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Jon and I were only able to make it to a couple of sessions before making our way to the airport and back to Denver. We’ve already discussed some overarching themes for the entire conference of “engineering content,” “openness to doing things differently” and “collaboration” – which we’ll discuss more in length during our April 10th SXSWi Denver Download. Until then, here are our takeaways from the final day of South By:

Jim’s Take:

  • Both sessions I attended today focused solely on creativity, and namely, how to inject creativity in to your work at all times. In “Inside the Bubbleverse: Art vs. Branding” the panelists discussed the differences between art and branding, and more importantly, where and how they intersect. Experiential marketing was a theme and led to this quote, which I think is spot on for marketers, “Tell me and I may forget. Show me and I may remember. Inovlve me and I’ll understand.”
  • The Q&A from “Bubbleverse” was also lively, with attendees questioning how you sell an “art” idea to marketers who are likely focused mainly on metrics. Its easy to make the claim that a “brand experience” will have deeper roots than liking a Facebook quote, but how we quantify that for marketing executives is just as important as coming up with the creative idea.
  • Along those lines, the second session I attended was titled, “Creativity in Innovation & Entrepreneurship,” and one of the first things out of designer John Maeda’s mouth was, “How things feel are just as important as whether or not their profitable, scalable and viable. The younger generation gets this. Design and aesthetics are of the highest importance.” Its not all X’s and O’s for marketers anymore.

Jon’s Take: 

  • My first session of the day featured the head of AOL TV Ran Harnevo and Roku Vice President of Business Development Scott Rosenberg talking about the how online video is changing the future of TV. TV itself is no longer a medium in and of itself, it’s nothing more than a delivery device at this point, just like your phone or tablet. For content creators, the “pipes” are in place to deliver content to audiences far and wide. For brands, the opportunity now exists to find very specific content that fits their brand audience and explore ways to partner, sponsor or advertise.
  • The final panel of SXSWi that I attended focused on the emerging practice of predictive marketing, the next level of “real-time.” Predictive marketing can help automate marketing decisions (“who do I market to, what product do I promote?) more efficiently and with more scale.

~ Jim and Jon

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