few days distilling my thoughts and notes into what I hope are valuabletakeaways. I was looking for ideas, tools, technologies and tactics I can use for my clients, not macrotrends, but it’s impossible not to begin to see patterns emerge or gaps appear.New TechnologiesAlthough technologies launched at SX in the past have gained acclaim and wide adoption (Twitter,Foursquare), I didn’t encounter any of those this year. There were several new apps with lots of buzz(Highlight, EchoEcho, Sonar) that seemed to concentrate on finding people in the crowds, narrowingone’s focus as opposed to widening it. I eagerly used both Highlight and EchoEcho and was pleasedwith the ability to find someone from my social network attending a specific panel, although actuallylocating them in the capacity crowds remained a challenge.These apps enable you to narrow your social circles instead of widening them, whether by filteringpeople within your broader network by location alone (EchoEcho, Sonar) or by location and interest(Highlight). They offer a fascinating perspective on the social graph as they categorize your connectionsby interest and location while simultaneously exposing those connections to friends of friends in arelevant and intimate manner. I’m experimenting with using these tools in a non-conference setting andam eager to see if they maintain the same value.TransMedia & Shared ScreensTransmedia and the multi-screen experience were everywhere. I’m fascinated by this convergence andattended as many panels on the topics as I could. Interestingly, while I expected to be impressed bycontent or technology, what I actually took away from these panels was more the idea of the interestgraph, although the impact and challenges of contextual content gave me much food for thought.Shared-screen experiences are a natural application for the evolution of dynamic communities, as theyseamlessly integrate people into a wide network rooted in a common interest. The interest graph createsnew opportunities for brands to present products, services or content based on a user’s interests, andalso offers brands new ways to engage, learn from, and access new audiences.Interest-Based NetworksThe significance of the rise of the interest graph was underscored in a panel on consumer intent.Pinterest, Fancy, Tumblr and Springpad are all examples of tools or networks that allow people toconnect not (only) with other people they know or are otherwise linked to, but with people who like or areinterested in similar products, services, artists or activities. 3
  • IntroductionBrands that choose to engage with new and future audiences within the interest graph must think aboutthe goals, tactics and management of those relationships in different ways than they currently do withtheir current Facebook and Twitter followers. The connections, the interactions and the opportunitiesare all different. We’ve already seen some brands use Pinterest in exciting ways, creating real-timead-hoc communities of people who all are interested in what the brand is offering, regardless oflocation, demographic or social connectivity. Understanding and using this new lens on community andinteraction to leverage its power and value remain a challenge, but is certainly an exciting one!Extracting Data RelevanceMuch to my delight, I was able to attend several panels focused on data. I learned about creatinginfographics, using data to inform content development, data as narrative, and the continued growth ofinterest in personal data, and I saw demos of several analytics tools and platforms. I’m excited to seethis attention continue to grow, but there was also a critical and very important shift in this year’s datapanels that I’ve been eagerly awaiting. The conversation isn’t solely about data capture, monitoring,tracking and reporting anymore. It has shifted now to data as the input — data as critical information thathelps shape strategy, drive tactics, show relevance and prove value. I had many conversations about theskill sets necessary to extract relevant data from data sets, how to identify the right metrics, and how toapproach analysis and recommendations so data can inform ongoing execution. This is an area where I’mcertain we’ll continue to see growth and change over the next few years, and I couldn’t be happier aboutit. As technology gets smarter and smarter moving into the second half of the year (HTML5 and CSS3anyone?), identifying what data to track and how to use it will become more important and powerful.This year is already moving fast and if SXSW was any indication, I’m buckling my seat belt tightly,hydrating, and getting ready for what promises to be an exhilarating ride! 4
  • The Week Ahead at SXSWiby Laura Chavoen So much of what keeps PR as a discipline relevant in the competitive landscape is innovation. As an industry, PR strives to be innovative in every way, with new events, new ways to reach influencers and new types of content — that, at its core, is what SXSW is about.I’m not a newbie to the SXSW Interactive Conference in Austin and it feels very different but no lessinspiring and exciting than it was six years ago. Today, I feel there is a lot more business-minded contentas opposed to “tech topics,” and I don’t think that is a bad thing. For a long time, the conference cateredmainly to technology and creative folks and venture capitalists would drive through, trendspotting. Now,the (bigger) conference gives business people a deeper understanding of the creative executions, and itgives the techs and creative attendees the opportunity to see the connection between their innovationsand business. It is bigger, but now it is richer in content, more three-dimensional and tangible.Since much of the conference content is picked through the SXSW Panel Picker, the attendees are moreselective against panels that are strictly “marketing.” And I think it shows — the panel content is reallyfascinating. Last year, at the panel with Weiden and Kennedy discussing the Old Spice campaign, it wasfascinating how they took tweets and turned them into video responses — I was amazed to hear they gotvideo responses online within 24 hours — it changed everyone’s perspective on speed responsivenessand video, especially for a “brand.” It was just another example of content that was business-focused andgave me something tangible to think about.Because SXSW is all about innovation, you get a sneak peak at what’s coming in technology trends. Forexample, tablets were huge three years ago right before the iPad came out. Many panelists and speakerswere using tablets, and attendees could see that. As a result, these people started creating tabletapplications and tools and thinking of different uses of the technology. So being able to get a sneak peakat what the other speakers and attendees are doing can give you insights on what to do to stay on thecompetitive edge.There are a number of trends I’m looking forward to learning more about and gauging at the conference,from a professional and a personal perspective: 5
  • Transmedia: How do you link the customer experience across multiple screens? How do you support theway people interact with content displayed on different screens? For example, Google TV is interestingbut it’s doing really poorly in the market, so I’m curious to see how people are tackling that.Privacy: The rise of Pinterest, followed by questions about privacy issues around Instagram to Google tothe music industry — privacy is part of all of those things. We have not seen privacy driving any of thosebusiness decisions, but if all industries pulled together, they could reshape all media.Data as a Narrative: I’m curious to hear more stories about how consumption metrics become anarrative. How does the actual data become a narrative for the same people who are using the content inthe first place?Gaming: I’m really into game concept and game theory. The article in The New York Times highlightingSelf Magazine’s new game underscores how games are being rooted in everything we do.Tech Trends: I’m always interested in hearing what attendees are doing with HTML, CSS 5 and even 3Dprinting.Bruce Sterling: Bruce is the godfather of science fiction and the keynote speaker at the conference andI’m really looking forward to hearing his session. He has a fascinating take on distilling fantasy from reality.At SXSW, you never know what is going to inspire you. Even if it is a tech innovation, inspiration isinspiration. The challenge for attendees is to take what they see and make it relevant for our world. 6
  • SxSW 2012 — Wait, Talk, Discussby Mark McClennan If today’s registration line is any indication, SXSW Interactive is going to be more popular than ever. Despite coming at an off time, registration took more than 90 minutes – more than I ever had to wait at CES or COMDEX in its prime. True to SXSW though, the time was not wasted. While in line, I had great conversations about the future of interactive marketing, the rise of mobile payments, better uses of technology to aid elections and those suffering in Africa, and the five major designflaws found in most socks today (who knew?).Based on my (admittedly small) sampling from the first day of the show, two of the most prominentthemes at the conference are:1) The transformative rise of mobile payments2) The evolution of contentFinancial services technology has had a strong but limited presence at the show in previous years. Butbetween Isis’ prominent sponsorship to the 13 scheduled sessions looking at mobile wallets or mobilepayments, financial technology discussions are becoming much more mainstream. It’s interesting to lookat the dichotomy of the sessions’ focus. They range from, “The Payment Revolution is Coming,” to “Howthe Wallet was Won.” There is a very divergent set of perspectives on this topic. Personally, I disagree withboth. The payments revolution has been underway for some time and the wallet is most assuredly notwon. Expect me to blog more about it in the coming days.Theme two: Content. This goes beyond, “content is king.” People are discussing new ways of usingcontent to engage. I had a great 60-minute conversation with a USA Today executive about their new iPadapp and new ways they are looking to leverage and use content. There were a few interesting debates onthe form of content (video was the most discussed, followed by a debate on how not to lose the richnessof language and its ability to subtly shift perceptions as we move to microbite creation and consumption).All in all, a good first day at the show.Like anyone, I realize my impressions at SXSW are shaped by the relatively small number of people Ihad the pleasure of speaking with. I thought it might make sense to take a step back and look at what theoverall conversation trends were today: 7
  • Over the past day, there were more than 140,000 tweets and blog posts about SXSW (98 percent weretweets). To put this in perspective, the social media volume around SXSW far exceeds that of the recentMobile World Congress or RSA:The discussion is relatively fragmented. The only tech brand to break into the top discussion word cloudis Nokia, thanks to its foursquare badge. Most of the discussion is what you would expect, with peoplesurprisingly upbeat despite the rain.What are your thoughts so far? 8
  • Day One Recap at SxSWi: Implications for PRby Laura Chavoen The first day of SXSWi was cold and wet outside, but vibrant and crowded inside! I’m live-tweeting from panels at @chavoen – ping me if you’ve a question you’d like me to ask or a panel you want me to check out. My initial plan for attending sessions is below and you can find the full schedule at sxsw.com. At SXSW, my goal for every panelis to learn (at least) one new thing, and find a concreteexample that will resonate with at least one client orcolleague.Today’s panel topics included brand authenticity,higher ed and social media, and social media for real-world activation. At each full-capacity panel there wasmuch to be learned and shared.My first panel was on brand authenticity. At MSLGROUP, and most likely throughout the PR/marketing/communications world, the idea of brand authenticity and consistency is already in our framework, but afew critical thoughts were shared that resonated with the audience. (Full disclosure: I shared my thoughtsas an audience member during this session and was delighted by the response.)Thinking about the full customer experience is critical — being authentic ONLY in social doesn’t work.Social is a tool and can help define, refine and extend the experience and voice, but the voice must beauthentic and consistent across all touchpoints and channels.One of the panelists made an outstanding point as well — a campaign isn’t authentic if you can justreplace the brand with a different one. Specifically referencing the Old Spice campaign that went viraland garnered so much attention, he asked if that same concept would have worked for Mennen. Or TacoBell. And if the answer was yes, successful or not, it isn’t authentic. That is the difference between acampaign and a brand experience.Moving to the higher ed panel, I was excited to hear several ideas of relevance to our higher educationclients in Chicago. The first was about audience segmentation, making the point that an institutional voicemay only be one of several voices necessary for messaging to be relevant to a wide variety of audiences.Some specific strategies were discussed for involving administrators from across the organization into 9
  • the marketing effort and integrating their ideas and support. There was also a great discussion aroundhighlighting and harnessing student voices in a way that offers dimensions and perspectives critical forlongevity.Finally, the social activation panel identified several different pathways for translating social mediaactivity into real world actions, proving that key PR activities around influencer identification andengagement are more relevant than ever in today’s multi-channel, cross-media world. PR getsrelationships, has been creating stories and content for centuries and remains the discipline that canand does conduct the orchestra of digital, marketing, communication, advertising, media, employeeengagement and sales. When all of those are working in concert? The gorgeous symphony of anauthentic brand plays music relevant to each audience.Looking forward to my sessions today, including panels on effective transmedia strategies, data/analytics,and PR for better business. I’m still deciding between a panel on daddy bloggers or one on local….Tweet me at @chavoen and help me decide! 10
  • sxsW Saturday Takeaways: Destroy Labels,Know Yourselfby Mark McClennan Saturday at SXSW was much more interesting than Friday. I had the pleasure of attending a very wide range of panels. The topics included strategic communications, dad bloggers, enterprise social media, the future of mobile wallets, a comedian/ activist keynote, and a look inside Joss Whedon’s head. The panels were a mix of both aspirational visions and cautionary tales. The sessions were all great learning experiences, but they present something of achallenge. How do you blend parenting lessons from Leviticus with social analytics and loyalty programs?While many of these sessions merit their own posts (and will likely get them in the future), I wanted tofocus on overarching themes I noticed.I would say there were two key takeaways from these sessions.* Destroy the labels.* Know who you are.From the mobile wallet to NFC chips to dad bloggers, people and companies are too often failing toreach their full potential because they are succumbing to easy labelization. Don’t get me wrong, there isimmense power in the study of groups and flocking, but if you too quickly group someone, you may cometo the wrong conclusion or miss opportunities. I saw that time and time again today.This is particularly insidious when it comes to mom bloggers. Mom bloggers are too often defined by whothey are rather than who they write about. Very few “dad” and “mom” bloggers blog about parenting. Theyare parents who blog. A mom blogger who writes about beer or food, should not be lumped in the samecategory as one who writes about technology or parenting. I personally have seen too many companiesmake this mistake. The lists created by influencer tools may serve as a good start, but influencers are notOreos. Each is unique and needs to be understood and communicated with in context.The same lesson applies to the mobile wallet. First of all, there is a blurring between mobile walletand P2P payments and this line needs to be clearly understood. It also applies to enterprise socialmedia when “employees” are lumped together as one audience when companies roll out solutions.Some of the best advice from IBM today was to understand what your corporate culture is like and whattools employees use to work and to communicate, and enhance those existing tools rather than make 11
  • everyone conform to new tools. If you try to force people to do something they do not want to do, you willend up with an empty wiki, upset employees and wasted budget.The second point is to know who you are. If you have a niche, carve it out. Just don’t let others put you inthat niche.Isis in the digital wallet space seems to clearly know this. They understand that in order to convincepeople to move away from contactless cards and mag stripes, they need to offer more to retailers andmerchants. They are betting their success on the premise of bringing loyalty cards and coupons intoan integrated whole to provide consumers savings and convenience; and providing retailers a chanceto impact consumer purchasing behavior before a transaction will push them over the edge. (That andretailers being penalized by the issuers if they do not adopt NFC by 2015).I am not sure I agree with them completely, and I know not everyone in the audience did. Consumershave shown amazing willingness to stay with what works. As one panelist pointed out, 10 years ago thecover of Card Transactions was, “Mobile Commerce is Ready for Takeoff,” and we are still discussing itspending rise today. Additionally, consumers have shown a willingness to have multiple loyalty cardsand apps, and there are other alternatives to impact pre-shopping behavior today (such as eGiftcards –technology from a client of mine — and location based deals).The audience definitely did not all agree about the easy path of NFC. My most popular tweet of the daywas, “NFC being positioned as the Borg. Do not resist. You will be assimilated.”Knowing who you are also helped many companies in the first panel of the day I attended. The reactionto Zappos’ data breach was much less negative than most breaches of its type. That was because Zapposquickly communicated in a way that was appropriate for its customers.This post is getting long, so I want to wrap it up with the five most quotable observations of the day:* Before you make a critical business decision, ask yourself – what would John Stewart say about it?* Great ideas are not always great and not always well received.* Bloggers have more influence over purchasing decisions than traditional celebrity endorsers do.* Forty-eight percent of B2B CEOs say social media helped generate qualified leads.* Voice of customer research is not for validation, it is for discovery. 12
  • SXSWi Recaps: PR Lessons,Data Tools AND Moreby Laura Chavoen Another full day in Austin — panels and people, as well as codification of some perspectives and new viewpoints on others. The day began with confirmation of how critical it is for the communicator to have a seat at the table in making business decisions. I attended the, “More Smart, Less Stupid,” PR panel, which underscored that idea through examples of public relations missteps and successes by Susan G. Komen, American Airlines, Zappos and Netflix.A key takeaway was that if you’re going to be bipartisan, decide in advance and plan out the scenarios —don’t react in-market.I also attended two panels that approached data and the roles it can play in business in different ways.The first focused on integrating data into the narrative, exploring ways to turn statistics into thoughtleadership TOOLS that people can use and apply rather than just read and file. Visualizing dataexposes opportunities that might otherwise be missed and brings it into the discussion in a compelling 13
  • and shareable manner. The idea extends beyond simple quantitative data. Visual transformation ofinformation can imbue it with new power and expose it to new audiences.Another session I attended explored NEW ways data is informing the editorial process beyond theimpression and the click. The exponential increase in data availability and new channels requires us tobe smarter about what data we pay attention to and offers us the opportunity to begin to more deeplysegment and categorize our audiences.Later I attended a panel on creating, “Great Events.” The speakers suggested that great events challengeand intrigue their attendees, have unexpected elements and offer something aspirational. They alsopointed out that allowing people to help shape their own experiences can make an event memorable andcontinue the conversation long after the actual event ends.The day came to a close with a deep dive into local marketing. The focus was both tactical and technical,offering insights into working with Google Places pages, mobile optimization and geo-location searchterm management. A key takeaway underscored the value of targeted social content and how critical it isto ensure your Google Places pages are correct, since many mobile apps pull business information fromthose pages. Keeping local sites in your reputation management strategy is also critical, given the powerof online reviews.I’ll close today’s post with some great data about the value of local marketing. I’m working on visualizingthis data and will post it later this weekend!• Google Places account for 33 percent of visits to local business websites.•  ighty-eight percent of people who search for local information on a smartphone take action within E one day.•  ixty-seven percent of consumers would NOT purchase a product/service after reading one to three S negative reviews. 14
  • SxSW Sunday: It’s all about convergenceby Mark McClennan Today was a great day at SXSW. I had the pleasure of attending three different sessions on payments and mobile wallets, one on the future of retail and a most inspiring session that looked at updating classic iconic ads for today’s technology. I was prepared to write a very payments-focused post. But as I was thinking about today, I realize the key lessons for PR and business professionals transcend the payments market. Every presenter today, in his or her own way, was talking about convergence.What do I mean?Too often communications, marketing and business professionals think about communications and saleschannels. Despite our best efforts, we silo our thoughts. What does mobile allow us to do for payments,what business use can we get from mobile devices, what is the future of digital video?While that thinking is important, it can also be limiting. It was expressed in different ways on the differentpanels, but it came down to a few observations.Mobile payments aren’t about payments. If all you think about is taking a contactless card and putting iton a smartphone, you are missing the bigger opportunity and the market won’t grow. Isis is taking it a stepfurther and realizing that for mobile to succeed, it needs to be better, faster and cheaper. As I discussedyesterday, they are betting on loyalty, security and a better shopping experience to be the growth drivers.But the discussion at the Future Shop panel made me realize there is more to it than what even Isis issaying. We need convergence and to see how all the channels can best work together. The retailers onthis panel were nowhere near as optimistic about NFC as the payments players in other sessions. Butthey saw an even bigger picture. Convenience and loyalty offers are great. But that is just looking at oneside of the opportunity. When retailers configure their stores to take advantage of mobile technology,they will prosper. The speakers gave examples of one company that had a scavenger hunt-like game thatled people through the store to daily specials. These retailers see the iPhone turning into the helpfulsales clerk of years gone by.Seth Priebatsch of SCVNGR challenged the status quo, but he added another piece to the puzzle.With loyalty blending with analytics, businesses and communicators can adjust consumer shoppinghabits using game theory. In Philadelphia, they ran a 45-day test that showed rainy days correlated 15
  • to significantly less restaurant revenue. So, they designed dynamic deals to encourage people to visit arestaurant on rainy days and saw a significant business lift.It is only by putting the wallet vision of Isis together with the bricks and mortar innovations of Future Shopand some of SCVNGR’s futuristic ideas that we truly can see the shape of the future of mobile payments.Without all three perspectives, without the gestalt of the different perspectives, the success will not becomplete.This transcends payments. This is a lesson that communications professionals should take to heart. Weneed to make sure we are not narrowing our vision to influencer channels, social media strategy or analystrelations. Sure, those can drive results. But we need to look not just at how they work together; we need tochallenge ourselves to find new ways in which they can work together.Google and Coca-Cola did just that with projectrebrief.com (along with other brands). The project updatedfour iconic ads for today’s media.The premise was powerful, yet simple. We don’t want to do a social media campaign. We want to do acampaign that is social. What Coca-Cola did is amazing. They made it possible for someone to actually sendthe world a Coke. Consumers could record a video on the site and send a free Coke to a number of machinesaround the world. Someone would receive your message in less than 90 seconds (after it was reviewed forcontent) and could then thank you. You would receive that video a minute later.It is powerful. It is social and it harnesses physical, digital and social channels to create a result much greaterthan the sum of the individual parts. More communicators need to think like that. If we do so, our programswill be much more compelling, we will gain better understanding of consumers and we will drive greaterbusiness results.So join me in always looking for ways to advance convergence. You won’t regret it.It was so popular yesterday, I decided to end with it again today. The five most quotable observations fromSunday at SXSW:• Pharma is not bad. Pharma is probably going to save your life.•  ecurity is not a selling point for consumers. Criminals will find ways, and consumers S think the phone is less secure even if it is more secure.• We are on the precipice of shopper 3.0: the combination of Web, brick and mortar and mobile. •  ools today are an extension of our mental, not physical selves. The shape of technology T tools has changed dramatically over time; this is not the case with many physical tools.• If you want to drive consumer engagement, get people to look forward, not back.If you have any questions in this post, leave a comment or tweet me at @mcclennan to meet up at SXSW. 16
  • It’s a B2B SxSW Mondayby Mark McClennan Today was my last full day at SXSW and it was once again filled with great discussions. For once I decided to forgo payments panels, and spent more of my time in panels that discussed B2B social media as well as a panel on brand journalism and yes, one on the future of money. The brand journalism panel and B2B panels were filled with a lot of insight and tips that will be of interest to our B2B clients and to B2B communications professionals.First, it is clear that B2B companies are embracing content marketing. According to a survey fromMarketingProfs, 49 percent of companies plan to increase their content marketing spending in the next12 months. The two biggest content challenges these companies face are: 41 percent of their contentis not engaging enough and 20 percent have trouble producing enough content. As trusted advisors,communications professionals need to find ways to help our clients overcome both of these challenges.This brand journalism panel, and a solo presentation from Tim Washer, Cisco’s Senior Manager of SocialMedia, hit on a key issue: B2B companies need to remember to talk to people in a human way.B2B purchasing decisions are made both on facts and emotions. If you sell on just speeds and feeds ina competitive market, you are at a competitive disadvantage. Communicators need to keep this in mindand call out the human elements inherent in any story.Following are four other key insights I took from the panels today:•  amification is everywhere and is starting to be used to drive B2B engagement. When G people hear about gamification, they tend to think of consumer brands, Foursquare badges or SCVNGR. But Cisco has added badges to at least some of its blogs. Now visitors can receive badges for visiting the blogs, leaving their first comment, leaving 10 comments, tweeting the blog post, etc. This is a great step. It is an easy and focused incentive to drive the business outcomes a company desires (engagement and awareness). IBM and Xerox also spoke about how they are using gamification, with IBM using it internally to drive activity and identify those most passionate about social media.•  eexamine how you gather registration information. Cisco and other B2B companies R are using Facebook and OpenID to enable social login. Why does this matter? Since Cisco implemented it, they have seen a 40 percent reduction in cost and a 20 percent increase in registration. 17
  • •  2B needs to embrace video. If your B2B company is not yet using video as part of its B communications strategy, you are missing great opportunities. Here is a great video from Cisco about how it is helping in Africa. It does a great job humanizing the story and moving it beyond the basics.•  ook at humor. This one is near and dear to my heart as I do standup comedy in my L spare time, and I understand the power of humor in business. Humor in B2B can engage your prospects and customers. It is a positive emotion, humanizes the brand, builds goodwill and cuts through the noise. If you don’t have the budget, go to a film school and ask the professor for his best seniors. Offer them an internship and $1,000 if you end up using their final product. One example of humor in action comes from this Cisco Valentine’s video. It has almost 200,000 views and drove coverage in The New York Times, Network World, Light Reading and other outlets. See it here.If B2B communicators start doing just one thing they may not be doing today, they will help their brandsprosper and their communications programs deliver greater ROI.The five most quotable observations from Monday at SXSW:• “Content” is the new black.•  our B2B story is good enough for YouTube, your clients and prospects, even if it may Y not be good enough for TV.•  nformation without analysis in the information age is as valuable as stone in the I Stone Age.•  implicity sells. We make things complex because frequently we are too insecure to S be simple. But look at Apple.•  uestion conventional wisdom. For Trulia, blogs about sports figures drove three Q times the traffic as those about celebrities.If you have any questions in this post, leave a comment or tweet me at @mcclennan to meet up at SXSWi. 18
  • Last Day at SXSW:Where Brian Solis, BillyCorgan and Jay-Z Intersectby Laura Chavoen Brian Solis spoke at an SXSW panel yesterday afternoon about how audience segmentation is no longer only about age or demographics. One of the key audience groups is “GENERATION C,” c for connected. The connected generation not only integrates technology seamlessly into their lives, this group also uses and embraces technology to form, sustain and nurture relationships with others in Generation C. Brian’s perspective is that we’re the problem and we are also the solution. This notabout generations or age. It has to do with how we AS PEOPLE make decisions, interact and connect. Welook at things in different ways. We have become a disruption. The decision-making cycle of connectedconsumers is very different today.Later in the panel, Billy Corgan joined Brian for a sit-down chat about how the music industry is no longer“business as usual,” then went on a (seemingly angry) screed about how music is so different today andhow music consumers “mostly just want stuff for free.” He spoke about how the business of today’smusic industry has “taken the claws out of the music,” forcing musicians who seek fame (and fortune) toacquiesce to the demands of the business and not be driven by their creativity or their own desire.And after seeing theJay-Z show tonight, Ican say they are bothright. Music is verydifferent today, but notnecessarily in the wayBilly articulated, at leastfrom my perspective,the perspective of theconsumer, the FAN.There was NO lack ofcreativity or originality,in this evening’s show,nor was there any lackof pointed observationsin Jay’s lyrics and evenhis stage banter. And Brian is also right, at least as far as shared experiences go…the audience wasconnected, with each other as well as with Jay. 19
  • Jay-Z connected the audience. He interacted with us, and encouraged us to interact with each other inways I’ve never seen at the hundreds of live shows I’ve been to. He EXPECTED the audience would knowentire verses and held the microphone out so we could join him. He had us waving our arms, bouncing,doing the two-step, making some noise and singing the chorus behind his raps. We eagerly andpassionately connected with him, with each other, laughing, taking pictures, dancing with total strangers.He didn’t just perform. He connected with us. He didn’t just sing, he structured his set so we couldjoin him. He didn’t just perform the set list the Twitter-sphere helped construct, he wove all of thosesongs together into a story and we all went on a fantastic, LOUD, energetic and completely transportingadventure.I will continue to buy Jay’s music. And I won’t miss an opportunity to see him live again, at any cost. And Iwas delighted to see such a concrete example of Brian’s panel and book: “The End of Business as Usual.”It was a memorable way to close out another great weekend at SXSWi. 20
  • ABOUT THE AUTHORS Mark McClennan Senior Vice President Schwartz MSL Boston Mark W. McClennan, APR combines strategic communications counsel with a relentless drive for excellence to help Schwartz MSL’s clients succeed in leveraging public relations to realize their business objectives. He works with clients to determine overall messaging and communications strategy, while remaining actively engaged with the media, bloggers and analysts. He regularly advises clients on social media strategies. In his more than 16 years at Schwartz MSL, McClennan has led teams in a variety of industries, including consumer technology, business services, financial services, healthcare IT, fraud, and manufacturing. He is a co-head of the consumer technology practice and heads Schwartz MSL’s Business and Financial Services Group as well as the Schwartz MSL Research Group. He also helps spearhead the agency’s social media efforts and his teams have been recognized for creating and executing B2B and B2C social media campaigns than drive business growth. McClennan has worked with companies ranging from venture-funded start-ups to large public companies, including Fiserv/CheckFree, Epocrates, Bill Me Later/EBay, Javelin Strategy & Research, ID Analytics, SoundBite and others. He has guided companies through IPOs and acquisitions. He has coordinated successful public relations campaigns for companies in Europe and Asia. McClennan’s teams have been recognized with more than 45 awards for excellence in public relations, including five Silver Anvils (the PR industry Oscars) and three Silver Anvil Awards of Excellence in the past few years for his teams’ work on behalf of consumer technology, financial services and healthcare technology companies. . His teams have been recognized with two Sabre Awards, four Bulldog awards and many others. He has obtained placements for his clients in a wide variety of business and trade publications, including TechCrunch, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Fast Company, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report and Newsweek. McClennan has a B.A. in public relations and political science from the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University. He is a frequent blogger and published writer on public relations, measurement, ethics and social media. He has spoken at industry conferences and universities on ethics and social media, measurement and the evolution of public relations. McClennan is a National Board Member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). In his spare time, he does stand-up comedy and serves on the Ways & Means Committee for the Town of Framingham where he helps manage a $200 million budget. Twitter: @mcclennan LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mcclennan 21
  • ABOUT THE AUTHORS Laura Chavoen SVP, Director of Digital Strategy MSL Chicago Laura Chavoen is a senior vice president and director of MSL Chicago’s digital practice, with 20 years of digital communications expertise in food and nutrition, publishing, financial services and associations. She is responsible for developing digital marketing plans for clients across MSL Chicago’s consumer marketing and corporate branding practices, and oversees strategy for managing social media channels and creating interactive content to engage consumers, influencers, media and other key audiences. Laura currently works with clients including GM, Owens Corning, DeVry University, Zurich Financial Services, Masco Corporation, Sealy and Riddell. Prior to MSL Chicago, Laura served as executive vice president of digital strategy at Imagination Publishing, a content marketing agency in Chicago, working on several General Mills’ purpose marketing programs including Box Tops for Education, Pink Together, Outnumber Hunger and Join My Village. She also led digital strategy for Chick-fil-A’s Living Healthy program and General Mills’ nutrition education resource, The Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition. Across these healthy living platforms she developed a variety of digital platforms including websites, branded social channels, mobile applications, e-books, ambassador programs and local community initiatives. In addition, Laura has worked as global director of Yahama.com; manager of Scholastic’s scholarship program, Alliance for Young Artists & Writers; and executive producer for kids. scholastic.com and several of its microsites, including Harry Potter and Clifford the Big Red Dog. She held similar roles at Razorfish, SkyMall and HarperCollins. Her past account work includes General Mills, WellsFargo, Chick-fil-A, Lowe’s, Allstate, MasterCard, Microsoft, Symantec, Eat Better America and several associations including the PMI, NFIB, NEA and The Conference Board. Laura is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a B.A. in visual communications. She remains active in the marketing industry as a guest speaker on social media and online engagement, serving most recently as a featured speaker at the PRSA International Conference. 22