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.