02/26/2015

AKASXSW

This past month, our Digital Group Director, Sarah Borenstein, and our Strategic Innovations Director, Joshua Lee Poole, headed south to attend SXSW Interactive. From hands-on training to big-picture analysis of the future, SXSW Interactive has become the place to preview the technology of tomorrow today.

Here’s our Top 10 list of key takeways:

1. A key theme this year was about privacy. Brands will need to justify requesting personal data by rewarding consumers with helpful personalization. People are more aware than ever before about what their personal data is worth.

2. From healthcare to consumer entertainment, wearable tech was prominent, signaling a future in which more people augment their bodies with these devices.

3. People gravitate to content on mobile, as it is seen as entertainment rather than advertising. The average person interacts with his/her smartphone 100 times per day, and as such, 50% of Facebook ad spend is now on mobile.

4. Robots as workers was a prominent topic. They were discussed taking over as assistants, babysitters and cleaners. While some people may struggle with the introduction of this electronic labor, it will also stimulate job creation in some sectors.

5. We’re steadily more reliant on photos, emojis & videos. With attention spans shrinking, a picture is worth a thousand words.

6. 3D printers and “printables” were a highlight this year. These were featured in various forms from printing 3D edible food to shoes.

7. When brands have emotionally compelling social content, more people will engage with it.

8. Content is king. Addictive storytelling, branded newsrooms and native advertising are the new world order.

9. A culture of innovation is only meaningful when it is valued, nurtured and strategically developed.

10. The era of Big Data is valuable only if we effectively share our learnings with clients in a meaningful way.