A blog about Oracle Social Life

SXSW Saturday: User Generated Content, Data Marketing and Comic Sans

Maggie Huston
Senior Content Manager

For social media marketers who weren’t able to attend South by Southwest (SXSW), here’s a highlight of the major sessions on Saturday. Keep in mind, it’s physically impossible to go to every interesting session - but we tried! Check out Friday's summary, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, the Social Spotlight blog, and Facebook for highlights and behind-the-scenes memories. 

Finding The World’s Most Valuable Instagram Account 

This session tackled one of the main questions for social marketers: how do you convert social posts to sales? Aaron Bollinger, Managing Director of Partnerships at Bazaarvoice, said customers trust reviews that not only address their needs, but also their feelings. Exclusively focusing on the selling points and disregarding the style aspect of their product is not successful. Aaron said 25-45% of consumers have instant organic engagement with this content, and they’ve seen a 79% lift in conversion using this tactic. 

Whole Foods, for example, publishes 80% of their content on Instagram from their fans. Lisa Grimm, Associate Director of Social Media at Whole Foods, says they “make the community the star.”

Social buying faces many hurdles, though. The panelists gave three reasons:

1. Social commerce depends on mobile commerce - which is still pretty clunky. The user experience when buying on mobile is not efficient - there are often too many clicks or too many distractions. 

2. Marketers are focused on outdated metrics. They’re using success metrics that were based on TV and print - not social media.

3. There hasn’t been a big social commerce success story that went viral. Nobody has come out and said, “I did X Y and Z and generated an extra $10m in revenue because of social commerce.” Once that happens, others will follow.

Programmatic Advertising in the Age of CX

Oracle Marketing Cloud put on this session featuring speakers from MediaMath, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, ZenithOptimedia and Simulmedia. It was packed. There was literally a line out of the door. Christopher Drago, Director of Global Media at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, said their customer experience is the top priority - and to do that, you need to understand more about the context in which you’re delivering the message. Casting a targeted, but wide net to gather data is critical. This sounds promising, but is difficult at scale. 

Rob Jayson, Chief Data Officer of ZenithOptimedia, spoke about how brands have become smarter with their data sets. Modeling or simulations are not enough evidence of effectiveness; brands want to see how their media is directly lifting sales. 

Chris Victory, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships & Business Development at MediaMath, echoed how difficult it is to execute on the promise of data. “If you’re going to pay for something, it better work. Scale is another thing. What sounds super cool might actually be just super cool talk.” 

Fun Fluff: Comic Sans Exists For A Reason

Confession: I only attended this session because I met the speaker in the elevator. He seemed funny, so I told him I would go. As it turns out, Graham Lee, the Chief Creative Officer of T1, is such a talented speaker that he discussed a font for an hour - and nobody left. He discussed the origin story of comic sans, why people choose it, and what it means for the rest of us. He extrapolated this simple font to the larger world of graphic design. Maybe there is no “bad” graphic design - maybe there’s only “meets my needs” or “doesn’t meet my needs.” Style is subjective, so go with your gut. “We need more people like Comic Sans,” he said. “Be controversial. Be hated if necessary. Have opinions.” 

Then, Party Time! 

Oracle Marketing Cloud hosted The Spazmatics, an 80’s cover band. It was a packed house. Really fun! 




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