Among the many very informative sessions on the first official day of SXSWi, one of particular interest to new businesses was called Ten Big Legal Mistakes Made by Internet Companies, led by Carl Butler, VP of Legal at Angie’s List, and David Wong, an intellectual property expert and attorney for Barnes & Thornburg LLP. In a nutshell, the session, despite its title, was centered around best legal practices for new businesses with insights on trademark laws, copyright infringement and the legal pitfalls surrounding digital work product, just to name a few.
The days of herding consumers from one destination to another are long gone. Today’s consumers are free range. They move unrestricted across a varied landscape of traditional and digital media, integrating multiple sources, online and off, into their purchase decisions. Consumer choices arise now from a cat’s cradle path of inputs, from word of mouth to traditional advertisements to branded apps to third-party review sites to social media, bouncing back and forth until landing on a decision. Pinning consumer purchasing decisions to a single cause is not only more difficult but over time is becoming less and less relevant. The contemporary consumer makes buying choices like a committee reaches consensus, only with the best advice from every available group member.