It’s day two of South by Southwest and it feels like the party culture kicked up a notch today! We had fun making new friends and reconnecting with old friends and co-workers – but most importantly we enjoyed the sessions we attended and have included key takeaways for your enjoyment!
- After starting off by taking in a bit of Premier League soccer at the NBC Sports Pavilion, I headed into “Content Creation and the Future of Sports on TV” to hear leaders from WWE, Tivo and Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM). MLBAM was born out of the league’s technological advancements with streaming video in the mid-aughts that created a whole new business unit providing HBO, the NHL, WWE, and the PGA Tour, among others with a streaming platform. Professional sports leagues are a great model for brands to follow and learn from when considering how to create and get the most out of all of their owned content.
- “From Apps to Obsession: Sparking Enviable Fandom” brought leaders from the mobile industry together to share how they are creating new relationships through notifications and opt-in marketing. The vice president of digital for the Cleveland Cavaliers went into great detail about the advanced segmentation and lifecycles of their fans and how the Cavs reach them before, during and after the games and other events the franchise holds. The Cavs can now reach fans that visited a fan shop in the arena without purchasing with deals and discounts that encourage them to make the purchase they were considering during the game.
- An afternoon diversion led to the “Capital One Spark Business House for Surprise & Delight: Disruption & Social Media in Flowers, Films & Small Business.” A small audience heard how Alamo Drafthouse (a personal favorite of mine) and Farmgirl Flowers created a business in an under-served niche and grew by staying true to the audience and expanding methodically. The Drafthouse started for cinephiles by cinephiles and all of their marketing has always spoken to their fans in true, authentic ways. Even as the theaters expand into new regions (including Colorado!) they make sure that they all of their communication is still true to that original voice.
- I started today way outside my comfort zone at a session called “Pimp My Brain: A Crash Course in DIY Brainhacking” and was quickly delighted to hear the presenters Cameron Craddock and Daniel Margulies – who are both neuroscientists – fall into a hilarious NPR-style banter. While much of what they spoke about was way beyond my comprehension, they boiled it down quickly by discussing the human quest for improving our mental state and stretching our cognitive abilities. With my personal focus on health care accounts, a key takeaway for me was how much we as humans want to believe titles, studies, authors and headlines that claim to have found the solution to any of a number of physical or mental health issues. They shared a great quote, “If the science is true, we would have cured everything by now,” from Tal Yarkoni, which reminded me of the importance of putting every milestone we share on behalf of our clients (health or otherwise) into context. We can’t control everything that goes out in the media, but we sure can help provide the background and resources for consumers who go searching for deeper data.
- My second session of the day was titled “Email is the Devil and Must be Vanquished” – which focused directly on an issue we at GFM struggle with every day. The host of speakers was incredible, including Brian Braiker from Digiday, Rachel Kaplowitz from Honey, Pramit Nairi from RPA, and my favorite, Hazel Swayne from Hyper Island. Everyone had great points, but Hazel compared email relationships to marriage, and it totally resonated with me. She cited the six reasons marriages and email relationships fail, which include:
- Not Taking Responsibility – know the guy who says… “but I sent you an email, it’s on you now?” Yeah – that guy. Therein lies your problem.
- Emotions and Feelings No Longer Matter – nothing hurts worse than putting your heart and soul into an email and getting the “ok – got it!” or “thanks” reply… Ouch.
- Carrying a Lot From Other Relationships – when you have >10K emails it’s impossible to organize your inbox, which exposes your inability to be organized. (I get this one, big time!)
- Oversharing Kills Intimacy – there’s little left to the imagination when a flurry of emails gets going. How about taking it offline and letting the ideas grow in a 1:1 conversation?
- Cheating Out of Boredom – it’s not that we get too many emails, but we don’t get enough GOOD emails… Hazel suggested taking a moment to send an email to someone you care about and asking “what can I do to make your day better?” Imagine that – care in an email form.
- Not Enough Physical Connection – we’re hiding behind email. How about calling or going to talk with someone directly about what you might have otherwise emailed about? Imagine that – what a dream!
- Thanks to GFM client Earth Balance, we were lucky to work with Chloe Coscarelli and her team last fall for the brand’s Holiday Bake Off. So, it was a real thrill to hear Chloe speak on a panel today called “Evolution of Fast Casual and the Shift to Mindful Eating.” Paired with her creative director, Samantha Wasser, Chloe served on the panel with Michael Wystrach from Freshly, and they talked about the power of harnessing your passion and finding your niche. Even more, however, they talked about the value of creating a good, authentic product. Even though Chloe’s product is vegan, she’s not trying to create a vegan version of a beef burger. Instead, she’s trying to create the best, tastiest burger she can – it just happens to be plant-based. On the social media side, I loved what Samantha shared about the the value of empowering restaurant staff to snap behind the scenes photos for by CHLOE on Snapchat, while fans get more insight about Chloe’s personal approach to food on her Instagram and Twitter handles. Freshly will be launching a new app later this year that will make it “the Netflix of food” and make it easier than ever for health-conscious consumers to track calorie intake (via Freshly meals) alongside their calorie output for a full view of their overall health. Having worked in the fast-casual and food industry for awhile, this is all really refreshing (pun fully intended) and exciting to see where restaurants and food companies are headed!
~ Carissa and Jon