GroundFloor Media & CenterTable Blog

Alexis’ Take, Day 4…

Mad Men (via AMC) and Old Spice. I am a fan of both, obviously for different reasons (i.e. I watch Mad Men religiously and the Old Spice character isn’t bad to look at). I bring both up because they seem to be the case study darlings of SXSWi, or at least of all the sessions I attended today. Mad Men has jumped out of the TV screen and into so many of our worlds, from the @BettyDraper Twitter personality to Banana Republic clothing lines. Old Spice went a step beyond its ads and started answering fans’ tweets via video, even fulfilling a marriage proposal request.

Think big or go home—being on Facebook and Twitter may no longer enough if you subscribe to emerging transmedia theories, and if you do not have the bandwidth to do more, you better make sure you are doing both extremely well and pushing the creative limits along the way.

Other points that stuck…

  • Branded content isn’t new, but some brands just continue to evolve and push the category to new limits. In a digital storytelling session we were shown a parkour video shot and produced by Red Bull. Aside from subtle branding, the user experience is all about an incredible athlete and beautiful backdrop.
  • Pinterest was the focus of a panel about how to harness consumer intent and while the ideas of how consumer – especially e-commerce – brands can and should leverage consumer intent on Pinterest into lead/sale conversions, the woman sitting next to me mumbled under her breath, “yeah, but how is this scalable?” Unless you have a social media team of 20 it is impossible to chase down every pin and repin on the platform. Instead, take a page from brands like ModCloth and work to curate a useful experience that does not just jam your company down their throat.
  • In the same consumer intent panel, panelist Farrah Bostic, founder of The Difference Engine, was a wealth of understandable and compelling sound bites about what inherently limits and destroys the social media hopes of many brands. My two favorites: “Desire for perfection is social media’s greatest enemy” and “Far worse for a brand to be irrelevant (in SM) than to piss someone off.” Both were in reference to how you are in a no win situation if you are running a social media program that takes longer than a few minutes to approve a tweet.

Jim’s Take, Day 4…

It may have been the near fatal amounts of caffeine running through my body, or maybe it was the speakers themselves, but my notes from today consisted of many short, quick, one-liners. Strangely, they all made perfect sense to me as I re-read them and I feel they should be shared, nearly verbatim. Here are some of the great thoughts I overheard on Monday at SXSW:

  • “Make something people want to share.” Without context, this is true across the board when it comes to social media and digital marketing. Before you hit “comment” or “post,” think to yourself: would anyone want to share this?
  • “It’s not about you, it’s about your audience.” Yes, this is the fourth out of four days I’ve posted this type of comment. I hope you don’t get tired of it, because you’ll probably hear me say it in person, via email, on Twitter and otherwise…
  • “Help customers out and provide them with valuable content and solutions. They’ll come back to you the next time they want information on that topic.” This came from an employee at Eventbrite – the event RSVP site. This is thought leadership at its best. Think about the content you’re putting out there, and how you can build on what your customers want. (see the previous bullet)
  • “Reach out to your customers where they already live (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, etc.). Don’t expect them to interact with you in an area they aren’t used to.” In other words – research is key. Find out where your customers are talking, what they’re saying and how they’re saying it. That is what GFM’s Digital Snapshot™ process is all about.
  • “Don’t be gross. There are a lot of things that digital marketers can do that are disingenuous. Don’t do them.” I wanted to hug the panelist after she said this.
  • “I don’t work extra hours in the week because I want to make more money, I do it because I care about analog photography.” This came from Alexandra Klasinski of one of my favorites, Lomography, and I think this is true of any employer that creates an honest and healthy culture – including GFM.

~ Alexis Anderson and Jim Licko

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