Bob Garfield

SXSW hot topics: Email, the whole funnel, and customization

With SXSW officially over, the key takeaways have become clear. Here are a few you might have missed.

Moving away from social and back to email

Remember email? It's that thing you check every waking moment. If you're an average marketer, email is your life -- not necessarily social media. This year at SXSW, we heard the acknowledgment that consumers are like this, too. Consumers aren't just shoppers, they have jobs, careers, and spend a tremendous amount of time on email. Marketers have largely moved away from email marketing because it's not "sexy." However, sexy or not, marketers were talking about how their strategies are going to include email much more moving forward. It's just one of the surprising takeaways we found at SXSW 2014.

Tracking the whole funnel

Marketers love to divide the purchase funnel into their own areas of expertise. However, at this year's SXSW, the discussion moved into thinking about the funnel as a whole. Many brands this year wanted to know how to track the whole funnel rather than just awareness and purchase. It's this kind of well-rounded thinking that made this year's SXSW a unique thought leadership event.

Maintaining a customer relationship on every platform

Much like marketers talking about tracking the whole funnel, SXSW surprised us with how much talk there was about maintaining a fluid customer relationship on every platform of marketing. The solution? Customization. Customer experiences on social, email, and display have to be personal and unique. The challenge? Technology. Technology is not yet at a point where we can do this. Vendors still operate in silos, each with their own specialty. SXSW 2014 cultivated the discussion that marketers need technology providers who have a wider outlook.

AJ Vernet, CEO at Sizmek, speaks to iMedia's Bethany Simpson at SXSW 2014 about these insights and why the marketing community was so focused on addressing these issues at this year's event.

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Videos edited by iMedia Associate Media Producer Brian Waters.

Article written by David Zaleski.

"Young man receiving tons of messages on laptop" image via Shutterstock.

 

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