This year's South By Southwest Interactive festival in Austin, TX is over, and we've seen three key trends emerge that marketers should know about. We've put together a brief deck that sums it all up for you.
More noise, less value at
SXSW Interactive If you were expecting lots of exciting launches, happenings and news from this year’s SXSW Interactive, you might be a bit disappointed. The SXSW Interactive is getting bigger and more attractive by the year, and so it is getting harder for companies, start-ups in particular, to stand out and shine at SXSW Interactive. It has provided a great venue for product and service launches in the past (e.g. Nike+ FuelBand, Foursquare), but we’ve seen less of that this year. Nevertheless, we’ve seen some interesting launches and trends at this year’s festival as well. Here are the three trends you need to know about.
More and more connected objects
We saw the ongoing trend of connected devices accelerating at MWC13 in Barcelona in February. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it has been further accelerated at this year’s SXSW Interactive. At SXSW, the focus of this trend has been how brands can use connected objects to bring the personalisation and intelligence of the web to everyday things. For marketers, the key to capitalise on this trend is to ﬁgure out how to tell the brand’s story. In collaboration with Adidas, Google has developed a talking shoe. It’s designed to keep you active by relaying information about your movement and offering words of encouragement. The shoes are actually part of a Google project called “Art, Copy & Code”. Google states on their blog that it aims to re-imagine advertising, and could prove an interesting proposition for brands and agencies alike.
Hyper excitement around Google Glass
We’ve all been very excited about Google Glass for a while now, and with good reason. Google made the most of this year’s festival to show off Glass, and provided us with some more details on how it works. For developers, Google provided them with some initial information about the Google Glass API. Google aims to make developing applications for Glass as easy as possible. With Google Glass being a new and unique form factor, they are setting a few rules. For example, it is important not to annoy users with too many notiﬁcations and distracting content. Google also showcased some existing apps for Glass. The Gmail app uses voice recognition to answer emails, and the New York Times app shows headlines and lets you listen to a summary of the article. Evernote’s Skitch can be used to take and share photos.
New opportunities in brand storytelling
Ever so important social media may be, we mustn’t forget what fuels it all: content. Some interesting SXSW start-ups have taken mobile and social content to another level. We’ve already seen how quickly Vine have grown. Start-up company Takes launched a similar app, but with a different twist. Users snap photos, and in doing so, also capture very short videos. The app turns those micro videos into unique, shareable video clips, complete with a soundtrack. Tools like these enable the creation of social micro-content. Similar to services like Instagram and Vine but taken a step further, mobile video apps as such can potentially bring marketers the opportunity to deliver highly visual, relevant and engaging content to users. This is key in a world where brand experiences and storytelling is becoming increasingly important.