SXSW Interactive is always jam packed with tons of new ideas and interesting trends. Every year we see recurring themes throughout the sessions our team attends. Here are the top themes we saw across our experience as a whole.
Augmented Reality will Connect the Physical and Digital Realms
Augmented reality will inevitably hit critical mass once 5G speeds are widely available and it will connect what’s historically been two different experiences – in real life (IRL) and digital. Houzz has already found that shoppers using it’s augmented reality tool to view furniture pieces in their home are 11x more likely to purchase and 75% of shoppers that have used augmented reality want to use it again.
Your smartphone will become a looking glass that connects IRL experiences to digital data and information. A wide range of experiences are expected to change, from retail to finding food options on a street corner.
We’re Holding Tech Platforms to Higher Standards
Technology has certainly made our lives easier and more connected over the years. In the early days, you could say these technologies, like email and social media, improved our lives. However, tools like these have now been optimized to use our data to the fullest and our attention is traded like a commodity.
In session after session this year, we found speakers talking about how as consumers we must be mindful about the technology we’re using and as marketers ensuring we’re bringing people value. But that’s only what we can do now. We also have to hold platforms to higher standards as they create new features and evolve. They’ve shown us they can optimize their platforms to take advantage of people’s attention, but now they must show us they can optimize their platforms to give value back to their audiences.
The Robots are Coming
From robot dogs with life-like reactions to robots making you breakfast, you can expect to see more and more talk about robotics in the coming years. The idea is the same as what you see in old sci-fi movies. Robots can be built to do the tasks we’d rather not do. While the widespread use of robots in your home may still be far off, this year we really started seeing companies explore how these robots may integrate into your life sooner than you might think.
Scaling Marketing While Maintaining Personalization & Interest
Creating personalized messages for niche audiences isn’t new, but this year we heard numerous speakers talking about ideas and research for being more efficient with advertising. How can we create an authentic message that’s interesting to everyone?
Unskippable Labs from Google dove into just how much customization is needed to reach different audiences for different types of video ads. One creative talked about how they are able to create mass marketing messages with diversity and connection built in. And another data analyst talked about the power of targeting different audiences with shared life experiences. Marketers are finding new ways every day to create interesting and relevant messages.
Agency Entourage always leaves SXSW fresh ideas and new perspectives on digital marketing. If you weren’t able to make it to Austin, TX this year we’d love to chat with you about our insights from SXSW.