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SxSW 2015: Key Insights

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SxSW 2015: Key Insights

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Digitas Health LifeBrands took a trip to The Lone Star state and immersed ourselves in all things South by Southwest (SxSW).

The days went by fast and furious as we were pulled into speed sessions, meet-ups, brainstorms, demonstrations, hack-a-thons, pitches, accelerators, and a myriad of other Austin-style opportunities.

The next few slides are our attempt to bring some of these learnings home with an emphasis on why the message is relevant to healthcare marketers. Enjoy!

Digitas Health LifeBrands took a trip to The Lone Star state and immersed ourselves in all things South by Southwest (SxSW).

The days went by fast and furious as we were pulled into speed sessions, meet-ups, brainstorms, demonstrations, hack-a-thons, pitches, accelerators, and a myriad of other Austin-style opportunities.

The next few slides are our attempt to bring some of these learnings home with an emphasis on why the message is relevant to healthcare marketers. Enjoy!

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SxSW 2015: Key Insights

  1. 1. SxSW 2015: Key Insights
  2. 2. Digitas Health LifeBrands took a trip to The Lone Star state and immersed ourselves in all things South by Southwest (SxSW). The days went by fast as we were pulled into speed sessions, meet-ups, brainstorms, demonstrations, hack-a-thons, pitches, accelerators, and a myriad of other Austin-style opportunities. The next few slides are our attempt to bring some of our learnings home with an emphasis on the relevance to healthcare marketers. Enjoy!
  3. 3. What it is: Our bodies communicate subtle messages. For instance: • When a person puts their hands behind their head, it means they want the speaker to stop and give them the stage. • When you look down while talking, you’re accessing your memory, when you look up, you’re accessing your imagination (or lying). • Real smiles affect your entire face, fake smiles only affect the mouth. Why it matters: We need to take body language into account when: • Observing how people are reacting to digital platforms • Presenting digital concepts See What I Mean: The Language of the Body 1
  4. 4. FOMO, Facebook, and Pot: Your Brain On The New Millennium 2 What it is: Countless studies reveal that the Internet has resulted in dramatic differences in the way our brains are wired. Raashi Bhalla, Creative Strategist at Pinterest by trade, and neuroscientist by training, explained that we experience FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) after seeing Instagramphotos because of a parallel brain memory combined with a cortisol spike. When someone likes our post on Facebook, our nucleus accumbens pleasure pathway is activated. Why it matters: Our brains are rewiring to process and map excess information and transform that information into tasks and behaviors outside the web. The ability to process mass amounts of information across disciplines can increase our ability to problem solve. As a digital agency charged with changing peoples’ behaviors – it was informative to see Pinterest identifying the science behind how social works.
  5. 5. What it is: J.M. Berger and Jonathon Morgan from the Brookings Institute discussed their study of ISIS and how the group has effectively gained attention by disrupting Twitter to communicate their beliefs and spread terrorizing photos and information. Why it matters: The graphic displays ISIS’ very dense network of dedicated Twitter accounts that coordinate messages to gain visibility. Although 50,000 accounts feels like a large number, it’s only .02% of all Twitter users. However, it’s their interconnectedness that gives them the ability to be seen throughout the system. Health communities have the same makeup: small communities dedicated to a specific topic. While traditional marketers may see these groups as small, helping them form stronger bonds between each other and to better coordinate communications using effective content can provide huge visibility within networks like Twitter. The ISIS Twitter Census 3
  6. 6. Why it matters: In meetings with companies like NewsCred and Spredfast, you quickly realize that facilitating a brand's content ecosystem is not simply an editorial bandwidth problem, but a workflow problem as well. Getting great, credible, and relevant content that fits meaningfully into people's hectic time-starved day is tough for any brand (or their agency) to do alone. The way content and media is created and distributed continues to evolve 4
  7. 7. Why it matters: With overlap comes opportunity (and risk). It’s crucial to understand how these value-add media partner services can be used, and when an agency or brand should be owning the overarching strategy and design experience. In healthcare, it’s important to find where overlaps are disrupting customers’ day-to-day lives so marketers and brands can help. Marketing roles are seriously overlapping 5
  8. 8. The need for speed What it is: Velocity is speed with purpose and was a big theme this year. Astro Teller, Head of the "Moonshot Factory," gave a keynote on the importance of failing fast because it’s cheaper and you learn more quickly. When asked if he was afraid of the pace of technological innovation, he replied that it’s not the speed of technology he’s worried about but our inability to react to the changes. Why it matters: For brands, marketing velocity can be tricky. Topical relevance is transient and erodes quickly. Content turnaround needs to be fast, but sometimes brands get too caught up in trends and forget their true purpose. Finding balance is key. 6
  9. 9. What it is: There were 48 sessions on Health and Medtech at SxSW. During the American College of Cardiology Conference, which took place at the same time, there was one talk on this topic. Why it matters: What will it take for patient-empowering Medtech innovations to truly engage and excite healthcare professionals, payers (both private insurers and the government), hospital/healthcare systems, and the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry? It will likely take proof that the onslaught of new data we are generating can be meaningfully translated into better outcomes—and perhaps more importantly— less expensive healthcare. Democratizing Medicine Eric Topol MD 7
  10. 10. 8 Is Big Data the Next Wonder Drug? Eric Topol MD, Walter DeBrawer, John Nosta It’s an exciting time to be a healthcare technophile. The scale of initial enrollment in Apple’s ResearchKit is a harbinger of efficient data gathering at a scale previous unimaginable (and unaffordable). What will we do with the terabytes of homeless data being generated by a proliferating array of wearable tracking systems? We’ll need analytic algorithms to catch up with the burgeoning data, so that patients and doctors know exactly what to do with the increasingly quantified self. Is it the next wonder drug? No. But it will help the next wonder drug get to market faster—and will enable it to be more effective for more people.
  11. 11. Thomas Morrow MD A.I. MD: Virtual Health Assistants and the Future of Health Care What it is: The Cochrane Review on compliance concluded that “most methods…are complex, expensive, and not very effective.” Could artificial intelligence (A.I.) solve this problem? Did the movie “Her” foreshadow one possible future in which our smartphones will solve this problem?...Maybe. Why it matters: Most of us need constant reminders, in a conversational manner, that responds flexibly to our needs, in order to change behavior. We don’t carry a doctor or nurse in our pockets all day. But we do carry smartphones. The 125,000,000 Americans with diabetes or pre-diabetes need someone to keep them on track. Perhaps that someone should live in their phones. 9
  12. 12. Technology and The Evolution of Storytelling What it is: Charles Melcher, Aaron Koblin, Ari Kuschnir shared current trends in the evolution of storytelling through the use of technology. Collective collaboration is a new reality, creating better and more relevant content for participants. Why it matters: Storytelling, or as we like to say in marketing, brand narrative, is evolving. We have long sought to place the consumer at the center, but the audience is now a highly active participant in the narrative. Technology has created opportunities, enabling more empathetic & powerful storytelling. From the devices we know today to the emerging proliferation of connected devices (IoT), the craft of storytelling is at the dawn of a new and powerful age. 0
  13. 13. IoT Decoded: Sensors, Small Data and Social Change 0 What it is: We are at the beginning of a new era in our evolution. Just as the printing press opened the doors to enlightenment and the transition and utility of information, sensors will rapidly change the world in which we live. Driverless cars, smart homes, and predictive and personalized health interventions will not only change our lives, but are creating a data ecosystem for continuous improvements in all aspects of life. Why it matters: It is estimated that there are currently 1.5 sensors for every person on earth. That number is slated to grow to 50 billion by 2020. The genomic map inside each of us is only 1.5GB of data (that'll fit on two CDs). Biologically, we are finite, but computability is limitless, connected, ever faster, ever cheaper. That makes solving disease an optimistic venture once we are more fully hacked.

Notas do Editor

  • In meetings with companies like Newscred and Spredfast, you quickly realize that facilitating a brand's content ecosystem is not simply an editorial bandwidth problem, but a workflow problem as well. Getting great, credible, relevant content that fits meaningfully into people's hectic time-starved day is tough for any brand (or their agency) to do alone.

    Also the formats and technologies continue to change. A hot new app during the conference called MeerKat lets you livestream video from your phone and distributes it out through Twitter. Another company we met with called Native.ly helps brands write native content for emerging platforms like Medium, a new way of blogging with it's own set of culturally acceptable content types and behaviors.
  • Pete Cashmore, CEO of Mashable talked about how their content teams are structured around not only area of editorial expertise (politics, business, lifestyle, etc), but also the intended distribution platform. So when Mashable needs to get a piece of content into places like Pinterest, there is a Pinterest expert ready to design the content for the cultural nuances of the platform--same thing with Vine, Snapchat, Instagram, and the myriad of other social services. While these are probably enticing value-add services for a pure-play media agency, it may indeed overlap with your digital or social AORs roles.

    Another interesting company we met was Colaborator. They are the "first collaboration network providing filmmakers and content creators with tools to fund, produce, market, and screen their projects". It was apropos to meet with the co-founders Kevin Jackson and Andres Faucher on "convergence day", when SXSW Interactive and Film festivals collide with Music. Colaborator provides brands a very interesting potential alternative for countering high-priced ad agency production costs.

    The final big impending overlap was in Healthcare. In panels with people like Scanadu's co-founder Sam De Brouwer, and the Qualcomm XPrize senior director, Grant Campany, it was clear that the role of primary care doctors is about to change significantly (even more than it already has). The winner of the $10m "Tricorder" XPrize will be announced in January 2016 (to align with Star Trek's 50th anniversary), and will be able to diagnose 15 conditions you would normally have to go to the doctor to diagnoses.
  • Velocity was a big theme at SXSW this year. Velocity is speed with purpose. Astro Teller, Head of the "Moonshot Factory" GoogleX, gave a fantastic keynote on the importance of failing fast because you learn more quickly and it's cheaper. When asked if he was afraid of the pace of technological innovation, he replied that it wasnt the speed of technology he was worried about, it was our inability to react to that change.
    This was also clear in another great keynote by United Therapeutics Founder and CEO Martine Rothblatt, who talked about the need for society to have the conversation around "mindclones"--digital manifestations of ourselves, complete with their own rights, values, and ability to disagree with us, and that government bodies need to move faster to start making laws for such realities.

    At our sponsored event, the Social Health Startup Bootcamp, Polina Hanin of StartUp Health said that she's seeing more and more corporate-backed VC funds for sparking innovation in digital health outside the walls of the corporation. She says this is because of the need for speed, thus outsourced innovation.

    For brands, marketing velocity can be tricky. Topical relevance is transient and erodes quickly with time. Content turnaround needs to be fast. But sometimes brands get too caught up on the trend and forget their purpose. Instead of creating a context for better decision-making, they end up "buzzwedging" into something trending (a new word I learned at SXSW that means jarringly inserting your brand into a trend despite being off-brand.)

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