At SXSW 2013, the Audience is the Author


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Music, creatives and techies all collide for SXSW. Fashion and brands are part of the experience, too. That's a ton of rich content in one tiny space. From a brand marketing perspective, user-generated content will grow and brands must be ready.

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At SXSW 2013, the Audience is the Author

  1. 1. The Audience is the AuthorA look at how social + digital media marketing is evolvingin the new era of consumer generated content (CGC)SXSW 2013Jennifer Tofanelli, Director of Digital + Social, Sears
  2. 2. Agenda & Implications•  Overview of event•  The 3 things that matter–  Hardware AND software–  Social cause marketing–  User-generated content (author is the audience)•  Specific trends in social + digital marketing•  Examples of what retail + fashion brands did
  3. 3. OverviewSXSW celebrated it’s 27th anniversary this past March as it welcomedmore than 60,000 registered conference attendees. The conferencetakes place in downtown Austin, TX and is broken into three distinctsections; film, interactive & music. In the past, SXSWi has been aplace for start-ups to launch the next new social product. Twitter andFourSquare were both born at SXSW. This past year brought attentionto three main areas of inspiration:•  The convergence of hardware and software development•  Consumer generated content•  Social cause marketing    
  4. 4. Fashion + Shopping Retailers at SXSW 2013
  5. 5. SXSWiSouth by Southwest is presented in three separate sections; film, interactive and music. Theinteractive segment is the most popular; growing from just over 9,000 paying attendees in2008 to over 30,000 in 2013.Content & keynotes : the author is the audienceElon Musk, SpaceX CEO, gave one of the more popular keynote speeches, on space exploration,entrepreneurship and the evolving art of connecting with the consumer. Jane Pratt, Matthew Oatmeal,Al Gore and Tim Burners-Lee also headlined with keynote speeches that covered topics like print-to-digital + social evolution, using social to drive global change, pitching his new book and ramblings of adigital genius, respectively. All keynotes managed to address the topic of user-generated content.Traditionally reserved for start-ups, developers and indie designers, conference sessions focused moreon examining the underlying traits of the digital age as well as integrated brand approaches tomarketing in the digital arena. Brands played a big part in the promotion of content, talks andinteractive sessions. The interactive portion saw an increase in support from corporate sponsors thatincluded Chevy, 3M, Target, Samsung, Ford, Fast Company, 3M, American Airlines, Adobe Systems, andAT&T.Fashion + Tech converged with branded experiences and conference sessions that included digitalmarketing from Target, Neiman Marcus, Modcloth, Pose, PoshMark, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Walmart,Bergdorf Goodman, Free People, Poshmark, Lyst, Kaboodle, Gap, Refinery 29, Kate Spade, Whole Foodsand StyleCaster and more.  
  6. 6. SXSWi : Trends 2013 : Focus on the User  It’s no longer what brand want consumers to digest. It’s now how users prefer to consumeand what type of content they consume. The focus for growth is on the mobile user, withuser-generated content as the catalyst for moving brands forward and developingtechnologies that support that growth.Focus on the user was most evident in 6 specific areas:•  Mobile payment apps•  Group chat apps•  Video & music apps & software•  Recharging stations & hardware•  Loyalty programs•  Cloud computingConverging hardware and software development to support consumer-generated contentmeans making sure people are armed with the right brand story to tell. It also means theyare armed with the right software and hardware to tell that story in the most dynamic,relevant, innovative way. Otherwise, it’s a risk to the brand and it’s a risk to the author.  
  7. 7. SXSWi : Trends 2013 : Focus on the User  Mobile payment apps :: From Square to Paypal to Level Up to Google Wallet,mobile payment apps were the talk of the town. Seth Priebatsch launchedSCVNGR back in 2010 and returned to the keynote stage at SXSWi to talkabout his latest venture, Level Up, a mobile payment game-changer.Group chat apps :: The other side to making mobile more trustable ismaking mobile more enjoyable. Group app chats allow for both asconsumers use private groups to control their communications and at thesame time, start building a more immediate, more trustful relationship withthe behavior AND the device. was a clear winner at SXSWi.Video & music apps :: amping up what Instagram & Pinterest haveperfected, image filtering and video manipulation apps were a plenty. Addin the ability to instantly edit with apps like Camera Plus and Clinch, and itis easy to think that this trend will continue as technology to support UXneeds develops at the same time.Recharging stations & hardware :: Mophie partnered with AmericanApparel to sponsor the Brooklyn Vegans free music. Other branded mobilecharging vendors were everywhere, like the AT&T station to the right.  
  8. 8. SXSWi : Trends 2013Awards programs :: loyalty-based big data repository business models are everywhere.Because loyalty programs can be social intention-based (tweeting or sharing in Facebook)or consumer data driven (tied to credit card info & online behavior) loyalty programs aregetting more localized, actionable and social in nature. Example companies like PeerIndex,glocal, Lyst social shopping and invite users to discover, share and shop withinan awards-based digital experience. Social engagement dashboards & cloud computing :: in comparing a system of crowd-sourcing data to a single social media dashboard, retailers are shifting resources away fromPR outreach teams and into social media/moderation teams, so they can use socialconversations to engage in authentic ways. Crowdsourcing data and social dialogue allowsbrands to determine what content is most meaningful to increase conversion and exceedonline customer service expectations. Winners in this category included Amazon WebServices, Mass Relevance, Meltwater, Resource, Bloomfire and a few more.  
  9. 9. The Future of Retail is MobileWalmart, ShopKick, the Branding Brand and Urban Airship took to the stage for a paneldiscussion on how the future of retail is mobile. The two areas of challenge for all retailersis 1. evolving the in-store experience to support the capabilities of mobile and 2. gettingstakeholders to support the time and resources needed to make it a smooth & enjoyableshopping experience.Using mobile to drive consumer into the store is the wrong tactic, experts agree, becausemobile programming is happening at a time when consumers are already forming theirmobile shopping preferences.Steve Yankovich, Innovator from eBay told a similar story in a session titled, “Whyshopping will never be the same.” Dan Shust of ResourceLAB discussed his workdeveloping innovative purchasing paths from store to online to social and beyond forVictoria’s Secret and Kohl’s while Barry Bourbon of Gensler Group did the same for Gap.  
  10. 10. An Deadly Interview with Nina Garcia & Randi ZuckerbergNina Garcia, creative director for Marie Claire magazine, star of Project Runway, styleambassador for JCPenney and leading fashion expert joined Randi Zuckerberg of ZuckerbergMedia and formerly of Facebook, in a conference session titled, “Style Goes Viral: the Futureof Fashion” at SXSWi. #viralstyleThree things the panelist agreed on:1.) social mobile is critical to purchasing decisions more than ever before2.) consumers and brands alike need to own their content but also keep it real3.) images are everything. Nina said, “If you are in fashion and you are not on Pinterest, you are dead.”Fast fashion (like Zara & H+M) are places whereNina sees a lot of future growth, as well as brandswho use social to have honest and helpfulconversations instead of celebrity-heavy paidendorsements. Nina said that editors need to lead thefashion discussion while Randi argued that bloggershad the capabilities to create more influential user-generated content from an integrated marketingperspective. PR media impressions were dead, saidRandi. UGC is king, she said.
  11. 11. ModCloth Plays Modest Role in Shaping UGC forthe Online Fashion, an online boutique specializing in vintage-inspired apparel and decor,was introduced in 2002 and continues to grow into a unique social shoppingexperience, built around community engagement and no brick and mortar storefront.ModCloth has two strong digital merchandising campaigns that capitalize on user-generated content; the Be the Buyer program and the Make the Cut Contest. Their socialmedia team manages these regular programs to encourage engagement, content curationand social sharing vetted by crowdsourcing.CMO/COO Kerry Cooper hosted a session on the challenges and opportunities forbrands ready to take on “community collaboration,” in their marketing andmerchandising. Modcloth also presented their strategy for infusing crowdsourcing as away to reach the best influencers and keep the most engaged customers. Don’t try to beall things to all people, you will fail, she seemed to imply.
  12. 12. Leading Fashion Sites’ Discuss Social StrategyDKNY, Bergdorf Goodman and Lucky Magazine hosted an intimate panel discussion onlistening and leveraging your best social media strategies to create authenticrelationships in Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Vine, Pinterest, Instagram andTumblr. #sxswi #llFashionTop take-aways:•  Commit to a brand voice & tone to build a social persona•  Limit traditional marketing & overly promotional messages if brand wants to createa social persona•  Do not use same messages across channels; recognize that each channel hasopportunity to engage with a new audience•  Listen to your audience to continually reinvent content strategy•  Focus less on conversion in social, more on reputation mgmt & customer acquisition•  End goal should be to add value; delight if you can  Aliza  Licht   Cannon  Hodge   John  Jannuzzi  
  13. 13. A Panelist with Leading Fashion Sites Discussed theRole of Female Influencers in Content CurationFashion editors from popular trend sites HelloGiggles, HuffPo Fashion, XOJaneand Jezabel gathered together for an interactive panel on leading contentstrategies for online fashion sites.Top take-aways:•  User-generated content helps shape editorial content•  Best content is real stories from real fans•  Best content invites engagement across channels•  Users are more engaged on Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine thanFacebook, eCommerce site and print magazines  
  14. 14. Gap & American Apparel were the official apparelsponsors of SXSW 2013•  SXSW branded American Apparel t-shirtsand other Gap gear was available for sale atmultiple locations•  SXSW attendees also received exclusive30% off coupons from both brands•  Gap also partnered with TUMBLR to hostthe TUMBLR house.•  Gap created a Fashion Style Pinterest boardto help people pack for the trip, gainingmore than 20k fans before the festival•  Gap launched their TUMBLR site, “BEBRIGHT” in time for SXSW 2013.
  15. 15. Target, Starbucks, Evite @ the Fast Company Grill wonbest-in-show for branded experience & UGC-curation•  The Fast Company grill was a sanctuary in themiddle of all the conference chaos.•  Strategically located, this invite-only restauranttake-over of a favorite local bar & grill was openfor media, artists, VIPs, tastemakers.•  Breakfast, lunch, snacks, drinks, arcade games anddaily prizes were offered every day of SXSWi.•  #powerthemorning was Starbucks hashtag, plusboth Target & Evite gave away daily prizes forTweet and real-time social engagement.•  Fast Company Grill presented by Lincoln 3M’s“innovation conversation” invited users to take aphoto and post it to a virtual augmented realitywall. #fastcompanygrill•  Hashtags were printed on coasters, freebies,contests and hourly giveaways to encouragecollection of UGC.
  16. 16. Neiman Marcus CUSP hosted a beauty bar, bloggerapparel shop, VIP party & 2 panel sessions•  Neiman Marcus CUSP partnered with StyleCaster topresent two different branded experiences; a pop-upshop spa afternoon and a closing night engagementfeaturing “Austin’s 25 Most Stylish.”•  Spa included mini-mani’s, blow-outs and a chargingstation.•  CUSP pop-up shop featured fashion blogger ManRepeller apparel pieces for sale.•  Media, marketers and bloggers were invited to Austin’s25 Most Stylish event; encouraging original UGC.•  Neiman Marcus also hosted two panel sessions: Style tothe People and Photo Image Sharing for Fashion Brands.
  17. 17. American Airlines used Vine to cater to the need oftechnology & wants of UX; optimizing UGC•  @AmericanAir launched#newAmerican at SXSW with a Vinecontest.•  TwitPic was also incorporated intothe contest as a way to encourageUGC & social sharing.•  Consumers were encouraged tocreate 6-second videos for a chanceto win a free flight on the newestBoeing 777.•  AA also hosted a recharge lounge;with massage chairs, health juice,refreshments & iPhone chargingstations.
  18. 18. How Macy’s Made a Presence at SXSW•  Macy’s partnered with Vans WarpedTour to host a free concert in a localMacy’s store.•  Twitter, Instagram were used to gatherUGC.•  Weeks before the event, consumers wereinvited to visit Macy’s online in order toenter for a chance to win free tix &travel to SXSW 2013. Macy’s promotedthe contest and the concert across social& on music sites.
  19. 19. Examples of how brands covered the festival in their ownblog sites (Gap, StyleCaster, Starbucks’s, Target, Free People,Nordstrom, Macy’s)
  20. 20. Other interesting articles on SXSWCNN Tech ( did a quick write-up on their 5 things they saw at SXSW:1. Hardware, not software2. 3D printing3. Space4. Big data5. More celebritiesForbes published a Young Entrepreneurs Council article on the top 5 lessons for marketers at SXSW:( o1. Beneficial consumer engagement2. Bringing digital CRM into the real world3. Be authentic to your environment4. Play your brand position5. Refresh old brand platformsA CMO network article by Kristine Segrist outlines a four highlights from a freshman: Work/Life balance2. Intuition vs. Algorithm3. The Sharing Economy4. Technology for humanity  
  21. 21. Thank you!Questions? Contact me!Jennifer