The South by Southwest (SXSW) Music, Film and Interactive festival is one of the top centers for innovation in the global technology sector. Startups flock to the Interactive portion of the festival by the dozen to court investors and pitch new clients. Some are revolutionary, some are destined for the dustbin and some are uniquely suited to event marketers, and EM dove in to find the ones that you would be wise to look into and keep an eye on in the second half of 2012.
What it is: An app loaded with a location-based augmented reality game that specializes in layering AR and special offers over real locations, making the whole experience interactive for the users and lucrative for businesses.
Opportunity: Right now, Borglar is catering to small, local businesses, but bigger brands could easily leverage the app for multi-market activations to tie a program together with some cool tech.
What it is: Eloqua is at its roots a lead and opportunity management automator. It handles the collection of leads at events, filters those leads based on activity-mapping algorithms and directs the flow of qualified leads from the collection events and databases to the sales people for follow-up.
Opportunity: Time spent making calls to everyone who comes to your exhibit is wasted time. A lot of those people showed up for your promos or free drinks or just to sit down for a minute, and Eloqua weeds those folks out so your sales force spends time closing, not closing doors.
GroupHug by The Hoth
What it is: This is a behind-the-scenes social promotion tool. The “Huggers” who become your brand’s fans sign up to allow you to leverage their social networks and reach for every program. Basically, it’s an automated sharing tool, like an old-school phone tree.
Opportunity: GroupHug lets you leverage the fans and fanatics you’ve been attracting to your brand for years, and makes them happy because they get be the first to share all new content you have to give.
What it is: A mobile tagging platform for business that is designed to leverage qr codes to engage with consumers through their mobile devices. It is a suite of point-and-click tools for creating quality, media-rich mobile content and microsites quickly and with no programming required. It also has a built-in qr code generator.
Opportunity: Near-instant custom mobile sites tied to easily generated qr codes makes your brand, your campaigns and your events as mobile and flexible as your consumers.
What it is: mophie is a designer and manufacturer of mobile intelligent devices and accessories. Its most well-known creations are the battery packs that extend the life of iPhones and other devices. The Apple version was the Juice Pack, the first portable battery case to work with iPhone and be certified by the maker. Now it makes Android-compatible accessories, too.
Opportunity: It’s simple. The longer you can keep a device on the show floor or in the hands of your brand ambassadors, the longer you can keep working. And that speaks for itself.
What it is: A social media monitoring and reporting tool. Simple. It’s enterprise-level stuff, crafted to monitor the entire social sphere online and report the findings back to you. Netbase takes the raw info it collects online and converts its sentiment analysis into brand and competitive tracking information to measure success.
Opportunity: Go beyond listening and move to a real-time understanding of your customers, clients and online reputation. Even more, the early warning system helps detect and address possible issues before they become major problems.
What it is: A comprehensive cloud-based enterprise social media marketing platform. It was designed to enable marketers to send updates, engage with consumers and measure the impact of the campaigns and activities on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Opportunity: This suite of products can streamline your social strategy and reporting processes, which will make your campaigns more efficient and powerful.
What it is: SuperBetter is a social media game, designed to help the members live healthier lives and accomplish their personal improvement goals through mutual support and motivation. The members connect with a very few “true” friends, and then they all work together to stay curious, optimistic and motivated to get to the finish line, even in the face of the toughest challenges.
Opportunity: This one could be great for health-related brands or those that have clean-living and fitness brand values.
What it is: An open source asp.net CMS, free and designed on Microsoft platforms. That means it has all the power of the biggest in the software business behind the freedom of an open source platform. Content delivery options are huge, and major brands are already developing on the platform for new sites and microsites, including Wired UK, Heinz and Sandisk.
Opportunity: Fast development for new event microsites, full support from a knowledgeable community and all with the security of knowing that Microsoft (and other big brands) stand behind it.