The Struggle is Real: SxSW2015 Day 5 in 5 Must-Attend Sessions


Aishwarya Krishnamurthy

March 17, 2015 3 min read

Updated on May 2, 2017


SxSW is almost over but hopefully you take three things back home with you – the lessons you’ve learned, the friendships (or business contacts) you’ve made and not to mention all the swag that brands just handed out with reckless abandon! 

Back to the show – I’ve been creating these curated schedules as a guide for folks at #SxSW this year, but I also think I should highlight the fact that even if you’re not in Austin, you’re still going to find these guides helpful.

Each day’s schedule highlights sessions that best reflect the state of marketing, flagging upcoming trends in the industry – from data analytics and new forms of content production/ distribution, to mobile and the shift in power from brands to customer. Even if you’re not at South by getting the answers, I hope that the issues and questions raised at the recommended sessions are making you evaluate your own marketing strategy.

9:30 AM – Content Is the Starting Line, Not the Finish Line Link

If there was one truth that had the potential to change your marketing strategy – it’s the headline of this session. Through personal experience as a content producer and community manager I understand the feeling of accomplishment when I’m done writing a piece of content, the relief of a job (well) done. But that euphoria is short-lived because what I fail to remember each time is that my job of getting people to actually read this beautiful piece of content has just begun.

It doesn’t matter that I’ve successfully managed to make a compelling argument that social media needs regular check-ups just like you need regular dental check-ups, if no one actually reads the article other than my beloved Unmetric team (Hi, guys!).

The session will describe the essential six elements of content ignition [such a good word!] you must understand and master to succeed in today’s hyper-competitive information marketplace. #contentstart

11:00 AM – How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times Link

From dictionaries to micro-form stories, it is all about size in marketing – the smaller the better. Short-form writing has become an essential skill and it’s not about ‘riting lik dis.’ In this hyper competitive environment, every piece of writing, no matter how short, should be the product of craft. #writeshort

11:00 AM – Where’s Waldo’s Voice: Social Media for Mascots Link

Big Brands Leverage #PolarVortex But Did Mayhem Steal The Show?” That’s the headline of the blog post we produced on brands getting in on the Polar Vortex action on social media and it best reflects the fact that by having a clearly defined mascot persona, AllState was able to completely capture their audience’s attention and hearts.

Check out the top brand mascots on Facebook before you head to this session – This panel will reveal the secrets of notorious brand mascots with advice from the social media voices behind the mascots for two leading brands. If you’re considering creating an online mascot, don’t miss it. #SMmascots

3:30 PM – This Is Your Brain on Media: Selling or Sabotage?

The very first season of Mad Men saw Don Draper conceptualize cigarette ads, and the pitch that the team used in their meeting with the cigarette brand reps left me astonished the first time I heard it! Given that media is designed to influence audiences, does its producers bare any responsibility for the negative effects? Whether you’re selling ‘happiness’ or apps – is there a need to forge a new space for conscious media. All this and more – #media2020

5:00 PM – Creating Meaningful Mobile Experiences?

According to the session description – Research shows that shoppers who receive too many or irrelevant messages, are actually turned off by over-saturation even when triggered by context. What is the right approach? In an article in The Next Web, our Head of Global Marketing argues that instead of blindly producing content, if you instead re-evaluate your social strategy by a) redefining objectives b) looking at the data c) adjusting efforts and d) measuring, you’ll be adding value not only to your brand’s social efforts, but hopefully by tailoring your content to your potential customer – add value to them as well. Helpful engagement at the perfect time will always trump spray-and-pray. #futureshop

If you’d like to take a look at the agendas for days 1, 2, 3 and 4, they have been linked to the respective number. 

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