Vision Critical

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Vision Critical is once again headed to Austin for SXSW Interactive. This annual conference and festival, which attracts leading thinkers in tech and marketing, has long been a great source of inspiration for people working at the intersection of technology and consumer insight.

This year, we're helping to drive those conversations with several different panels and workshopsÛ_and we're also looking forward to gathering fresh inspiration from some of the great sessions we'll be attending.

Here are 5 key themes (and 10 suggested sessions) we'll be exploring at this year's SXSW.

Theme #1: Innovation and co-creation

Curation + Crowdsourcing + Creation = Love
March 11, 12:30PM - 1:30PM
ModCloth CMO/COO Kerry Cooper will talk about the challenge and opportunities in maintaining a co-creation community, one that combines curation, crowdsourcing and creation.
Why we're excited: When done right, co-creation is a great source of customer insight that drives new product and marketing strategy development. But co-creation has its challenges, especially if your community doesn't have the right mix of people and you don't utilize the right process. This session promises to tackle co-creation's challenges head on - while highlighting opportunities and best practices.

Combinatorial Creativity: The Future of Innovation
March 8, 3:30PM - 4:30PM
Alex Krug of Behance/Adobe, Jonathan Hunt of VICE Media, and Mike Germano of Carrot Creative will discuss the emerging concept of combinatorial creativity: the idea that the revolutionary innovations come from assimilating other great ideas into new ones.
Why we're excited: We're huge advocates of going outside your own four walls to get inspiration. We're looking forward to learning about combinatorial creativity, and how this concept involves customer insight in the process.

Theme 2: Social media analytics

The Art & Science of Social Listening
March 11, 3:30PM - 6:00PM
This two and a half hour long workshop will offer tips, case studies, and exercises on the subject of social media listening.
Why we're excited: Social media listening requires investment from brands, both in terms of software and human capital. But for social media listening to drive ROI, businesses need to turn social media buzz into actionable customer insight. We can't wait to hear how global brands are improving their businesses by listening on social.

What Social Media Analytics Can't Tell You
March 7, 3:30PM - 4:30PM
Learn how some of the web's leading thinkers are answering their research questions by combining social media analytics with survey data.
Why we're excited: Over the past few months, we've been working with Jeremiah Owyang, Beth Kanter and Colby Flint (of Discovery Communications, a Vision Critical client) to run research studies that complement data from insight communities with social media data. We're excited to share the methodology we've employed for these studies, fresh insights on what makes social media users tick, and tips for expanding your own monitoring and analytics program.

Theme #3: Collaborative economy

Sharing Economy 2.0
March 8, 9:30AM - 10:30AM
I'll join LiquidSpace's Mark Gilbreath for a conversation about the evolution of the sharing economy, why collaborative consumption startups are increasingly considering enterprises as customers, and how companies in this space can effectively serve both consumer and corporate audiences.
Why we're excited: Our report, Sharing is the New Buying, examines the rise of the collaborative economy, the people that participate in this movement, and the business tactics and strategies that can be used to compete in the space. We're eager to hear how sharing startups like LiquidSpace work with enterprises and what the future holds for the space.

Taking the Collaborative Economy to Space
March 7, 3:30PM - 4:30PM
Using the construct of the collaborative economy, panelists will share what the new space economy will look like in the future.
Why we're excited: Now that sharing is mainstream, it makes sense that some businesses and organizations are looking for the collaborative economy's next frontier. The idea of taking the collaborative economy to space has piqued our interest.

Theme 4: Big Data

The Future of Sports Can Be Found in the Data
March 7, 5:00PM - 6:00PM
Leading firms in the sports business will reveal how wearable technology help the science of athletics to move into the world of big data and analytics.
Why we're excited: Last year, Tyler Douglas, Vision Critical's CMO, wrote about the marketing implications of wearable technology. At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, we've seen more companies dabbling on wearable technology, particularly those in fitness industries. We're curious how all the data from wearable tech will help inform business decisions - and where consumer insight from insight communities can help bridge the gap.

Privacy, Permission & the Evolution of Big Data
March 9, 3:30PM - 6:00PM
Vision Critical's Andrew Grenville and Tyler Douglas will share an exclusive international study on people's attitudes towards privacy, and discuss changes in the regulatory environment that will affect how businesses use Big Data.
Why we're excited: Attendees of this workshop will be invited to help shape a subsequent study on big data and privacy - the results of which we will share back exclusively with workshop attendees, prior to any public release. We're eager to hear from consumers, startups and enterprises about this important subject.

Theme 5: Customer loyalty

Loyalty is Dead. Long Live Loyalty.
March 9, 11:00AM - 12:00PM
Drew Lewis from Wunderman and Joshua Forstot of will lead a discussion on what it customer loyalty means in today's socially driven environments.
Why we're excited: In his most recent MarketingProfs article, our CMO argued that customer loyalty today isn't just within marketing's domain. We're keen to join the discussion on the current state of loyalty and to explore with other marketing professionals how customer insight can continue help drive loyalty.

Getting to Why: Great Brands Create Great Experiences
Kathy Savitt, CMO at Yahoo, will tackle important questions for tech companies today: what makes you relevant, what delights your users, and why should they come back?
Why we're excited: At Vision Critical, we're passionate about helping brands figure out the "why." Kathy's presentation promises to reveal how Yahoo uncovers its purpose - and how that translates to great experiences for its millions of users.

Join us in Austin

If you're heading to SXSW Interactive 2014 and you're thinking about these themes, look for us at the conference. Hope to see you there!

The Vision Critical SXSW 2014 team:

  • Alexandra Samuel (@awsamuel), VP of Social Mediap
  • Andrew Reid (@ReidAndrew), Founder, President & Chief Product Officer
  • Tyler Douglas (@tylerdouglas), Chief Marketing Officer
  • Andrew Grenville (@GrenvilleAndrew), Chief Research Officer
  • Jenny Smelyanets (@jennysmelly), PR Manager

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