SXSW Day 1- How to combine new media with big business

I recently had the chance to go to SXSW 2014! It was an amazing feeling, being at the very cutting edge of new technology and research for both products and marketing strategy. Part of this series is dedicated to what I’ve learned over the wild and crazy experience I had in Austin.

The first bit of guidance given by the panelists at the convention was to understand your audience. The one I primarily work with is much older and more in tune with established business practices. The use of social media to drive traffic is a new phenomenon, albeit a cost effective one that expands a company’s reach. Establishing the value of this new medium to the older generation is broken down by the following factors.

The worth of social media and the rate of investment is measured by how many followers a company has. For instance, when initiating this program the number of followers has increased from 500 to 716. This is a roughly 30% climb in viewers. In order to have this number raised even further a company must look to its own culture.

Taghleef Industries is a richly diverse company founded in Dubai. It’s subsidiary organizations include operations in North America, Europe, Egypt, The Arabian Gulf, Australia and China.  The ability to perform as a global company includes the ability to reach across cultures and languages. By combining regions that produce our material and having sales offices in the major financial markets, TI has a formidable presence in the market. There is also another reason behind the success of Taghleef Industries. The primary topic that often comes up is how to be a more sustainable organization. The introduction of bio-resin based products, lighter films and more diverse markets has enhanced our marketability as an organization. Utilizing new technology such as social media and online metrics also assists in potential reduction in paper products. Before I get ahead of myself, diversity and sustainable practices must be embraced by all aspects of an organization. The culture of a company’s founders are to be embraced by all.

In a second conference about utilizing Twitter, the two speakers focused on getting businesses to utilize their best assets, their followers. In digital marketing using followers is a tremendous force multiplier. When a tweet or message is resent via a list of company contacts (clicking the retweet button), those individuals will have that message on their message board. An excellent example is of a sales officer giving a talk at a conference of 400 business people at a convention center. Before walking up to the podium, the salesperson tweets a link to the specific event that is his company is sponsoring. This message is then circulated to over 600,000 individuals online. The number is increased even more when photos and video of this event are posted. When this message is circulated by each of these users, the ROI (rate of investment) increases. The lesson learned is to always think of where company employees are, rather where they are not. Special events, philanthropy, new products, and public relations are all suitable topics with this new communications medium.

Tom Spano and Michale Duggan at #your hashtag is your event
Tom Spano and Michale Duggan at #your hashtag is your event

The Udvar-Hazy Air And Space Museum

Yesterday I had the privilege of walking through the doors of the famed Udvar-Hazy Flight museum. Also known as The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum 2.0, this place is possibly one of the most exciting locations in the DC area. Among the collection is an array of Aircraft, Rockets and Spacecraft that captivates the visitors imagination.It truly is a place for the young and young at heart.

Walking through those doors I was suddenly a kid again. When looking at the map I was immediately taken back to my walks with my German grandfather at the technical museum in Sindsheim,Germany. Together we would point out all of the different aircraft hanging from the rafters, as though they could fly at any moment. I also remembered my American Grandpa Bob and his stories of servicing escort fighters out in the Pacific. Both men made a deep impact on my mind and passion for history. As terrible as the conflict was, it ushered in a new age of science and technological advances.

When walking up to The Focke-Wulf, Heinkels, Messerschmidts, Mustangs, Thunderbolts and Lightnings I remembered the stories of brave ace pilots and the scientific minds that built their machines. The famous Enola Gay, a giant B-29 bomber that dropped the first atom bomb, loomed larger than life. The Space Shuttle Discovery, with its gravitational burn marks, detailed the journey humanity took to reach out beyond its limits. All around me were machines that captured my childhood imagination. I may have spent two hours under the roof but it felt like I was there a lifetime. Don’t miss this amazing place, it is worth it.

Enola Gay Sideways
Enola Gay Sideways

SR-71 Blackbird
SR-71 Blackbird
F-86 Sabre
F-86 Sabre
The Space Shuttle Discovery
The Space Shuttle Discovery
Ohka Kamikaze
Ohka Kamikaze
Wright Flyer
Wright Flyer
The Enola Gay !
The Enola Gay !
Boeing 307
Boeing 307
The Concorde
The Concorde
The Global Voyager
The Global Voyager
A museum for the young and young at heart :)
A museum for the young and young at heart 🙂
The world of flight and a lifelong fan :)
The world of flight and a lifelong fan 🙂