If a picture is worth a thousand words, Velocitize has a few million words to share. During the recent South By Southwest conference and festival, we chatted with a number of professionals in media, advertising and marketing about digital experiences, the future of marketing and cutting edge technologies for deeper engagement with today’s consumer.
The range of opinions and intelligence we gathered led to the the launch of Velocitize Talks, our new interview series. From honest appraisals of the current state of trust between the public and institutions to the rise of ambient technologies, we heard strong opinions, bold forecasts and meaningful proposals.
GSD&M co-founder and chairman Roy Spence used SXSW as the launchpad for The Promiseland Project, an initiative to transform the country’s culture and the nation itself to a high-performing one driven by purpose as the prescription against cynicism. “We have to start winning on purpose, instead of politics. I think the country is hungry to find common ground,” he said.
“The issue of trust is going to be one of the biggest issues in the next three years,” said Jim Bowes, CEO of agency Manifesto. “The Internet community needs to address the problem of fake news like it attacked the spam epidemic in the early days of email marketing,” he said.
“Social media platforms are making efforts to “right the ship” but the public needs to take some responsibility over their content,” said Jess Clifton, U.S. head of digital at Edelman. “Brands need to adopt the same position,” she said.
“Edelman’s annual Trust Barometer study found trust in government, media and business has hit record lows among the U.S. public. What used to be a healthy tension between opposing points of view has become an almost unbridgeable gap, as more people remain in their echo chambers,” said Tanarra Schneider, group director of Fjord. Fjord’s annual trends study also found consumers are seeking brands that reflect their beliefs. “Marketing is trying to strike a balance between physical and digital worlds and walk a line between speaking to a group and appealing to tribalism,” she said.
A fascination with technology has distracted marketing and media from focusing on people and their experiences, said Trevor Hardy, CEO of consultants The Future Laboratory.
“Digital experience is definitely the new marketing” said Katie Swindler, user experience strategist of Allstate. “Long gone are the days when marketers are selling things by making you feel unsure about your armpits.”
Watch all these interviews, and more from SXSW in our new Velocitize Talks section and join us in coming weeks as we share more interviews, insights and intelligence. Come back for videos, podcasts and more, and check out our YouTube channel to see and share the full videos from Velocitize Talks.