Technology used for marketing these days is getting a bad rap. I just read about the POST methodology for social media, which stands for People, Objective, Strategy, and in last place Technology. The methodology is good in the sense that it communicates a path that gets people thinking about formulating a plan instead of dabbling. But, this is just one of many articles I have read recently about downplaying the role of technology.
In a sense, technology appears to be decided last. When I develop an idea, I may not initially be thinking about what technology it should be expressed in, but that’s because after 13 years of doing this, I have a good sense of what is feasible. Not knowing the limits is fun, but if you keep your head in clouds you’re going to fail hard. Ideas should be tempered with the logistics of bringing them to fruition. This requires knowledge of what you can and can’t do. This requires knowledge of technology.
Technology can never become a commodity and moreover should be not treated as one. But, should marketers know everything about marketing AND technology? The more one can know about both, the better. What is interesting though is that as much as marketing and business people are learning about technology, the technology people are learning about business and marketing. It’s a two way street where all of us are learning.
So we have two groups of people who see complete solutions from different angles. Neither one is all right or all wrong. Not seeing all the angles (the complete picture) is where problems start. There is just so much that can go wrong with a technology based solution.
How do we fix the problem? Marketers are typically called in first to sit with the client. So it is usually up to them to work with the technology people when and if they think they are needed. This can work, but seldom does. Marketing/Technology people and Technology/Marketing people should both sit with their clients from the very onset of any project. This doesn’t fix everything, but it stops a ton of preventable issues.
Teamwork is the path to enlightenment. Having been on both sides of design/development fence, I have long understood the interdependency of the digital environment. Everyone needs to leave their egos at the door and work together to provide the best solution.
With anything digital, an agency built with silos will never come close to its potential. And an agency that puts technology last will produce more failed projects than successful ones.