We have arrived at the golden age of content. An age where mobile is creating new moments to reach people with it and television is being resurrected with a three-dimensional version of it. Global media powerhouses like The New York Times have long been using content, media bread and butter, to drive response and influence behaviour. Smart brands adopting this approach are investing in people-first content strategies to amplify brand engagement. The path to purchase has pivoted towards deepening relationships to meet the demands of the evolved customer experience. With personalized content the reigning champion of marketing, South by Southwest's top takeaway for us is this: it is not the biggest and fastest who survive, but the ones most adaptable to change.
But, what exactly should brands be adapting to?
Shotgun Marketing is Dead
It only makes sense that with a growing popularity of personalized devices comes a growing demand for personalized marketing. Focused, individual data powers the marketing messages that are driving response with today's shoppers. You can deliver hyper-targeted, personalized packages to your audience by placing each individual shopper at the core of your message.
Evolved SMS and Push Notifications
Developing one-to-one relationships with shoppers solidifies the hard-earned influence you've made with your established direct marketing campaigns. To start small and scale allows us to collect individual consumer data and tweak as needed – this means being mindful of how many emails, SMS and push notifications we're sending and when. With geo-fencing technology increasingly fine-tuned, brands can turn away from wide-net marketing and toward the narrow: reaching your consumers at the precisely right place and time, and only then.
Virtual Reality Will Save Television
VR technology made tremendous waves with trade insiders in 2015 and will become an established method of content consumption in 2016. How viewers at-home consume their favourite shows and live events will have unparalleled influence on not only how consumers interact with television, but how advertisers need to approach media buying and video production strategies. VR users will eventually experience front row seats from the couch, signaling a paradigm shift in consumer habits that will eventually unlock tremendous potential for brands to adapt and engage.