Janrain’s (Very, Very Late) SXSW Engagement Podcast

SXSW Engagement Podcast

“Matter to a human in a compelling way, that’s how you get engagement.”

That quote from Julia Hammond, then the SVP of Engagement at Cavalry and now Managing Director at VML (congrats, Julia!), during a round table discussion at SXSW, has been rattling around my head for months.

When it comes to engaging with consumers, I don’t think that there’s a brand out there that isn’t trying to do the right thing. But achieving the kind of beautiful simplicity that Julia refers to isn’t always easy. Especially in this PR nightmare in waiting world of social media, where it’s so easy to offend and amplify.

SXSW is always a great place to meet a lot of interesting digital people from many disciplines and industries over a frenzy fueled few days of the interactive portion of the festival. I’ve been going for years and despite claims that the festival has jumped the shark I always seem to meet someone interesting or learn something new.

This year, I decided to be a bit more proactive and assemble a group of thought leaders together to discuss, debate and define digital engagement and record that conversation for all to hear. Toward that end I invited Gi-Gi Downs from Edelman Digital in New York City, Matt McGinnis a marketing consultant living in Austin, Texas, and the aforementioned Julia Hammond, from Cavalry/VML in Chicago.

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I apologize to everyone involved, especially our panelists, for how long it’s taken me to get this content out there. I promise you it’s well worth the wait as you’ll find yourself entertained and hopefully educated and a bit provocated.

Also know that this represents the beginning of a conversation on engagement and digital experience. The world is changing fast! Even since we recorded this we’ve seen innovation in how brands connect with consumers. McDonald’s now offers mobile ordering and delivery, Snapchat is hiring journalists to cover the next election, and Kate Spade announced a purse that will charge your mobile device. Convergence and disruption at their best. I predict that in a few years the notion of a vertical market will have lost a great deal of meaning and relevance to how consumers interact with brands.

Anyway, sit back and enjoy our first podcast. More to come.

Thanks for reading and listening.

The SXSW Podcast