SXSWi Nightcap: Day 2

By Yvonne Williams, Associate Director, Digital Investment, Mindshare NA

Austin has treated the Mindshare SXSWi ambassadors with another day of thought provoking content and most importantly sunshine filled skies. However, we’re not here to discuss the weather. We’re here to reveal the overarching themes on day two. 

Today presented several sessions on the age-old question that several advertisers believe they have cracked yet surprisingly few have truly mastered: how to authentically connect with consumers. The idea of driving towards more personalized experiences for consumers has become the battle cry of several media, businesses and content producers. It is this notion that in almost every conference hall speakers believed would lead us all to true connections with consumers and ultimately gaining their trust and loyalty.

In an age when authenticity leads to trust—which leads to brand loyalty—how you present and create content, ads and even how brands react to consumer reviews, tone, honesty and understanding of what consumers already know, has a huge impact.

Lets look at this from a content strategy perspective. Digital media use to be all about disruption. How can I insert my brand or advertising in a high impact way in order to wake-up the consumer and have them take notice. However, now consumers are more receptive to the discipline brands have in creating an experience that resonates with the audience and creates an honest dialogue.

Leaders from fashion, beauty and shopping brands such as Birchbox agreed that from a creative standpoint, connecting with a consumer via ecommerce banners with a shop now button may seem insincere, brands are being tasked with providing a less ad type tone and presenting their message in a one-on-one conversation with consumers.

Even discussions today surrounding predictive technology and data, at the core was knowing that technology and machines will never replace intuition. Making these new technology approachable and available for everyone would lead to more authentic decision making and better experiences with your consumer.

All themes today point to a greater need for authenticity in marketing and humanizing technology and data to help create personalized experiences for the consumer. While we wind down our day, I leave you with these few tips from esteemed speakers today:

-    Think of your connection with a consumer as a friendship; create real dialogue
-    Concept ideas based on insights that fuel consumer interest; amplify those ideas that fuel connections
-    Leverage the understanding of what consumers already know about your brand or competitors to promote your brand. It shows that you are listening and want to understand their additional needs
-    Focus on real conversations over a course of time and less on getting that initial click

Ultimately, trust is the bedrock of business, authenticity leads to trust, and trust facilitates consumer interaction