2017 SXSW Interactive: Event Recap


South by Southwest (SXSW) is no longer just for music and film. It has become one of the largest annual conferences for the technology industry as well. It’s held annually in early March and inundates Austin, TX with thousands of conference attendees. The conference represents an opportunity for people to come together from all over the world and discover what’s new and what’s next for interactive technology, music and film.

This year, the interactive track of the conference brought agencies, brands and publishers together to speak about a myriad of topics, including industry challenges, social media influencers and marketing’s ever-evolving landscape. The week-long extravaganza attracted top brand innovators including Walmart, Visa, The Home Depot, Pandora, The Coca-Cola Company, Netflix, Salesforce, Under Armour and more.

On the first day of the conference at the Brand Innovators Marketing Innovation Summit, a group of industry leaders (including DataXu’s VP of Sales, East, Tim Carey) came together to discuss a key topic on everyone’s mind: What’s Next on the Digital Horizon? The Summit gave marketers the opportunity to share details of how they are using digital media and advertising technology to enhance their relationships with consumers.

Victor Lee, SVP of Digital Marketing at Hasbro, presented a keynote during the Summit on how today’s “instant everything” world has led to constantly changing marketing strategies. With brands able to connect with consumers anywhere, at any time, advertisers now have the ability to cultivate highly influential relationships with their target audience and increase the impact of their marketing efforts. However, Victor emphasized that to stay top-of-mind, brands must be proactive and adjust their marketing strategy to fit the current focus of consumers, whether that focus is social, mobile, VR, “live” or the next trend on the horizon.

After Victor’s keynote, DataXu’s Tim Carey joined Victor onstage for a deep dive into where programmatic fits into the mix. Victor stated that, due to the advancement of technology and the countless ways to connect, Hasbro remains fluid when it comes to media planning. He has accepted that the new normal of marketing is that nothing will ever be, well, “normal.”

Other topics covered in the SXSW Interactive track included social and emerging media, retail and eCommerce, cause marketing and the power of choice. As always, SXSW highlighted several key takeaways and trends for the year ahead. It also helped foster a more collaborative relationship among those within the digital space.

We enjoyed having the chance to meet with thought leaders from various industries throughout the week, and send our congratulations to customers such as Pandora and The Home Depot on their innovative booths and presence at #SXSW.


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