What you should remember from SXSW 2016
It is always more complicated for French people to succeed in getting to a conference like Southwest because Texas is not exactly near Paris. This article therefore aims to get you up to speed and be able to talk about it to the coffee machine as if you were there.
That said, it would be a lie to say that France is absent from such an event, France had a stand or were exhibited. Devialet, Afrostream, Babbler and a few others and then we sometimes hear French speaking in the streets of Austin.
SXSW interactive (there is also a music and film section) is arguably one of the most famous digital business conferences in the world. It is no coincidence that Barack and then Michelle Obama decided to speak there this year. For anyone who still doubted it, this is a strong sign that in politics, digital tools are obviously central.
SXSW is also known to be the cradle of many start-ups including Foursquare and Twitter for example. In short, SXSW is the meeting of tens of thousands of marketers, entrepreneurs, investors from around the world gathered in the small town of Austin for a few days.
A feeling comes back naturally when we are at SXSW, it is the FOMO (fear or missing out) or if you want to stay French, frustration. With more than 100 conferences a day, a multitude of relevant people to meet, colorful parties and events, impossible to follow everything, impossible even to be able to see everything that interests us.
It is obviously difficult to describe a theme that would have stood out because too much is happening at the same time. This article is therefore the fruit of what I have seen and heard around me and in no way an attempt at an exhaustive vision of SXSW 2016.
Digital is at the heart of luxury
In addition to this, you need to know more about it.
Being a speaker at SXSW is an opportunity, so I will necessarily talk about the panel in which I intervened with Havas Luxe and Armani.
The luxury sector is lagging behind when it comes to digital and one could easily imagine that the people who work in this sector are far from conferences like this one. It’s a mistake, Chanel had sent a large group of people, the same for LVMH or L’Oréal (mainly from the US).
Sectors like luxury are therefore very interested in the subject and ask themselves essential questions so as not to make the mistake of chasing unicorns or “shinny objects” without working on the fundamentals like Youtube for example.
Among the questions we addressed: what is luxury in 2016? How to combine proximity to luxury brands and the natural authority they have always had? How can luxury brands approach millennials or Z generations? How can luxury brands use digital to provide relevant customer experiences?
Luxury brands have often used digital, but many barriers still need to be crossed for it to be used effectively. The debate on the parades and the release of the collections and the two visions (American and Franco-Italian) are really interesting in this regard.
Do we really want a frictionless life?
“Frictions”, “customer experience”, “brand experience”, “design experience”, all of these terms are extremely fashionable in modern marketing.
As Jonathan Ive pointed out in the New Yorker (http://www.newyorker.com/
The latter explains that a frictionless life could easily resemble the movie Wall-e and that this is not necessarily what we want for the human hope. However, we are all so busy wanting to eliminate friction for the modernists or to remain inactive for the passers-by that we no longer even really think if this is really what we want and how humans will be able to d ‘adapt to this new framework. As Samuel L Jackson tweeted in December 2013: “the uberfication of everything is turning San Francisco into an assisted living community ”.
The new problem is therefore to know how to offer a pleasant experience for the consumer while maintaining the frictions that are necessary for self-satisfaction (Ikea is, in this context, a good example).
Virtual reality is everywhere
Without too much surprise, virtual reality is obviously in all languages, in all stands and in many speeches.
Whether it is hardware, software, cameras, applications or sponsors like Samsung, Mc Donalds, Gillette or sectors such as porn, retail, automotive … there was none. only for virtual reality. Likewise, Sony announced the launch of a VR headset for the playstation in October 2016 for $ 399. The least we can say is that the participants wanted to try these applications, but it seems that NASA won by far the most immersive experience with the possibility of touching, modifying objects while visiting the interior of it. ‘a spaceship. Be careful, however, for brands that absolutely want to dive into virtual reality and the agencies that will push them there. Shinny objects aren’t always the smartest move unless you absolutely want to do RP.
Remember, if it can reassure you, that Apple was never the first to launch anything, they always waited for companies to try their hand, to make mistakes so that they could then improve the experience.
Artificial intelligence and robotics but not really
Obviously it would be impossible for an event like SXSW to take place without talking about AI and robotics. AI, in particular with regard to how brands will be able to understand chat applications, was at the heart of the discussions. The inventor of Siri, Dag Kittlaus, among others, spoke about the future of technology and his latest company which decided to create a “central brain” that we could educate as we contribute to Wikipedia.
Obviously IBM was also very present with Watson but precisely, I found that robotics was a little behind because even if we could see Pepper (obviously), I did not see anything of the new robotic advances, those which can make us say the human race should beware like in this video:
However, Pepper should be integrated into Watson soon, which will necessarily give a new dimension to robotics which seems above all to stumble on the industrial aspect to date as proved the sale of Boston Dynamics by Google.
Marketing must integrate data
There are many common places like that and big data and what is related to data is one of them.
Data, among other things, to better target but also to produce content or optimize content.
The question for advertisers is obviously to produce the most relevant content possible at the lowest cost and above all to stay in the race in this complex era of content snacking where emerging is becoming more and more complicated. To make the link with the paragraph on artificial intelligence, it is very clear that AI will begin to replace professions such as writing, which is already the case in many magazines. The question, but which already seems to have its answer, is whether it is possible to have an emotional attachment to a robot. The film Her seems to be a harbinger.
Obviously, there are many more subjects seen and heard but it is impossible to summarize them as the electricity of momentum is so difficult to transmit. Even if some go to great lengths to say “SXSW is not what it used to be”, “SXSW is no longer the fashionable vent”, there is still a lot to see and do there. to hear and it is certainly an experience to have in any case so see you in 2017.
Gregory Pouy is the founder of LaMercatique, a digital transformation consulting firm focused on the marketing part. Based between New York and Paris, he is a marketing “expert” for Frenchweb.fr. To follow his writings and discuss with him:
His blog: http://www.gregorypouy.fr
His account on Twitter: @gregfromparis