Optimal iQ Blog

Posted by: Jason Smith on 4/29/2011 | 0 Comments
Internet professionals have done a disservice to the industry and to our clients.  For over a decade those of us on the interactive side have proclaimed that the web is faster, cheaper, more flexible or easier than, well, anything else on the planet.  All of that may be true but in living and dying by that pitch we have cornered ourselves.  
The problem is that this mentality has oozed into the planning and strategic mindset too.  Just because the internet can provide tools that are easy and cheap, like Facebook for example, doesn’t mean it is easy to develop and nurture an ongoing marketing strategy to use Facebook for your business.  It is easier today to build a nice looking well functioning website than ever before.  That doesn’t mean it is any easier to talk to customers and understand how we can best serve them on that website.  Being patient and listing to customers still takes almost the same amount of time that it did before.  
I still have not found a good substitute for a chunk of time locked in a  room with white board covered walls talking to customers about their needs and talking about customers needs before launching into an interactive project.  
To contrast, the IT world has done the opposite.  For decades they have come into meetings letting executives know that they need expensive hardware, high priced staff and more support to get their job done.  And typically the get it.  I can't tell you have many companies I have visited who have IT staff that dwarfs the size of the marketing staff.  
My challenge to the industry is to be very careful to clearly articulate what you mean by faster, cheaper and easier or you will be left with little budget and expectations that are hard to live up to.  
Posted by: Jason Smith on 4/15/2011 | 0 Comments
Below is a link to a great article about the disconnect that still exists in many organizations between traditional and interactive marketing divisions and subsequently, companies and consumers.  
The good news is that many marketers are starting to realize this and are providing suggestions for improvement.  

Here are a couple good take-aways from the article: 
1.  Strategically we need to think about marketing on the web and on mobile devices as simply "Marketing" and not a silo called eMarketing.  Silo's create a difficulty in providing a cohesive interaction across all channels for your customers.  Cohesive cross channel interaction is something consumers desperately crave and expect. 
2.  We are now getting better information and ways to create these cohesive interactions customers want.  In the article, Forrester presents a solutions they call C.O.R.E, Customize, Optimize, Respond and Empower.  There are a lot of great ways to do this through analytics, dynamic content, feedback loops and research studies.  A great source for completing studies such as this through the VI "Value Innovation" process.  A colleague of mine leads these studies with great success.  If you would like more information on this contact me and I can make an introduction.  

Posted by: Jason Smith on 4/11/2011 | 0 Comments
At a previous organization I worked at we used to commonly refer to "Failing Fast and Failing Cheap" as we incubated new ideas.  I ran across the article below with a slightly different twist on that concept.  I think I might like this one better.  "Fail Bigger Cheaper".  Here is a link to the full article:

Fail Bigger Cheaper: A Three Word Manifesto - http://blogs.hbr.org/haque/2011/03/fail_bigger_cheaper_a_three_wo.html
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