Hubbard Interactive Takes on South by Southwest

South By Southwest 2019

Where can you find the latest in innovation, experiential marketing, music, movies and more all in one place? There’s only one. Recently, we had several members of the Hubbard Interactive team head to Texas for South by Southwest (SXSW).

While there, the team, of whom ranged from our Social Media Services Manager to web developers and podcast pros, went to different pop-ups and sessions that ranged in topics. Check out what they had to say about their South by Southwest experience and more importantly, their biggest takeaways.

P.S. we released an episode of The Social Feed Podcast about SXSW. Check it out.

Missy Young – Social Media Services Manager

For Missy’s SXSW experience, she headed to different sessions, pop ups and experiences focused and marketing innovations. Some of the sessions she went to included:

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah, of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show fame, talked to marketers on how they can use humor to tell a story, especially in a world where the news isn’t always so fun to tell and fast-paced.

Patreon: Content Creation on Your Teams

Heard of Patreon? If you have, it’s possibly because you follow different content creators on platforms such as YouTube. Patreon offers creators a way to gain revenue, create a personalized connection with their audience while offering them exclusive content.

Deep Fakes in Journalism

As if artificial news and social media accounts from foreign countries aren’t scary enough, it’s time to be wary of deep fakes. What is it? Deep fakes are facial recognition softwares that edit what people are saying and doing in video, meaning you can no longer necessarily rely on video as evidence to what happened.

Missy’s Biggest Takeaway:

Customization. When you can cater something to your audience, they will eat it up. Too many people are trying to hit everyone for everything. Stick to your niche and let it flourish!

Wheeler Morris – Manager of Corporate Podcasting Strategy

While Wheeler was at SXSW, he made the rounds at all of the podcast sessions and opportunities. What did he take away? Check it out:

Intersection of new forms of Media

According to the Atlantic, we should be focusing on the best evergreen content and not as much on how they’re consumed. Brands shouldn’t want the market to think of them as a brand tied to a specific form of distribution. Instead, just an overall brand regardless of where the content is found and consumed.
Right now, we are in a podcast boom with audiences, but revenue still isn’t following. TV and Radio have had decades of growing their audience and advertisers. However, the podcasting marketplace has really only been around for about a decade, and advertisers have been slow to enter this medium.

What’s Next for Audio

We are in the golden age of podcasting. For example, the entertainment industry in Hollywood is looking at podcasting for IP targeting, while others are looking to to reverse that process. Because if something is working on the small and big screen, there is no reason it shouldn’t work in audio!
In today’s day and age, podcasting is the bitcoin of Hollywood. For example, romantic comedies are the darling of films, so why wouldn’t that translate over into a storytelling podcast?

Wheeler’s Biggest Takeaway:

Good content and connecting with audiences as intimately as possibly will still win at the end of the day- concepts we all know but good to be reassured of.

Jesse Bewley – Digital Media Director

Jesse, who leads the digital media efforts of Hubbard’s radio stations, explored media, leadership and audio sessions at SXSW. Here’s what he wanted to share:

Wise Guy – Lessons from Tech, Startups, and Silicon Valley

As a leader, it’s not how you get the job, it’s what you do when you get in. And when it comes to changing the game, you either deliver…or you don’t. Additionally, as leader, it’s critical that you don’t listen to self and external doubt that often seeps in, never stop learning! Learning is not a one-time event, but an ever-changing process.

I’m Your Boss & I’m Full of S**t.

Are you a leader in your workplace? Find one thing to disrupt habits around and watch the ripple effect. It will surprise you what happens with your team. From this little experiment, takeaway both the good and bad of what went down, and work with your team to develop good habits that will help your organization achieve its goals. And don’t forget, you’re the leader, so position yourself as an expert and justify your position to your team.

Building Trust in an Era of Distrust

We are in an era of infinite choice, making the value of curation absolutely skyrocket. However, as humans, our brains trust finite over infinite, and we trust people over algorithms. As we live in an era where handshakes and smiling at one another diminishes, we’re searching for a human aspect to our digital world.

William White – Senior Developer

Specializing in API and web solutions, William is a web developer at Hubbard Interactive. Naturally, he explored a variety of sessions at SXSW. See his biggest takeaways:

The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library

Listen, we know our current president is a big fan of Twitter. That’s no secret. That’s why The Daily Show took over the 2nd floor of the historic Driskill Hotel, and created a museum based only on Trump tweets. Yep, you read that right. The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library is a fully interactive museum with images, videos, booths, audio and even a live screen of Trump’s twitter account and an alarm going off for every tweet he sends. According to William,
this was one of the most creative displays he’d ever seen at SXSW. Want to check it out? Take the virtual tour.

RIP Websites, the End is Nigh

At this session, the speaker was the Chief Technology Officer of a company called LivePerson, which specialize in conversational and contextual commerce. We now live in dawn of the “intent driven business.” Page views, sessions, and other traditional metrics are passing away from relevancy. We need to actually know what people are wanting. According to LivePerson, the future of e-commerce is super personalized and hyper focused, and that a lot of this can be accomplished with the use of AI and chatbots.

The Future of Live Experiences

More and more, people want to experience a brand, whether that’s through an event activation or at their favorite sporting event. The future of live experiences, both in stadiums, arenas and everywhere else is through the AR (augmented reality) Cloud and VPS. The AR Cloud is a persistent 3D digital representation of our world that can be used to map an infinite number of visual augmented realities shared between users and devices. These realities could represent anything: directions, games, experiences, markers and so much more.
VPS stands for Visual Positioning System, and this technology uses a camera and a powerful set of backend data to analyze surroundings and identify to the centimeter where you are and what you are seeing. VPS makes navigating through dense urban areas or tight spaces possible, and if and when individuals make a full turn into wearables (smart glasses, lenses, etc.), it will create a seamless transition between our world and the AR Cloud, essentially transforming everything we do.

William’s Biggest Takeaway:

We should not just solely focus on what WILL change in the next 5-10 years, but on what will STAY the same. There are certain universal truths to the way people work which we can rely on and leverage to maintain current success.

Bringing it All Together

What a time to be alive! The digital landscape is always changing, and it’s important to be ready for those changes. Whether that’s through podcasts, event activation or advertising, new and exciting things are on the horizon.
At Hubbard Interactive, we are always on the forefront of innovation. If you’re interested in learning more about what we do, head over to our Services page to see what we can do for you.

Shameless The Social Feed Podcast Plug

We mentioned it at the beginning of the article, so don’t forget that we have our own podcast. The Social Feed breaks down the latest in marketing, from the Fyre Festival to reaching Gen Z, we cover it all. Plus, we pull in area experts and professionals to chat with us on how they stay on the forefront of their industry.