SXSW 2016 – Day 2

sxsw interactive

After we grabbed a cup of joe, we parked ourselves in a conference room, picking up where we left off the day before with another health care panel. “Value Revolution: Transforming the Health Business” is something we are quite familiar with at MassMedia. The prestigious doctors from the University of Texas led the conversation around redefining health care for the years to come by empowering the patient. The current fee for service model compensates providers on the quantity of patients and the new transitioned value based model compensates on the quality of care by keeping their patients healthy. I know that may not sound like a novel concept, but this then places accountability on providers and empowers patients, as their health and opinion of their care have a direct effect on how their provider is compensated. “The highest paid doctors will be preventers, not treaters.”

This model has been a large topic of discussion in the industry and while the concept has resonated across all parties there is a very slow adoption in transitioning. It was then that these doctors basically presented their reason for being at SXSW: “Help! We are in desperate need for technology to move this model forward.” Here is the challenge: health care needs to define “quality” with metric-based outcomes. This requires data, and a ton of it to make sense. There needs to be benchmarks for quality for patient profiles. They believe that it will require a technological disruption to the current system in order to make this transition to value-based care. A gentlemen from IBM added to the conversation echoing the problem by saying that technology would love to help with software but truly it begins with data collection and until that data exists we are in a holding pattern.

Additional concerns were discussed on “quality” being too subjective. “Patient satisfaction is not the outcome!” disputed one doctor. While that is a decent reflection of this model working, it will require statistical based outcomes of health quality in order to prove the model’s worth. We, at MassMedia, have been a part of a number of these questions and conversations and we’re proudly delivering marketing tactics in support of this transition.  It’s something that intrigues us and we’ve become quite passionate about helping the industry move forward into the future. It was an excellent conversation that provided insight on the topic that we can use for content strategy.


Next stop was “6 Things Every Designer Should Do Now” hosted by another Adobe genius. This conference was filled with design geeks, all with jaws dropped and eyes glued to the presentation. Designers these days use a number of tools and typically jump between them all simultaneously (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.). They collaborate and share multiple file types between each other and that process can take some time. Our conference leader shared 6 topics all revolving around shortcuts, tips and tricks within the daily programs used by designers. Even the most experienced designer walked away having learned something. It was a pretty common occurrence in the hour that you’d hear a “whoa!” or nudging the neighbor to point out something cool in the presentation. You really don’t know what you don’t know until these types of learning opportunities hit you in the face. #NeverStopLearning

sxsw instagram

We grabbed a quick bite and moved on to begin the second half of the day. “Finding the World’s Most Valuable Instagram Photo” was an interesting title for the conference that focused on social media advertising. There were topics of debate that social media professionals have argued for years, such as whether curated content or creative generate results. The truth is that there is no right answer. It’s a balance and should continue to be tested. Go with what works. End of conversation. Social media advertising has grown at a staggering rate over the past two years as more and more businesses are seeing benefits. Originally brands were viewing social media as a brand awareness tactic and not necessarily a driving tool for conversion. Now they are. The metrics being presented now are showing social in a new light for businesses and the creative options to showcase products and brands continue to evolve. Where brands often fail is by running the same content and creative strategy across multiple social channels. Each channel should be strategized independently. No two children are the exact same, nor are your social channels.


Next up; “Programmatic Advertising in the Age of CX.” If you’re not familiar with programmatic advertising here is a simplified explanation: Programmatic advertising refers to the use of software to purchase digital ad space as opposed to the traditional process that used people for negotiations. There are many additional technicalities but programmatic has drastically simplified the process and added efficiencies. The panel discussed using data sets to build personas for targeting, and predicting behaviors, of potential consumers. These personas are being segmented and matched across multiple databases. An example of this is marrying CRM data against credit card data against pixel collected data. Of course all this data, no matter how far you filter and validate, still needs a strategic optimization approach to quantify success. For the digital media scientists (and they truly are scientists) these topics are like deep philosophical conversations.

SXSW takes over the city and at any one time there are about 3 or 4 events that peek your interest. Unfortunately, you can’t attend them all. The streets are filled with digital, creative, film and music buffs. Austin, on a normal night, is filled with hipsters. SXSW floods the city with hipsters to another level. By this time, we thought we’d immerse ourselves to learn their eating and drinking habits. Cheers!

Casey Floyd – Exec. Digital Director
Tommy DiGioia – Exec. Creative Director

casey and tommy

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