2016 Stone Ward SXSW Recap

by Abbi Siler

SXSW 2016 was all about virtual reality, big data, and the convergence of motion pictures and technology. Of course, the event is always bustling with activity, sessions, and events. Here's a bird's eye view of the top trends and things happening at SXSW this year! We look forward sharing the knowledge with our clients!

My top takeaways from the event this year are as follows:

Big Data = More than #s, Application.

  • Great discussion about digging into large data for segmentation and targeted messaging.
  • Big Data for Big Decisions — from growth expansions in the retail sector to new product creation for technical and industrial sectors.
  • Tools, Tips & Analysis — tons of product demos on the expo floor for big data along with IBMs Data lead exhibit featuring their AI, Watson.

Marketing Automation = Trend on the Rise

  • From detailed drip campaign structures from New York Times Digital Strategy team, to social content process flows, there were tons of insights on how to build and execute automation.
  • By using insights from your existing data, and tying them into highly segmented and efficient campaigns, you can target customers in their own routines on multiple platforms.

Accessibility, Compliance & New Technology

  • SXGood hosted an entire afternoon focused on web accessibility. From panels with disabled users to product demonstrations of services coming out to help disabled users get online, there was a lot of discussion on how these users will drive technology to adapt and grow.
  • Be My Eyes — a really cool app that launched at SXSW (came out of a long beta) that connects users who can see to users who cannot see to help the blind user find or make decisions.
  • Compliance & Development Tips & Tools shared on the Expo floor and at SXGood.

Visual targeting with a variety of creative.

  • Using a variety of copy and visual graphics/photography make your social ads stronger, especially on Facebook.
  • In a presentation by the Sr VP of Ad Segmentation at Facebook, many tips were shared on how to make strong ads that are hyper-targeted but also how to execute rich testing of creative.
  • More mphasis on using big data to apply to creative and ad buy segmentation.

Here a few new tools I learned about & refresher on a few I already knew:

  • Knowbility — Accessibility Resource & Best Practice Sharing
  • Google Tag Manager
  • Isovera — Drupal Solutions for Developers

Missed our social posts from the event? Check out our Instagram feed for all the fun photos we shared throughout our week in Austin, Texas!

Abbi Siler