(quick link to voting here)
Yes, it's that time of the year again. Time to rock the vote as the SxSW panel picker moves into overdrive and the audience participation phase of the rigorous selection process begins.
For those of you who don't know what SxSW (South By Southwest) is, check out the Wikipedia Entry. Or if not, in short it's essentially the banner event in the entire interactive/new media/social media/emerging media (you get the picture) calendar. Think CES for consumer electronics. Cannes for Advertising. SxSW for Interactive. The festival is not only for the geeks. There's also a Film and Music festival and for those of you that can make all 3 (Interactive and Music run back to back, but Film bleeds into both), you'll benefit tremendously from the blurring and synergy that comes from naturally overlapping trades.
One of the great things about SxSW is that anyone (and I mean ANYONE) can share the stage via the Panel Picker process. Literally thousands of proposal are submitted and via a 3-pronged vetting system (staff picks, advisory board, public), the eventual shortlist is chosen.
In 2011, your votes helped secure a speaking slot where I spoke about "Flip the Funnel" and took questions from the audience. Within about 60 seconds after the event, every single copy of the book has been sold in the bookstore. I hope they'll bring more copies this time round.
In 2012, my panel didn't make it into the final shortlist, so I'm appealling to you this time to help me make this possible - if for no other reason then the fact, we've put together a really bumper topic with incredible panelists and a super relevant theme: Madison Avenue meets Mountain View - in other words, the convergence of technology and creativity in the form of startups and brands collaborating together across a variety of engagement paths and platforms.
Here's the official description of the panel:
Why is it that so many startups have brands built into their monetization strategy and yet they only involve brands at the 11th hour? Dominated by a technology and investment focused mentality, marketing is an afterthought. On the flipside, brands recognize the growing importance of innovation and yet continue to invest in established, paid media. And that includes Facebook. But what if the process started earlier, with brands and startups collaborating further upstream to co-develop revenue streams, consumer utility and ultimately technology solutions to business problems? With less than 3% of startups ending up being fully funded, how might brands come to the rescue as White Knights? What if Instagr.am had been created for Kodak? What if Conde Nast invested in Flipboard? This panel will bring together 2 senior marketers from Fortune 500 brands, and 2 startup founders to discuss the challenges, opportunities and partnership potential that arises when Madison Avenue meets Mountain View
Here are the main questions we'll look to address/answer:
- When in a startup's development life cycle should brands and startups be working together? How early is too early? How late is too late? What are the different engagement or partnership opportunities that are possible?
- What are some of the pitfalls, pushback and concerns about brands and startups working together…and more importantly, how are they resolved?
- What is the role of the agency in terms of helping facilitate and ultimately execute on behalf of both startup and brand?
- What does a successful early stage startup and brand partnership look like? Who's doing a good job out there right now? How does one measure success?
- What can brands teach startups about marketing, emotion and monetization? What can startups teach brands about failing fast, pivoting or operating lean?
The panel will include two senior executives from blue chip brands, namely Ed Kaczmarek from Kraft Foods and Winston Wang from Anheuser-Busch InBev, as well as at least one startup founder, namely Brett Welch from Switchcam. We will also have a minimum of one case study to highight and reference.
I will moderate the panel and introduce the topic with some high level thoughts on where we see this space going and "evolving"
What makes me really excited about this panel is that it takes a hot, emerging topic from the conceptual to the realm of tangible outcomes and possibilities. And so if you're going to be at SxSW, please vote for and attend the panel and even if you're not, please register and vote regardless. We will make sure we capture the essence of the panel to share with you after the fact.
Thanks so much for your consideration!