Unfortunately, this year’s amazing SXSW festival of interactive and brilliant minds was shot to hell with a reckless tragedy. At Obu, our initial goal was to return and share what we learned and experienced. We now have two goals. The second is to help raise some money for the victims. All you have to do is be cool, take 4 minutes to read this and share it to raise a little $$$.
What We Learned
- Rarely are ideas “unique.” What typically happens is that better ideas build on what already exists. Many of the current platforms we use today are merely iterations of platforms previously used. The old adage “build a better mousetrap” should be revised to simply solve the problem: remove the mouse. Nobody desired a mouse trap.
- Building a brand once took years and even decades. Now a brand can be created in a fraction of that time due to marketing channels. People now expect to see a brand. The opportunity to create and promote a brand — including fonts, tag lines and promises to your customers and clients — has never been easier, and those who embrace it will find more success than without it.
- Interpreting feedback is not easy. Feedback comes in the form of appreciation, coaching or evaluation. While being coached can have its benefits, we can say to ourselves “Wasn’t I already doing a great job?” or “Why is this guy coaching me on my writing skills when his are barely average?” Feedback is tremendously complex, at times putting the receiver on the defensive, unaware of “blind spots” that all of us have.
Identifying the types of feedback and then consciously interpreting it first will improve communication. Lastly, when given feedback or suggestions, be sure to ask “Tell me more about why you want that.” Let the person talk. Sometimes we all just want a few minutes to be heard 🙂
- In 15 years, there will be 75 million baby boomers. That’s DOUBLE what it is today. This is a lot of AARP members. Technologically connected to their families, they will be a generation of independents who demand as much convenience from service-based businesses as the rest of us.
- On-the-fly, location-based marketing is coming. Imagine you just finished dinner with a friend 4 blocks from your house. As you walk down the sidewalk, your phone makes a light ding and displays an ad for 2-for-1 Pinkberry frozen yogurt. Known as location-based marketing, retailers from REI to Citibank are embracing the ability to market to you based on your exact location, the time of day, the weather and your previous purchases. Ultimate stalking — but at least there are some cost savings!
- “Hey” as a subject line, it turns out, led to the 2nd-best open rate for the Obama campaign’s fundraising emails. Casual, short subject lines led to more donations than any political jabs or defenses. In fact, an email from Joe Biden with a mild curse word even had a significant improvement in fundraising efforts. The #1 subject line for the best open rate was…your name.
P.S. The use of “P.S.” also was very effective as well.
- Meet as many people as you can. There are amazing people that absolutely love digital marketing and working interactively. SXSW is a place for these people from over 70 countries, from that sassy @Charmin twitterer, Marie, to quiet ones who just have a love for fonts. So when you’re standing in line (because you will do that a lot), be sure to say hi.
Going in 2015?
- Tip #1: When arriving at the airport the first day, the cab line is the length of the Golden Gate Bridge. Order a car service.
- Tip #2: Forget a hotel in the heart of the madness and rent a rustic local place like we did from AirBnB.
- Tip #3: Since there are few cabs and no Uber, get a Car2Go account. No parking fees.
- Tip #3.5: Wear good shoes, because you’ll walk a lot.
Must. Go. Here!
- Bangers: EAT SAUSAGE. Incredible. Located on Rainey Street.
- Licha’s Cantina: By San Diego standards, this Mexican food is amazing. On East 6th Street.
- Cenote: All coffee is french-pressed, and the breakfast burritos are outstanding. Located on East Cesar Chavez St.
By sharing this post and mentioning @ObuInteractive or one of our many other handles, we’ll add $2 for each share to our $500 contribution to help those injured at SXSW by an alleged drunk driver on March 13.
Also, if you happened to go to #SXSW2014, let us know something you learned and we’ll add a $20 donation!!
Photo Credit: Mashable