Last week was the annual pilgrimage to SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas. Increasingly, SXSW is attracting big brands as a marketing venue to influencers (this year, even McDonalds has a presence) and as part of the search of the next new thing.
Famously the launchpad for Twitter in 2007 and Foursquare in 2009, this year SXSW had everyone talking about Meerkat, a live-streaming app. Not to mention the robot petting zoo, drones, virtual reality, and wearables of all types.
It’s important for marketers to remember that it’s not the tech that’s cool; it’s what’s enabled by the tech. It’s tempting for marketers to get so excited about technology that they lose all sense of perspective.
In 2010, I had the opportunity to speak at SXSW and soak up all of the stimulus from the sessions, booths, and conversations. After four days in the SXSW echo chamber, I completely drank the Kool-Aid. I got so excited about tech for tech sake, I temporarily forget that the rest of the world isn’t like the conference. And that technology is only as cool as what it allows you to do.
Just as Twitter is not a “strategy”, Meerkat is not a strategy. It’s what brands do with those technologies that matters, not just blindly chasing the shiny new thing.
Technology can’t save a boring marketing idea. But it can amplify a remarkable one.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on SXSW and how brands should think about adopting the latest tech.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed cartoon print. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)