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The following is a guest contributed post by Daniel Brzezinski, CMO & VP of Marketing & Product Development, GetResponse

SXSW is always a big technology event for marketers. From startups to the biggest brands, it’s a breeding ground for new ideas, highlighting the benefits of new tools and platforms. But with so much to take in, how can marketers cut through the clutter? What technologies really matter?

Here are 5 takeaways from this year in Austin.

Artificial Intelligence is Hot

Among marketers, artificial intelligence was one of the hottest topics at SXSW – and for good reason. In the future, AI will be the backbone of all successful digital campaigns. The industry is already seeing its benefits in areas like marketing automation, programmatic transactions, and ad attribution. But there is still untapped potential here. AI is the key to activating marketing data – whether it be to serve ads, deliver emails, or surface customer patterns. But the technology needs to advance faster to meet the demand.

IoT is Still Cloudy for Marketing

There were a ton of IoT-related activations at this year’s event. IoT adoption will continue to grow on the consumer side, driven by companies like Microsoft, Google and Amazon. But marketers are still figuring out how to use those touchpoints. This is because the infrastructure to collect connected-device data isn’t yet unified or standardized. Privacy and security concerns also abound. A lot of back-end work still needs to happen for IoT data to be truly usable for marketers. We are a long way from that being a reality.

Mobile Video is Huge

If you want to know where digital marketing is headed, look at Facebook. Their SXSW activation was focused on mobile video. These campaigns are exploding as content consumption has shifted to mobile devices. eMarketer says that the digital video ad market is set to double by 2019. This is led by an ongoing shift toward mobile-viewing. As a result, brands are advertising against more mobile video content, or they are bringing mobile video into more of their content marketing programs. SXSW was proof of that.

Geo-location for Marketing

Generally, what happens at SXSW is the talk of the event. But several geo-location announcements outside of the show influenced conversations on-site. Earlier in the week, for example, The LBMA announced that the use of location-enabled technology for marketing purposes is surging. Similarly, xAd made a big announcement around a new location-based ad metric designed to support lift for brick-and-mortar retailers. These announcements may not have happened in Austin, but they were big news there.

Podcasting is Blowing Up

There was a big podcasting presence at this year’s SXSW. Serial, of course, mainstreamed podcasting a few years ago. This led to an explosion in adoption over the least year, from 17% in 2015 to 21% in 2016. Mobile is driving most of the growth, making it easier to listen to podcasts, regardless of location. This has created a brand-new engagement opportunity for both consumer and business-to-business marketers. Podcast providers with activations at SXSW were clearly trying to state their case and attract more dollars.

About the Author

Daniel Brzezinski is CMO & VP of Marketing & Product Development at GetResponse. GetResponse is the easy-to-use yet advanced online marketing platform with more than 350,000 customers in 182 countries.

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