Seattle Interactive Conference kicked off on Wednesday at the Washington State Convention Center, and, while the theme for the conference is “Makers,” day one of SIC made it clear that “making” alone isn’t enough in the age of the digital revolution.
Today’s makers aren’t just tasked with creating. They’re learning, experimenting, adapting, anticipating, and strategizing at a breakneck pace – all for purposes as diverse as helping consumers buy 1/4 of a cow online directly from local farms (see, Farmstr) or crafting rich, location-based, multimedia experiences ala Artifact Technologies.
To learn how they’re doing it, check out our highlights from the leaders and makers of SIC below, and stay tuned tomorrow for our highlights from day two!
“Snackable” Content and The Revolution of TV Online
by Shefali Sain – @shefalisain
Much like the goldfish, our attention spans have contracted to about 3 seconds. Adaptive Media‘s Chief Marketing Officer Daryl McNutt introduced the audience to the changing behavior of online consumers and their preference for bite-size, “snackable” content in his talk “The Revolution of TV Online: Get Ready for 20 Million Channels by 2018.”
In our busy, media-saturated lives, marketers and brands have to work harder and faster to grab our attention and provide easily consumable content. McNutt put some hard numbers behind the often-noticed trend of how consumers are using a combination of devices of varying form-factors to consume digital content at their own convenience. With less and less content being consumed via big screens, McNutt’s talk signaled the impending demand for creating content for new and emerging screens. Premium content of the future will be suited to multiple screens and will be as long or as short as the viewer decides.
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Learning to Make Like a Girl
by Fritz Kessler – @hellofritzcom
How can we empower girls to take charge in our rapidly evolving technology and communication age? A panel of bright, articulate middle-schoolers took center stage at SIC to answer that, and other questions, in the “Making of a School” talk led by Patti Hearn, Head of School at Lake Washington Girls Middle School.
Hearn joined LWGMS in 1998, around the end of the “award a trophy for everything” trends of the mid-to-late 90’s, and worked to create an environment which leveraged more modern research for helping students succeed. “Praising the hard work and the process is more effective than praising what is perceived to be this inherent quality of being smart,” Hearn said.
After discussing the school’s work in fostering creativity in students with a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) program vs. a more traditional STEM model (without the A for “Arts”), Hearn brought a sprightly panel of LGWMS students on stage to discuss how they handle setbacks, team-building, and leadership in school.
The girls wowed the audience with their confident responses to questions, which ranged from discussion of how failure makes them more resilient, to how they define the term “like a girl” as one of empowerment and positive self-identity. “I don’t want to just work in a cubicle” said Lillian, age 12. To judge from the panel discussion, achieving greater things is well within reach for these young women.
Where Context is King: Brent Friedman on the Art of Location-Based Storytelling
by Connie Rock – @conrock_media
Remember the oft-repeated adage that “Content is King”? In the new world of location-based storytelling, there’s a new adage: “Context is King.” In his packed session, “Place Matters: How Location-Based Storytelling Will Reveal the True Purpose of Mobile,” Brent Friedman, co-founder and chief creative officer at Artifact Technologies, unpacked the changing face of digital storytelling.
Friedman described how he created a unique transmedia storytelling experience for MTV’s Valemont web series. Through a savvy combination of interactive storytelling, social networks, mobile strategies, and an alternate reality game, Friedman’s approach helped increase conversions for advertiser Verizon among its valuable target demographic (14 to 24-year-old females).
Today’s frontier? The Internet of Places, where mobile content merges seamlessly with the physical world. When delivered to the right people at the right time, great mobile content enhances and extends engagement, and empowers people to shape their own experience. To that end, Artifact Technologies’ location-based storytelling app, Mixby, is being featured at the conference.
The Future of Cross-Device Shopping
by Kavya Parthasarathy – @Kavya103
What does it mean for marketers and retailers when half the purchases from real estate to personal care are influenced by digital media? Audience members found out with insights from AOL’s primary research into consumer shopping behavior in “Thinking Beyond the Shopping Cart: Making the Cross-Device Experience Work.”
“Mobile isn’t actually mobile,” said Cortney Henseler, Director of Consumer Analytics and Research at AOL, pointing out that 68% of mobile content consumption happens at home. In this era of always-on browsing, consumers are forming brand preferences much before they enter the “shopping funnel.”
Lisa Archambault, Head of Demand Generation Marketing for Zappos, stressed on the importance of aligning metrics with the true nature of shopping behavior. Often, companies discount smartphones and tablets because conversion rates are low. But consumers are using these devices for discovery and as a form of retail therapy.
Both Henseler and Archambault agree that the key to making the cross-device experience work is keeping the transition seamless. Continuity and hand-offs are essential to letting consumers pick up where they left off, across devices.
Check back tomorrow for our coverage of day two of Seattle Interactive Conference.