During the latest South by Southwest festival, Velocitize Talks caught up with a number of speakers in the interactive conference sessions to gauge the state of digital disruption. Over the next weeks, we will share some of their insights about the maturing of digital marketing and technology.
Content can make people’s lives better, but it has to cut through the clutter to reach the people that need it, said David Dylan Thomas, Principal of Content Strategy at experience-design firm Think Company. If the right content reaches the consumer, it doesn’t matter how much other content is out there, he told Velocitize Talks.
Content is more focused today, more personalized and better targeted. Netflix, for example, has done away with demographics and uses actual behavior to personalize its user experience. “We’re trying to get smarter about it,” Thomas said.
Evidence-based design starts with research, both qualitative and quantitative, to create something that fulfills a need.
Data gathering is about more than having mountains of metrics, he said. The content creators have to first know what they want to get out of that data, and have some idea what question they need to answer to avoid waste.
Cognitive Bias and Content Strategies
Thomas, a filmmaker who also hosts The Cognitive Bias Podcast, spoke at SXSW about content strategies to fight unconscious biases. Many new approaches can help counteract cognitive bias without causing massive disruption or high costs, such as red team-blue team exercises.
Biases can harm progress in many ways, holding back digital transformation. That is a process of change management and the “status quo bias” can slow down process. “It’s the human side of that that is really challenging,” he said.
Removing biases is leading to some big disruptions in technology and branding now: “The hot new technology is diversity.”