The Ogilvy & Mather London SXSW Report

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The SXSW ReportBy James Whatley / @Whatleydude Digital Director Ogilvy & Mather Advertising, London

ITS BEEN SEVERAL WEEKS SINCE SXSW

SO WHAT?

Its been several weeks since South by Southwest (SXSW) but these trends are still relevant. A quick primer: SXSW is a combination of interactive, film, and music festivals /conferences that take place in Austin, Texas, USA. It began in 1987 and has continued to grow in both scope and size every year Krystal Higgins Sr. UX Designer GoogleA wealth of information creates a poverty of attentionSo lets start with a quote. Something that gives us perhaps an over-arching theme for this entire talk. TREND ONE:

THE ERA OF DISENEGAGEMENT

THE ERA OF DISENGAGEMENT: KEY DRIVERS

We are living in a world of content overload. THE ERA OF DISENGAGEMENT: KEY DRIVERS (1)

CONTENT OVERLOAD: NEUROPLASTICITY

The first talk I went to at SXSW was this AMAZING talk by the agency, Hey Human (their slide here). In a nutshell: Neuroscience tells us that every new stimulus physically rewires the pathways in our brains via a process known as neuroplasticity.

As the proverbial Pavlovs Dog, every time digital natives feel a buzz in their pockets or on their wrists, they sit up to attention and, according to research, their IQ subsequently drops by 10 points.

Notifications are changing our brains; concentration is becoming more and more difficult.

The only good thing about this problem is that we know it exists. Meaning we can fix it. If we try.

http://www.businessinsider.com/what-checking-email-all-the-time-does-to-your-brain-2014-7?IR=T

THE ERA OF DISENGAGEMENT: KEY DRIVERS (1)

As neuroscientists like to say: Neurons that fire together, wire together. THE ERA OF DISENGAGEMENT: KEY DRIVERS (2)

CONTENT OVERLOAD: COGNITIVE SURPLUS

The great paradox of the Internet is that with our social connectivity comes the brutal realisation of how disconnected we are.

In Clay Shirkys book of the same name, he theorises that the Internets effect on society is a positive one and that by moving attention away from the time suck of TV, the online age is leading to new forms of creative expression.

However, the dichotomy here being that to create something new in the world, fundamentally, you need to be offline to do it. - The idea of multitasking is actually a misnomer. What people are doing every day by switching tabs and devices is actually task-switching, which has serious implications for long-term memory. The challenge is that in a high stimuli environment a lot of information goes to the straeta which is the learning center of the brain and never makes it to the hippocampus (the best section for memory recall). This means that information that should be getting processed and stored for easy access is getting lost.

THE ERA OF DISENGAGEMENT: KEY DRIVERS (3)

CONTENT MARKETINGCONTENT OVERLOAD: CONTENT MARKETING

Content Marketing was a hot topic at SXSW.

The once heralded next great practice of online communications, the social media white noise (also known as Branded Content) is now being put under the microscope.

What is the point, what is it worth, does it add value to our consumers lives?

THERE WERE OVER 400 TALKS WITH THE WORD'CONTENT'IN THE TITLEAt SXSW there were over 400 talks with the word CONTENT in the title!!!THE ERA OF DISENGAGEMENT: EXAMPLES DEVICE HANDOVER

At the SXSW sessions Creative Listening Worshop, attendees were asked to handover their smartphones as they arrived so as not to be too distracted.

When you are ready to get started, put you phone aside oh and please turn it off

See also: the phone stacking game

THE ERA OF DISENGAGEMENT: EXAMPLESSOCIAL MEDIA SABBATICALS

Celebrities from Stephen Fry to Neil Gaiman announce Twitter holidays like its the next big trendy thing. When Internet users are purposefully using holiday time to unplug from Facebook, one has to wonder how long the trend of #HolidaySpam will last.

From European getaways where the hosts take your phone from you at check in to far eastern Buddhist retreats where theres simply no way to connect; the holiday-maker of 2015 is looking for sun, sea, and sand (sans social).

THE ERA OF DISENGAGEMENT: EXAMPLESTHE SOCIAL MEDIA GUARD

Initially rolled out as a piece of tongue-in-cheek marketing this Social Media Guard from Coca-Cola/Ogilvy Memac picked up a lot of press for being a very good idea

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0BBVRPvKQMTHE ERA OF DISENGAGEMENT: IMPLICATIONSContent is as much about publishing & distribution as it is about creation and storytelling. When considering your content strategy, you must consider the distribution of that content.

Lets be clearLESSISMOREAfter all. COULD YOU BE THE BRAND THAT TELLS ITS CONSUMERS TO ACTUALLY SWITCH OFF?

CHALLENGE: Could you be the brand that tells its consumers to actually switch off? If you did, what would it look like? Think on. TREND TWO:

THE RETAIL REVIVAL

The retail revolution at SXSW was such that I even wrote about this for the Guardian *while still at SXSW* - http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2015/mar/18/sxsw-2015-retail-shopping-technology-revival William Gibson(did not say this)The future of retail is here, its just not evenly distributedAnyway, heres a quote that underpins what Im about to tell you. THE RETAIL REVIVAL: KEY DRIVERS (1)CUSTOMER FOCUS: EXPERIENCE

A focus on The Customer Experience (hello Apple) and UX as the future of advertising and communications meant that at every retail-themed talk at SXSW (over 150 sessions on this one subject) the topic of customer experience was never far from the agenda.

Consumers are hungry for their high streets to prosper but the value placedon time and attention is continually increasing meaning that if a customerchooses to visit your store, you better make it worthwhile.

CUSTOMER FOCUS: EXPERIENCE

A focus on The Customer Experience (hello Apple) and UX as the future of advertising and communications meant that at every retail-themed talk at SXSW (over 150 sessions on this one subject) the topic of customer experience was never far from the agenda.

Consumers are hungry for their high streets to prosper but the value placedon time and attention is continually increasing meaning that if a customerchooses to visit your store, you better make it worthwhile.

THE RETAIL REVIVAL: KEY DRIVERS (2)CUSTOMER FOCUS: WEARABLES

Wearable technology was everywhere at SXSW. The Totes bag even had the words The Original Wearable printed on it which, perhaps counter-intuitively put wearables front of mind at every glance (and not Totes).

From wrist payments to biometric scanning to seamless mobile integration, the way that consumers interact within the retail environment is set to change and, by iBeacon or wearable, we are about enter a brand new technology-driven bricks and mortar retail revival with a laser sharp focus on the customer experience.

THE RETAIL REVIVAL: KEY DRIVERS (3)CUSTOMER FOCUS: ONLINE GOES OFFLINE

Buy Online Pick in Store (or BOPS) was a key trend in the myriad retail sessions at SXSW.

A recent econsultancy report cited a staggering 40% of British consumers reserved online to pick up in-store over Christmas and this is only set to increase.

And its here that the online giants could ultimately miss out.

BOPS? What? YOU COULD CALL IT THE CLICKS AND MORTARREVOLUTIONLOVE A GOOD PUN

THE RETAIL REVIVAL: EXAMPLESFOCUS ON EXPERIENCE

The days of waiting in line and crossing fingers for a product are over for our customers. The Apple Store app and our online store make it much easier to purchase Apple Watch and the new MacBook. Customers will know exactly when and where their product arrives.

This is a significant change in mindset, and we need your help to make it happen. Tell your customers we have more availability online, and show them how easy it is to order.

Youll make their day.Most recently, Apple announced a significant change in mindset in the way that it views its retail outlets.

No longer does it want its customers to queue for days on end for new product launches, its shifting its customer base to order at home - specifically for new products. Allowing every day customers to browse and purchase as usual.

Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts is trying to usher in a new way for the company to handle product launches. She wants to encourage customers to avoid their local Apple Store when the Apple Watch goes on sale and instead order online

- Business Insider, April 2015

Reading between the lines here, its going to be an interesting ride for Apple in this instance. The people its trying to usher away from queues are the very same people that have helped it get to its status now. Hmm. THE RETAIL REVIVAL: EXAMPLESBIOMETRIC PAYMENT SYSTEMS

.Nymi is the biometric wristband that uses the unique electric activity of your heart to authenticate who you are and what youre able to unlock.

THE RETAIL REVIVAL: EXAMPLESONLINE GOES OFFLINE

From Amazon to Ebay, and most recently Google, there is a growing trend for online only companies to literally set up shop on the high street.

The reason? You cant beat real-world hands-on experience. As any good salesman will tell you, once a product is in consumers hands, its becomesvery difficult for them to let it go again. Googles continual experimentation on how it gets its products and services in front of every day consumers should be applauded. Buying a Chromecast or a Nexus device through the Play Store is fine for todays tech-savvy consumer but what about everyone else? Allowing potential (and non-geeky) customers a good hands on experience, as well as providing tutorials from in-house experts, means Google can be a step closer to the more traditional retail experience. Admittedly this isnt the newest idea for the global giant, however it does prove that there is still value in good old high street bricks and mortar.ONLINE INTERCONNECTED DATA IS BEING USED TO ENHANCE & ENCOURAGEOFFLINE FOOTFALL(AND NOT JUST IN RETAIL)

Interconnected data smart, not big is being used to enhance and encourage footfall. So?

THE RETAIL REVIVAL: IMPLICATIONSWearables and Sensors

No matter how often we say were creeped out by technology, we tend to acclimate quickly if it delivers what we want before we want it. For some of us, the retail experience has never gone away.

With the advent of wearables, ibeacons, and the application of big/smartdata, were now able to discern customer a from customer b with ease andwith grace.

A focus on individual customer experience is key to this success.

We might joke about the the GAP store in Minority Report knowing exactly what Tom Cruises character needs when he walks in but the Disney Magicband has taken us one step closer. Source - http://www.wired.com/2015/03/disney-magicband/

75% of MARKETERS BELIEVE THEY WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FORTHE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCEWITHIN 3-5 YEARSThis stat is predominantly driven by a wider trend of marketing becoming a revenue source (vs a cost centre) for business. If customer experience is at the fore, then so it follows that marketers will take charge of that moving forward. We shall see.

TREND THREE:

LIVESTREAM GOES MAINSTREAM Tero KuittinenBoy Genius Report

Meerkats success was the creation of a handful of west coast tech bloggers who managed to lure major newspapers into covering a phenomenon that did not existMeerkats success was the creation of a handful of West Coast tech bloggers who managed to lure major newspapers into covering a phenomenon that did not exist.

LIVESTREAM GOES MAINSTREAM: DRIVERS (1)MEERKATS RISE AND UP PERISCOPEThe application Meerkat has surfaced during this years SXSW. There was a number of people in the corridors and at performances who were livestreaming the event on their social channels. Gary Vaynerchuk, during his talk with Jack Welch, appeared with a man who was streaming it all the time to the observers of Garys profile. The question is whether Meerkat will be able to stand up Periscope without that strong support from Twitter? Were not sure.Now with PERISCOPE getting in on the scene, the Live Stream promise that was made in the late noughties, is finally coming to fruit.

The application Meerkat has surfaced during this years SXSW. There was a number of people in the corridors and at performances who were livestreaming the event on their social channels. Gary Vaynerchuk, during his talk with Jack Welch, appeared with a man who was streaming it all the time to the observers of Garys profile. The question is whether Meerkat will be able to stand up Periscope without that strong support from Twitter? Were not sure.Now with PERISCOPE getting in on the scene, the Live Stream promise that was made in the late noughties, is finally coming to fruit.

LIVESTREAM GOES MAINSTREAM: DRIVERS (2) PROLIFERATION OF 4G / TECH / SOCIAL Data is no longer a luxury item. With the advent of the year decade of mobile well and truly behind us, 4G technologies plus the democratization of previously pro-sumer tech, means that everybody has access to broadcast-quality kit. 4G networks allow super fast uploads and the flagship smartphones of 2015 packing cameras that can record up to 4K resolution, its no wonder that livestreaming is no longer the land of the geeks. Finally, the maturity and subsequent seamless integration of social media platforms in our lives means that when someone starts broadcasting, their friends will know very quickly indeed.

Data is no longer a luxury item. With the advent of the year decade of mobile well and truly behind us, 4G technologies plus the democratization of previously pro-sumer tech, means that everybody has access to broadcast-quality kit. 4G networks allow super fast uploads and the flagship smartphones of 2015 packing cameras that can record up to 4K resolution, its no wonder that livestreaming is no longer the land of the geeks. Finally, the maturity and subsequent seamless integration of social media platforms in our lives means that when someone starts broadcasting, their friends will know very quickly indeed.

LIVESTREAM GOES MAINSTREAM: DRIVERS (3)GENERATION SELFIE

When live streaming made its first play for success in 2007, there were no millennials to lap up the limelight. The networks werent ready, the users werent ready, and the Internet wasnt ready. Today, in 2015, building on the meshed platform of generation selfie, the time has never been more right for the online narcissist. Combine that hunger for popularity with the never-ending craving to fine the the source of any and all information on the Internet, you can begin to see why this might now take off.

CONSUMERS ARE INCREASINGLYLOOKING TO THE SOURCEFOR ENTERTAINMENTWhy read TMZ when you can follow Rhianna yourself? You s...