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SXSW’s Message to Marketers: Brands have to Move Faster While Maintaining Marketing Strategies

by | Mar 17, 2017

There was a ton of talk at this year’s South by Southwest about digital transformation and customer experience, the buzz terms of 2017 so far in the marketing industry, reports Adweek, which added, “Yet, SXSW speakers’ underlying message was fairly simple: Every brand has to to move faster while maintaining strategies.

“Victor Lee, svp of digital marketing for Hasbro, may have made the best declaration.

““You don’t need six months to plan something great,” Lee said, speaking on a panel about livestreaming. “We need to get out of the Don Draper [mentality]. The agency folks are probably going to hate me for saying that.”

“Live video demands a particularly nimble mindset, Lee said, and social media directors have to discard any notion that they can schedule content six months to a year out.

““If you preplan that,” Lee said, “you’ll never be interesting.”

“During a panel about retail innovation, Kohl’s director of technology Garima Agarwal hinted about wanting to use machine learning to build an “under-the-hood” system that helps her team constantly navigate the technological and societal changes that occur at rapid speed nowadays. When Adweek asked her offstage whether her brand was developing such a system, she declined comment.

““I’m a big machine learning fan,” Agarwal said onstage. “Smarter machines are definitely a reality, and it’s important for us to embrace that. Machine learning can truly transform your business.”

“Marketers should, if they can, embrace a “fail-fast” mindset, she said, continuously testing to “see what’s working versus not working. If you are taking months … ”

“That’s too long because consumer behaviors would have already changed. The pace of change “is phenomenal,”Agarwal said. “We have to evolve; we cannot just be satisfied with the status quo.””

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