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A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending SXSW Interactive. In a nutshell, SXSWi is where all the geeks converge and talk about everything and anything digital. Surprisingly, me, my iPhone and my Mac laptop fit in well there. Who would've thought?

Anyway, this was my first year to go, so there was definitely a learning curve. There were so many speakers and topics to cover, it was quite overwhelming. But all in all, I had a blast and even learned a thing or two.

So here it goes, the thing or two I learned. Most of the stuff you might already have heard before, but it serves as a good reminder of how we should approach marketing, especially in the digital space. I've also conveniently left out all the things I learned from 5pm on (man, can geeks party).

- Kevin Botfeld, Associate Creative Director and Writer, 22squared

Published in: Technology, News & Politics
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  1. 1. SXSK(ev in) w learnings f rom Nerdville A fe
  2. 2. Bad Presentations Get in the way Sounds obvious. But, I can’t tell you how many downright awful presentations I sat through. The venn diagram? Are of smart ideas. you kidding me? And the sad part is, nearly every one of these bush-league keynotes I listened to actually had some really smart content to take away. I think.1. We’re in the business of selling ideas, spreading content, and communicating. Put together a presentation that reflects it people.
  3. 3. 2. Every year, a new app or platform is sort of “discovered” at SXSWi. Twitter, Foursquare, GoWalla, are some pretty good examples. So, our eyes were peeled for the next ‘big techy thing’. Fortunately, it didn’t take long to find. On day 1, Shane Needham (Interactive Producer) and I came across a group texting app called GroupMe. It’s like a group chat session using SMS. Amazingly fun and social. Check it out.One of ourGroupMe chats. Personally, I dig Beluga. Same concept.
  4. 4. 3. The Gaming Layer At first, I thought this kid was insane. He’s a 22- year-old college dropout who has titled himself, Chief Ninja. Ok buddy. But he had some really interesting ideas about how gaming (the mechanics, rules and rewards behind it) can help us solve problems. He talked about how the gaming mechanics in the virtual world could be applied to real world. And how gaming can ultimately influence consumers to participate more. He goes on to say that if the last decade was social, the next will be gaming. Hrmm... Take the next 15 minutes to listen to what he has to say. It’s pretty interesting. Seth Priebatsch Chief Ninja (SCVNGR)
  5. 5. 4. iPad Design WHEN DESIGNING, FOLLOW THESE RULES: • It’s a device for leisure, and contemplation. • Don’t get greedy with pixels. • Clarity triumphs complexity. • Manage information as a conversation. • Tap quality is more important that tap quantity. • End page-flips. “The page-flip is like horse-shit coming out of a tailpipe.” • Kill the back button. • The message is the medium. • Put menus and controls at the top. And cluster in the corners. Avoid the top middle.
  6. 6. 5. Mobile Social Gaming: The Next Frontier. Mobile is huge. Social is huge. Gaming is huge. Put them together, and well, you got something pretty huge on your in hands. Or should I say, in them. While I’m not a social gamer (i.e. Farmville, etc.), there’s big potential here as companies begin to monetize gaming. Mobile phones are mass media in our pockets. And now you know... - 4,965,000,000 people have mobile phone subscriptions. - 91% of those people have their devices within arms reach. - More people own mobile phones subscriptions than toothbrushes. Ew, gross. - On average, it takes 26 hours to report a lost wallet, but only 68 minutes for a lost mobile phone.
  7. 7. Okay, so I learned the secret behind how Old Spice sold this nice campaign. Shhhh.Lean in real close. Closer. Closer. Ok, here it goes: “Trust with your clients is the secret sauce if want to dogroundbreaking work.” Seriously? Son of a b... I thought it was going revolutionary.Nevertheless, it’s true. Maybe a good reminder at best. 6.
  8. 8. 7. The less you say, the more they’ll remember.
  9. 9. 8. How big brands avoid being obsolete Brands that are most successful (at the height of success) need to change, adapt the most. Brands that are closest to obsolescence is when they’re most successful.Brands are obsessed with what theywere vs. what they can be. I had to sit through an awful presentation for this content. But nevertheless, it was interesting. To sum it up, brands need to keep reinventing themselves. And not just when the competition evolves, but at the peak of their success.
  10. 10. 9. Power of the fans I spent a session listening to how HBO organically leveraged fan sites to promote the TruBlood brand. Rather than shout to millions, they conversed with a small group of their most influential watchers. And converted them into mini ambassadors. I found it pretty interesting, being as as most brands fear those types of sites. Fan empowerment. Speak to a small audience rather than shout to millions.