SXSW makes you think about the why, how, what and when’s that dissect technology, advertising, society, and human behaviour.

To get a glimpse into more of what we saw, heard, and experienced, we’re highlighting 4 SXSW sound-bytes that lead to actionable take-aways.

1.“New doesn’t mean good” – 
Chelsea Clinton
We’re developing new technology more rapidly than ever before but the Clinton Global initiative is actually supporting developers who are finding ways to use older technology (SMS) in Africa to drive change that couldn’t happen with newer tech that requires Wi-Fi. Check out an example here.

Take-Away – We love experimenting with new technology but using the newest tech or platform is not always the best solution. Expand your brainstorming to think about using what’s been done before in a different way.

2. “The #2 favourite place for moms in the US to use their smart phones is the bathroom” – Mobile Moms Session
 We all need bathroom breaks but this is the type of stat that should make you think about consumer needs that go beyond having to pee. For moms, the bathroom is often the one place they’re on their own and speaks to their hectic day.

Take-Away – Don’t just think about usage stats of products and platforms by time of day. Dig deeper and think about the context of that usage to discover more about your target.

3. “The one thing you can control in business and in sports is the effort you put in”
Mark Cuban – Dallas Mavericks NBA Team Owner
It sounds simple but there are always variables and limitations we can’t fully control and sometimes those can get the best of you when trying to solve a problem.

Take-Away – You have to learn when to push vs. when to stop with the ‘ifs’ (if we had more budget) & the ‘buts’ (but if we we could launch later), and when to accept the factors you can control and put in your best effort with that in mind.

4. “Focus on psychology, not technology. Think about WHY people talk and share”
Jonah Berger – Best Selling Author of Contagious

Word of mouth is one of the strongest influences on consumers. Don’t think about your target as merely an end goal; leverage them to reach that success by building content  that will get shared.

Take-away: Your idea doesn’t have to hit every one of the points below to be shareable but, if it hits none, wave a red flag. Use technology to help bring the ideas that pass to life.

  • Social Currency – Consumers are curating their personal brand just as much as brands are curating theirs. Will sharing your content make the consumer look good?
  • Triggers – Ppl. drink Corona on the beach and Geico’s camel hump day commercial views spike every Wednesday. These aren’t coincidences – they’re brands considering context and triggers while developing ideas.
  • Emotion – Whether it be humor, nostalgia, sadness, or excitement, emotion creates connection.
  • Public – Monkey See, Monkey Do – For example, Movember caught on because the public is participating in a way people can see – creating a community of moustachers.
  • Practical Value –  Just what it sounds like – things that are legitimately useful have the potential to spread.
  • Stories – Create, co-create, or share a story, not an ad.

And don’t forget that share-able content has a lot of potential but also leads to a lot of disappointment when expectations are mis-aligned. Behind every great “viral” idea there’s often a very strong paid media plan too.

 You can catch a very similar talk from  Jonah  here..but for help coming up with ideas worth sharing,  contact Noise.

Read more about our experience here and here with posts from Noise founder Trevor Carr on “SXSW Shit-Kickers and Shit Disturbers”.


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