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SXSW: Day 2 Recap

SXSW: Day 2 Recap

Havas Global Comms

Havas Global Comms

March 11, 2019

Takeaways on the power of sound, gender equality, and rethinking healthcare.

Havas Media US brings us more highlights and insights from the weekend at SXSW. (Check out takeaways from Day 1 here.)

 

Meredith Carber, Associate Media Director, Digital Investments:

In the next two to five years, 80 percent of treatment will occur outside of the doctor’s office and hospital, so the healthcare industry must readjust, meeting individuals where they are and looking at health in new venues (i.e. gaming, dating apps, mobile, Google search). While historically the mentality around healthcare was “One doctor for all,” that has made healthcare an anomaly in the current consumer landscape, where consumers want curated experiences/communities similar to that of Netflix or Spotify delivered to them.

How does this affect our clients and our business? Consumers want to feel included and are looking for companies to personalize their services to align with condition and lifestyle. Brands need to actively adjust the advertising strategy to catch consumer and caregivers where they provide health info and other services prior to ever entering a doctor’s office or hospital. This means potentially integrating into smart home devices, search engines, and digital forums (content, mobile apps, gaming, etc) to provide meaningful interactions that will provide value to the consumer and communicate necessary information needed to improve their health outcomes.

With data becoming more and more valuable, the combination of various data sources will allow customization to continue to be refined so that brands can continue to identify and adjust “individualized” audience segments and understand consumer/patient needs. With that knowledge it will be the obligation of the brand to develop various communications streams that are targeted to individualized audience segments, providing services and tools that are useful to that consumer. Brands must be open to expanding creative and media scopes in order to adhere to this personalized approach which may require more planning, research, and development; however, if done correctly, this will drive the business forward through building/magnifying a qualified and loyal consumer base that will actively seek out the brand, trusting that it will deliver a better health outcome.

Kristen Ziaks, VP Director Communications Strategy:

Major takeaways:

Jean Ellen Cowgill, Global Head of Strategy and Business Development, Bloomberg, on the intersection of new formats in media

  • “Large companies need to consider the role of experimentation, which means trying things that don’t rely on traditional streams of revenue. If you don’t, you’re missing opportunities to expand to new audiences. Audiences will always go first, with advertiser money following. No one is coming just because you built it.”
  • “Authenticity is the key to winning. What do you have to say that is unique and interesting from a consumer’s POV? How do you add value to the conversation vs just noise? That’s when branded content gets really interesting.”

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg, Executive Producer and General Manager, The Atlantic

  • “Focus on telling the best possible stories. For us, cinematic video and long-form content is one way to do that. We are focused on being a media brand you trust first and foremost. With that comes the responsibility of needing to float across multiple news moments and formats throughout the day to reinforce that value.”
  • “Not too long ago, we housed video on our site on a separate tab, where people would go as a destination to watch. That’s just not how it works anymore. We had to look at distribution streams to meet our audiences where they are. With that, our reach has exploded with 80 percent of the videos now being consumed on YouTube vs our O&O.”
  • “Regardless of how the landscape changes there are two things that won’t: consumer’s expectations on trusted values, and the need for quality content.”

Dexton Deboree, Director, The Legend of AJ1, on storytelling in sports

  • “Storytelling is an art and a science. There’s no formula, it’s instinct. Data can only take us so far. There still needs to be a human element involved to tell good stories. You can have an A-list athlete who doesn’t connect and the story flops.”

Libby Geist, Vice President and Executive Producer, ESPN Films and Original Content

  • “I want us to do less volume and focus on narratives that will connect with the audiences. We have an excess of access. A big name isn’t enough anymore. What is your unique POV on what’s happening in culture that will resonate?”

The Invisible Brand in an Audio World

We are moving from communication to experiences; voice search will be 60 percent of all search by 2020. In a world where visual stimuli are everywhere, how do you design experiences that matter and truly connect?

Mark Ingall, Chief Brand Officer, Citi

  • For Mark and the Citi team, engaging in a sonic branding exercise was about humanizing the brand. Trust is the #1 concern for brands that are relationship driven, as is financial services. “The challenge for any new medium in financial services is how do we get consumers to feel comfortable about their money in a way that prompts them to interact?  It comes down to brand behavior. You don’t walk into a room and say ‘Trust me.’ Consumers want you to show them that you are trustworthy, and their trust will follow.”
  • Sound is no different from any other creative asset in that there are roles to different versions and lengths of sonic branding that you need to consider as part of a consumer’s experience. This requires thought and design up front for what the full experience looks like, beyond just interaction with your product. Where will consumers be interacting with this asset (ATM, events, social, marketing), and what is their emotional state in that moment? This will help make sure your connection is deepened with them. It’s a mindshift for brands because it’s an experience map vs a product journey map.
  • Really it comes down to expectations:
    • “When you think about money, there are three main concerns that all consumers have regardless of firm: I want control, I want you to understand my needs, I want you to know what to do with my money.”

How does this affect our clients and our business?:

I think there were three key themes I took away from today that can really flex across categories and clients and are good to keep in mind as the landscape becomes increasingly complex.

  1. Take More risks: You have to be nimble and willing to take risks. You must go where the eyeballs are, even when measurement isn’t 100 percent perfect. Innovate and iterate as you learn and set clear goals for why you’re testing into that area so that you can iterate as you learn. That doesn’t mean turn your entire marketing budget on its head, but consider the role of a testing budget which can complement your holistic activity and allow for you to flex in new ways.
  2. There’s no formula: As legacy publications (New York Times, Atlantic) look to reinforce the value of quality content and connect with broader/younger audiences, there also seemed to be a theme of moving into long-form cinematic features vs the trend of the past few years of ‘snackable content.’  One length doesn’t necessarily replace the other, but they acknowledge the need to tell stories in different ways in order to survive and grow and show their commitment to journalism.
  3. Smarter Content, Not Necessarily More: The key is to diversify the story. It’s not about starting over and creating a net new asset for every platform from scratch. Brands need to understand and be able to articulate their unique POV and design with purpose so that their overarching story resonates and has legs to flex in different ways across platforms and formats.

Adam Stoltz, Supervisor, Ad Ops:

Saturday at SXSW provided me with the single most important session of the weekend: “Men’s Role in Gender Equality at Work.” The first point that our panel made was that a lot of what is prevalent today in the workplace stems from “unconscious” bias. Which is something perhaps not ill-intended but something that stems from our earliest of interactions with gender roles – at home with our families. It’s not purposefully hurtful or demeaning, but, our parents had a hand in this whether they know it or not. Our culture breeds a gender norm that is so out-of-touch of where we are as people today. “Son, don’t cry, you’re tough. Suck it up” – “Oh my goodness what a pretty dress, doesn’t she look like a princess?” This type of (at first appearance) harmless codecs only further perpetuate the x vs y mentality…again, whether we realize it or not.

It was noted that $28 trillion (yes, I said “trillion”) would be added and uplifted in our GDP if women were not only paid equally – but treated equally in the workspace. It sounds like a baffling number, but is it that hard to wrap our heads around that? This is not a time where we need to dissect and over analyze this…this is a time where we need action. This not something I will ever be ok with, nor will I act as though I have the answers to either. Which is one of the most important points of this topic and session – Men, don’t try to act like you can solve this. We as men need to be allies – and it starts by listening, by asking questions, by being an advocate for change. Where does the most impactful change happen? Frankly, in all-male spaces. That is where we need to speak up, where we need to say “it’s NOT OK that you’re talking like this” – “It’s not OK that you feel free in this space to degrade or speak down” – “It’s not OK!”

Again, I 100% admit that I don’t have the answers to the next phase of our future work place – or just our community in general outside of work, but, I’m an ally and I will do everything in my power to help advocate and apply the changes that are needed. This is one of the many reasons why I love Havas, because we aren’t afraid of having the tough conversations. While I’m excited to keep experiencing SXSW and listening to some more amazing panels, nothing and I mean NOTHING, is going to resonate more with me than this panel.

Havas Media US brings us more highlights and insights from the weekend at SXSW. (Check out takeaways from Day 1 here.)

 

Meredith Carber, Associate Media Director, Digital Investments:

In the next two to five years, 80 percent of treatment will occur outside of the doctor’s office and hospital, so the healthcare industry must readjust, meeting individuals where they are and looking at health in new venues (i.e. gaming, dating apps, mobile, Google search). While historically the mentality around healthcare was “One doctor for all,” that has made healthcare an anomaly in the current consumer landscape, where consumers want curated experiences/communities similar to that of Netflix or Spotify delivered to them.

How does this affect our clients and our business? Consumers want to feel included and are looking for companies to personalize their services to align with condition and lifestyle. Brands need to actively adjust the advertising strategy to catch consumer and caregivers where they provide health info and other services prior to ever entering a doctor’s office or hospital. This means potentially integrating into smart home devices, search engines, and digital forums (content, mobile apps, gaming, etc) to provide meaningful interactions that will provide value to the consumer and communicate necessary information needed to improve their health outcomes.

With data becoming more and more valuable, the combination of various data sources will allow customization to continue to be refined so that brands can continue to identify and adjust “individualized” audience segments and understand consumer/patient needs. With that knowledge it will be the obligation of the brand to develop various communications streams that are targeted to individualized audience segments, providing services and tools that are useful to that consumer. Brands must be open to expanding creative and media scopes in order to adhere to this personalized approach which may require more planning, research, and development; however, if done correctly, this will drive the business forward through building/magnifying a qualified and loyal consumer base that will actively seek out the brand, trusting that it will deliver a better health outcome.

Kristen Ziaks, VP Director Communications Strategy:

Major takeaways:

Jean Ellen Cowgill, Global Head of Strategy and Business Development, Bloomberg, on the intersection of new formats in media

  • “Large companies need to consider the role of experimentation, which means trying things that don’t rely on traditional streams of revenue. If you don’t, you’re missing opportunities to expand to new audiences. Audiences will always go first, with advertiser money following. No one is coming just because you built it.”
  • “Authenticity is the key to winning. What do you have to say that is unique and interesting from a consumer’s POV? How do you add value to the conversation vs just noise? That’s when branded content gets really interesting.”

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg, Executive Producer and General Manager, The Atlantic

  • “Focus on telling the best possible stories. For us, cinematic video and long-form content is one way to do that. We are focused on being a media brand you trust first and foremost. With that comes the responsibility of needing to float across multiple news moments and formats throughout the day to reinforce that value.”
  • “Not too long ago, we housed video on our site on a separate tab, where people would go as a destination to watch. That’s just not how it works anymore. We had to look at distribution streams to meet our audiences where they are. With that, our reach has exploded with 80 percent of the videos now being consumed on YouTube vs our O&O.”
  • “Regardless of how the landscape changes there are two things that won’t: consumer’s expectations on trusted values, and the need for quality content.”

Dexton Deboree, Director, The Legend of AJ1, on storytelling in sports

  • “Storytelling is an art and a science. There’s no formula, it’s instinct. Data can only take us so far. There still needs to be a human element involved to tell good stories. You can have an A-list athlete who doesn’t connect and the story flops.”

Libby Geist, Vice President and Executive Producer, ESPN Films and Original Content

  • “I want us to do less volume and focus on narratives that will connect with the audiences. We have an excess of access. A big name isn’t enough anymore. What is your unique POV on what’s happening in culture that will resonate?”

The Invisible Brand in an Audio World

We are moving from communication to experiences; voice search will be 60 percent of all search by 2020. In a world where visual stimuli are everywhere, how do you design experiences that matter and truly connect?

Mark Ingall, Chief Brand Officer, Citi

  • For Mark and the Citi team, engaging in a sonic branding exercise was about humanizing the brand. Trust is the #1 concern for brands that are relationship driven, as is financial services. “The challenge for any new medium in financial services is how do we get consumers to feel comfortable about their money in a way that prompts them to interact?  It comes down to brand behavior. You don’t walk into a room and say ‘Trust me.’ Consumers want you to show them that you are trustworthy, and their trust will follow.”
  • Sound is no different from any other creative asset in that there are roles to different versions and lengths of sonic branding that you need to consider as part of a consumer’s experience. This requires thought and design up front for what the full experience looks like, beyond just interaction with your product. Where will consumers be interacting with this asset (ATM, events, social, marketing), and what is their emotional state in that moment? This will help make sure your connection is deepened with them. It’s a mindshift for brands because it’s an experience map vs a product journey map.
  • Really it comes down to expectations:
    • “When you think about money, there are three main concerns that all consumers have regardless of firm: I want control, I want you to understand my needs, I want you to know what to do with my money.”

How does this affect our clients and our business?:

I think there were three key themes I took away from today that can really flex across categories and clients and are good to keep in mind as the landscape becomes increasingly complex.

  1. Take More risks: You have to be nimble and willing to take risks. You must go where the eyeballs are, even when measurement isn’t 100 percent perfect. Innovate and iterate as you learn and set clear goals for why you’re testing into that area so that you can iterate as you learn. That doesn’t mean turn your entire marketing budget on its head, but consider the role of a testing budget which can complement your holistic activity and allow for you to flex in new ways.
  2. There’s no formula: As legacy publications (New York Times, Atlantic) look to reinforce the value of quality content and connect with broader/younger audiences, there also seemed to be a theme of moving into long-form cinematic features vs the trend of the past few years of ‘snackable content.’  One length doesn’t necessarily replace the other, but they acknowledge the need to tell stories in different ways in order to survive and grow and show their commitment to journalism.
  3. Smarter Content, Not Necessarily More: The key is to diversify the story. It’s not about starting over and creating a net new asset for every platform from scratch. Brands need to understand and be able to articulate their unique POV and design with purpose so that their overarching story resonates and has legs to flex in different ways across platforms and formats.

Adam Stoltz, Supervisor, Ad Ops:

Saturday at SXSW provided me with the single most important session of the weekend: “Men’s Role in Gender Equality at Work.” The first point that our panel made was that a lot of what is prevalent today in the workplace stems from “unconscious” bias. Which is something perhaps not ill-intended but something that stems from our earliest of interactions with gender roles – at home with our families. It’s not purposefully hurtful or demeaning, but, our parents had a hand in this whether they know it or not. Our culture breeds a gender norm that is so out-of-touch of where we are as people today. “Son, don’t cry, you’re tough. Suck it up” – “Oh my goodness what a pretty dress, doesn’t she look like a princess?” This type of (at first appearance) harmless codecs only further perpetuate the x vs y mentality…again, whether we realize it or not.

It was noted that $28 trillion (yes, I said “trillion”) would be added and uplifted in our GDP if women were not only paid equally – but treated equally in the workspace. It sounds like a baffling number, but is it that hard to wrap our heads around that? This is not a time where we need to dissect and over analyze this…this is a time where we need action. This not something I will ever be ok with, nor will I act as though I have the answers to either. Which is one of the most important points of this topic and session – Men, don’t try to act like you can solve this. We as men need to be allies – and it starts by listening, by asking questions, by being an advocate for change. Where does the most impactful change happen? Frankly, in all-male spaces. That is where we need to speak up, where we need to say “it’s NOT OK that you’re talking like this” – “It’s not OK that you feel free in this space to degrade or speak down” – “It’s not OK!”

Again, I 100% admit that I don’t have the answers to the next phase of our future work place – or just our community in general outside of work, but, I’m an ally and I will do everything in my power to help advocate and apply the changes that are needed. This is one of the many reasons why I love Havas, because we aren’t afraid of having the tough conversations. While I’m excited to keep experiencing SXSW and listening to some more amazing panels, nothing and I mean NOTHING, is going to resonate more with me than this panel.

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