Frito-Lay, Pepsi-Co and Facebook dish on marketing trends

At a South by Southwest panel, experts agreed the future of marketing is customer-centric. Here are their tips to do it right.

At this year’s South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSW), everyone is talking about how audiences are more involved with brands than ever. Customers are shaping and crafting the experience they want to have with all kinds of products.

Challenges vary, but mobile platforms are redefining real-time marketing and changing how people connect with brands.

At a SXSW panel, Jen Saenz, senior director of brand marketing at Frito-Lay; Shiv Singh, global head of digital at PepsiCo; and Kevin Knight, creative strategist at Facebook, discussed how fans are demanding a new way of marketing.

Marketers must tailor their approaches to fit different media to increase engagement with people and create deeper connections, Saenz said. She also said turning fan-made material into marketing assets can increase a campaign’s effectiveness.

Here are a few more key points from the panel:

1. Traditional marketing still works, even if it’s no longer effective on its own. Mass media is still important for integrated campaigns. TV can be a great catalyst for social media efforts.

2. Brands increasingly depend on loyal fans to help stretch marketing budgets. Your biggest fans are your best advocates; people are now spokespeople on a larger scale. Crowdsourcing efforts can increase this effect, as they invest fans in sharing a brand’s message. Crowdsourcing can also lead to better marketing content.

3. Mobile isn’t an option-it’s mandatory. Tablets and smartphones drive tons of brand traffic. For marketers, the more screens customers have at their disposal, the better.

4. Invest in a fan’s identity to increase the brand bond. When planning a campaign, look for ways to connect to a fan’s individual identity. Brands and their agencies now need to take an anthropological approach. That’s why crowdsourcing and marketing research have become one and the same.

How is your brand responding to the changing marketing landscape?

Ana Galleta is the digital strategist of Element, a digital marketing agency. She is currently working with PepsiCo brands and some others, providing everything from planning to the final execution of a campaign, and the overall digital strategy. A version of this article originally appeared on Smartblog on Social Media.

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