FINGERS ON THE PULSE
Four of the team from EightyOne and its sister company Dot Loves Data headed to SXSW in Austin recently to take in “new ideas and creative technologies”. And the week didn’t disappoint. Partner and business director Matt West shares his top fives across the board.
On the rise: Technology advancement as your brand platform. The more disruptive brands are defining themselves using visionary leaps in technology. And that’s making them cool. For example, Uber has partnered with American Commercial Aviation company Embraer and aim to be test flying electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft by 2020. The digital backlash – finding meaning outside the screen. We humans are complex and contradictory creatures. We're simultaneously seeking opportunities for real analogue connections, relationships and good old-fashioned fun, as well as demanding more “calm technology” to continue to enhance our lives. Integrated agency and client strategy. Client focus on data-driven thinking and optimisation will change the way agencies and clients have historically worked together. Acknowledging Generation Z. They are fast nipping on the heels of the Millennials and have very different attitudes and behaviours to anything we have seen before.
Social Responsibility. We are rapidly approaching what many regard as the next industrial revolution (tech). We will need to consider our responsibilities (as designers/marketers/thought leaders etc) to society as a whole with regard to our assumptions and bias (intentional or otherwise), the distribution of wealth and balance of voices.
What i mpressed us: The Prime Minister of Ireland. Young, progressive and part of the new wave of international leaders. Leo Varadkar has both a desire to improve the lives of people who need help and the economy at the same time. Smart city technologies. Such as the introduction of Li-Fi connectivity, smart paint for safer accessibility, eVOTL networks and much more.
Human-centric innovation. The sheer volume of user-centric, digitallyled entrepreneurial solutions.
Machine learning. This is a prevalent discussion. But there is also an acknowledgement that human emotion and empathy are key in the development and success of any applications in the future. Empowered female leadership. But not at the expense of our fellow man.
Up for debate:
Ignoring the red! Noisy app notifications distract even the most disciplined of minds and encourage us to run on autopilot. Reclaim a sense of purpose by asking "What do I really want in this moment?" before clicking.
Marketers as analysts. Trying to turn marketers into data analysts. There’s a big groundswell to have these people integrated with the marketing team, but they’re different from marketers and should work alongside each other. Talking about being authentic. If you are, you know it, and your customers know it. Talking about it doesn’t make it so. Emoji overdose. Imagine if you had to put your feelings into, like, actual words?
AI. Talking about AI and machine learning as the way of the future. The future is happening already baby.
New Zealand businesses could start doing more of: Change our mindset. "If it's already good, make it better" not "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Be cautious of best practice. By definition it ties you to the past and can put a chokehold on innovation. Understanding what engagement
really means. Clicks alone tell a limited story about what's in someone's head. We need high-value data, not just big data to find out what's really resonating with our customers and whether we're moving the needle against the objectives.
Integratinggrating creative, data and media strategy. rategy.
Structurecture teams for fluidity. Create inquisitivequisitive teams for the "ten percent ruleule of change" who implement incrementallytally and refine on the fly rather thanan waiting till the quarterly/ annual reviewview to assess effectiveness. Have a little fun with your brand. Have a go,o, take some risks and you may find fans in unexpected places. The free stuff: University of Texas scarf. Go the Longhorns! Drumstick novelty pens. A hangover. Note, Bud ‘Light’ is to do with calories, not alcohol content. Robot-made coffee. It was actually pretty damn good! Shared moments with strangers. Smiles, giggles, note-passing and food chat.
Thank you Austin. We’ll be back for more of your Texan BBQ next year.