SXSW Panel Discussion Recap: Social Marketing Confessions

Last week, South by Southwest conference goers flocked to the Gigya Grill for our panel discussion, “Social Marketing Confessions: Leading Brands Discuss What Has and Hasn’t Worked.” Altimeter Group’s Jeremiah Owyang moderated a fascinating discussion with representatives from some of the largest enterprises in the world including: Richard Margetic of Dell, Danny Green of Turner Networks, Susan Borst of IAB, Adam Naide of Cox Communications and Tim Kraus of Quiznos.

Our panelists covered a number of critical topics for digital marketers and provided some really insightful opinions on which social marketing strategies have worked and haven’t worked. Dell’s Richard Margetic discussed how his company employs a certification program for thousands of employees so that they can engage with customers on social platforms while representing the company appropriately. At the same time, Margetic cautioned that, while social platforms like Facebook and Twitter are important venues for customer engagement, a brand’s website should not be ignored either. As Margetic quite aptly stated, “if you don’t control the platform, you don’t control the experience.”

Content marketing was another key topic for our panelists. Adam Naide of Cox Communications delved into some of the ways his company uses social channels to distribute content to and actively engage its user-base. Naide discussed the importance of humanizing the Cox brand by partnering with various television networks to market content (TV programs) to viewers. Speaking more generally, Naide advised that, in the age of social, “brands need to become humans and humans need to become more like brands.” Naide also noted that Cox still has a huge opportunity to integrate social infrastructure on the company’s own properties as many of Cox’s customers make their purchasing decisions on the company’s website.

We’ll have much more to share from SXSW including video footage of the entire panel in the coming weeks so stay tuned. Thanks again to all of our panelists and to Jeremiah, our moderator, for such an interesting discussion and for openly discussing their social marketing successes and challenges.

–Victor White, Marketing

By Victor White