Deep insights from SXSW: "The purpose of an agency is to scare the s--- out of me."

3/29/2014 Unknown 0 Comments

Kate Rothen
Partner, SS+K
and BIC Professor
BIC's faculty member, Kate Rothen, Partner at SS+K, attended the 2014 SXSW conference and brought back to the CCNY BIC community a wide range of insights that are both challenging and a bit un-nerving.

In discussions with Professor Rothen -- in class and out-of-class-- we all caught up on the gossip, the celebrities, the parties, the business launches that are always part of SXSW  (how, every year, the conference just isn't nearly as good as it used to be -- and how amazingly different and promising it now is.)

Both national media and Kate Rothen's personal insights were in agreement on one point: we are just beginning to feel and understand the impact of technological and data innovation for marketing.  If you're congratulating yourself on "how far we've come and what we've now achieved," then you really don't understand the real challenge for marketing -- and for Communication.

The old world: Communications technological channels controlled by corporations provided "slots" / openings for marketers to drop in messages that will reach many people.  Attractive, beautiful, interesting, attention-grabbing images, music, text, etc.  Marketing professions filled communications corporations' buckets with good info or snake oil.  It's all about Reach and Frequency.

The world of the future: Communications technological channels controlled by corporations will provide "slots" / openings for marketers to drop in messages that will reach the One Right Person who Really Needs That Product Now.  Marketing professions will need to fill the the communications businesses' buckets with real info, the right info for that person and situation.  Reach and Frequency will be irrelevant (or they will be about entertainment, not much relevant to marketing). What we will care about is real, usable information for that right person, at that right time.

Check out this Leo Burnett Wildfire video about the power and specificity of marketing of the future.