Mar 20 2024
Kaitlin O'Brien

3 Marketing Insights from SXSW 2024


Earlier this month, droves of marketers and advertisers descended on Austin, Texas to soak in the sights and insights of SXSW 2024. Here are three insights from the notebooks of Basis’ Media Innovations & Technology team to help marketers keep 2024 moving in the right direction.

Podcasts Offer a Bargain in the Ad Landscape 

Podcasting increasingly stands as a contender in advertisers’ paid media strategies. That’s thanks to its unique ability to meet consumers where they are and building trust and affinity not just for podcasters, but for the brands that support them. 

Despite the proven performance benefits, podcasting remains an under-invested channel for most brands. For marketers that are evaluating how to add podcast placements into media buys, start by forming a crawl, walk, run strategy approach. Messaging style is critical—after all, podcasting is, at its core, storytelling. Ad content should take on this same style to meet consumers in a mindset they’re already in. Brands should also cross-pollinate paid messaging into complementary channels like Instagram and TikTok to extend their presence, discover new audiences, and maximize their investment.

AI and machine learning will continue to improve podcasting’s capabilities—from content analysis, to niche audience segments, to creating content for advertisers and podcast producers. 

Finally, advertisers should keep an eye on AI to potentially be applied as a measurement solution.

Capturing Causal Data Takes Extra Work but Delivers Powerful Insight

Data is the ultimate commodity in a cookieless world—particularly when it comes to effectively understanding and reaching audiences. One form of data that doesn’t get enough recognition in its ability to transform advertisers’ paid media strategies is causal data. At its heart, causal data is focused on measuring a brand’s ability to shift audience perceptions and beliefs about that brand.  

Advertisers who want to leverage the power of causal data will need to get up close and personal with their audiences. This requires dedicated, qualitative audience research to understand who your audience is and what they care about—not just the tropes that have been created about them. Understanding the emotional drivers behind consumers’ decisions and perceptions of a brand can bridge data and art, transforming insight into creative messaging that resonates on a deeper level. 

When it comes to measuring causal data outcomes, advertisers need to get curious and ask their audiences questions that dig into cause and effect. For example: “How did you feel about a brand before?” and “What touchpoints or communications led you to change your mind?”

Accessing the power of causal data involves a hands-on effort from advertisers, but the outcomes are invaluable, especially as consumers are increasingly loyal to the brands who can prove they truly understand who consumers are and what they need or care about.  

Navigate Hype Cycles in Advertising to Navigate Forthcoming Headwinds

The past few years have seen a continual churn of emerging technologies, hitting the scene with a healthy dose of hype. Marketers have been enchanted by the newness and novelty of these technologies (partially thanks to the brain’s novelty center), causing them to put discernment on the back burner.

However, hype and innovation often diverge, meaning marketers will need to override that novelty center to effectively evaluate new technologies based on the intrinsic value they present to a brand on an individual basis.

Marketers who ask questions of hyped-up solutions will be poised for successful deciphering of hype from reality. Consider questions like, “What value does this present to my organization?” “Is there an actual product available to us for use?” “What resources (personnel, investment, time) will be required?” And “What are the outcomes we can expect from using this solution?”


Not able to make it to this year’s SXSW? Watch Noor Naseer’s session on navigating hype in advertising on demand and download the slides today.