Promotion Analytics Team | March 18, 2013

After six days of exploring the seemingly infinite tradeshow vendors, white-board events, session panels and food trucks, I am back from SXSW Interactive week feeling creatively charged and encouraged to continue to push forward in my space - shopper centric promotions and analytics. My inspiration comes from takeaways that directly impact my job (Shopper "Big Data") coupled with some cool tech stuff like Augmented Reality Window Displays and Transmedia.

Going into the 2013 SXSW conference I was intrigued with the number of sessions that featured big talk about "Big Data," and was interested to see how things were going to shape up throughout the conference given the varying definitions of what "Big Data" is. After attending a "Big Data Meet Up" session in the Driskill Hotel where participants were charged with 1) explaining what they do 2) what their company does 3) name three things of interest 4)break off into groups of interest - the groups broke down like this: Healthcare, "R" (Revolution Analytics-Open Source), Shared Data Platforms, Music, Data Journalism and lastly Marketing. While sitting at the Marketing table amongst folks in advertising, online marketing, credit monitoring, brand marketing, and shopper analytics — I came to find out that all parties where interested in the same two questions — who can turn my customer data into insights and who can turn these insights into value/revenue?

Chatter ensued about which industry (online entertainment/retailers) do a good job of using data to enhance the path to purchase for shoppers and about the avant-garde companies (Netflix, Amazon, CVS) that are profiting from it. After listening to all the parties at the table one thing rang clear - we (retailers, brands, agencies, analytics providers) all need to work together to streamline innovation and move forward with a collective vision to "improve the efficacy of shopper experience!"

Moving along to the Augmented Reality session presented by Alex Olwal (MIT Media Lab) and Jamie Zigelbaum (Zigelbaum + Coelho), I was expecting to get a little Pranav Mistry (link) mixed with Coraline window displays but I got more. As someone who admires AR from afar (reading articles and YouTube videos), I have been intrigued with AR's development and market maturation. I think we are getting close to full scale AR adoption (or at least a bigger hunk of the experiential advertising spend) by brand and retailers. I aspire to shop in a retail store that offers me a brand experience like Cartier in a new way (video link) or to shop and purchase by just using my fingertips ( and AR).


The last thing that I want to highlight (and could eventually touch my business) is the new technique of Transmedia (multiplatform storytelling) being used by SyFy's new program Defiance in which a video game is connected to the TV series. Users are encouraged to live the show via the game. I'm not sure how the market is going to react to Defiance as it is the first of its kind deployed on a major scale for primetime TV — but I am excited about the concept. I am all for multi-channel engagement…. and it makes sense for a media property like this to get in front of it.