5 Lessons I've Learned and Continue To Learn From SXSW 2022

Genoveva Petrova, Digital Strategy Lead at Fingerpaint Marketing, recounts 5 lessons she picked up while attending SXSW 2022:

Lesson 1: VR and AI technologies are at the frontier of mental health and aging by providing immersive experiences that break the distance and time barrier. Those technologies are crucial given that the pace of population aging is much faster than in the past, and every 3 seconds, someone is diagnosed with dementia. With VR technologies, the shift is from communication to experience environments, which provide the opportunity to measure mental health and challenge people in a measurable behavioral way.

Lesson 2: Even with emerging technologies, content continues to drive experience innovation by sparking emotional connections and delivering consumer experiences that are relatable, trustworthy, honest, and personable. Maira Genovese from MG Empower explained, “Content creates emotion, and emotion create memories. Without memory, you can’t recall. In order for brands to resonate, you need to create attention in formats of content that are changed by speed.”

Lesson 3: To make your brand experience matter, you have to break the innovation rules, mine insights, and test and retest a hypothesis to ensure you allow a safe space for dreaming and imagining without inhibition. According to Dana Treseder, Senior Vice President, Head of Global Marketing, Peloton, you have to establish yourself as the expert first, be flexible on the details but stubborn on the vision, and use a combination of creative storytelling and data-driven insights to create powerful brands.

Lesson 4: The future of influence involves virtual humans, where many users partake in the creation of and give input for the virtual human. Virtual influencers are digital characters with personalities and first-person points of view, and they already leverage engagement across platforms that are 3x/4x the engagement of conventional social influencers. Who is your favorite virtual influencer?

Lesson 5: The cast of Ted Lasso has a special talent to make a packed conference room laugh. As Jason Sudeikis joined SXSW virtually from London, he asked, “How is it going?” to which Brett Goldstein responded, “It’s a f*#king disaster.” (He and Brendan Hunt were experiencing ongoing connectivity issues.)