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My name's Joel Kelly and I live in Halifax, NS.

I'm a 20something guy doing digital and social media strategy for a Halifax-based marketing agency.

I'm a vegan nerd and marketing asshole.

You should follow me on Twitter.

Contact me about whatever (like, say, your marketing questions) at joelkellyATgmail.com

Monday, August 25, 2008

What do you wish big brands knew about the web?

This is a total cop-out of a blog post, I know, but I'm genuinely looking for some advice here.

I've been going around to some of our clients and, well, explaining the present and future web to them, and how it relates to marketing. And also, more importantly, how their audience expects to interact with their brands.

On Tuesday I'll be at one of our major clients and, at this point, I'm a little at a loss of what direction I'll take the presentation. Likely I'm suffering from an embarrassment of riches when it comes to things I could help them with, and that may be precisely the problem. Large companies seem especially likely to misuse or misunderstand this whole interwebernet thing, and it's tough to find a good way to get a lot across without just coming in with a million bullet points (not on slides, because bullet points on slides are awful and you should never use them) of what could be done better and just overwhelm them and myself with information.

So, take a large company, particularly in this market, and tell me what they're doing wrong with the internet. Be it their advertising, their website, or the way they're handling (or, more likely, simply ignoring) social media.

Please...?

You'll be my total BFF if you help me out.

7 comments:

Webconomist said...

I hear your pain!

What has helped me a little is to ask them how they use the Web as individuals and at work. They all do, but they put on a hat that and think in "corporate" terms. I get them to share their experiences, what they do and have a discussion.

Then I tell them this is how others use the Web. By bringing their own examples to light, it seems to help. Then I tell them if this discussion were a blog, then they've experienced Social Media.

Seems to help somewhat. Good luck with the meetings.

Carman said...

I find most efforts at diagnosing marketing / advertising issues tends to result in some agency asshole talking about the advertising from a very 'creative' POV. Further, most efforts at diagnosing web challenges tends to boil down to a geek who 'gets it' telling a marketing director just how unusable their site really is.

This isn't always the case, of course, but it happens often enough...

All this said, the organization I suspect you're talking about doesn't have a marketing problem... they have a cultural / identity problem... they have a purpose problem...

Joel Kelly said...

Great points, guys! Thanks!

Joel Kelly said...

And there's no question, Carman, that you're right about the culture/identity problem, but I think there's an opportunity to at least treat some symptoms, even if they never try to cure the disease.

WebTarget said...

Companies, whatever their size, all get the concept of ROI and Business bottom line (i.e. revenue & profit).

As a consequence, I always start my conversation with a few questions:
- what do you expect from your website?
- what are your website's revenue streams?
- how do you define your website's performance?

You'd be surprised by how few people actually know the answers to these questions (or even care - but let's not be too sarcastic here). That is why event though a first meeting can start with a short presentation (based on a high analysis of the client's website and some competitors best practices), the objective is to start a (guided) conversation in the room in order to figure out the answers to these critical questions. The Client ultimately must be involved in the process and at best take ownership.

These answers will then lead the path to the requirement for design, usability, functionality, conversion paths, etc.

If not, you're sure to miss the mark and you'll have the same conversation all over again down the line.

Our job as online strategists (or marketers) is to educate our clients for whom the online world might not be a priority but "just another marketing/revenue channel" My belief is that business people like to talk business, not jargon and concepts. So it's up to us to figure out how to reach out to them and bring them on board.

Stephane Lagrange - WebTarget said...

Companies, whatever their size, all get the concept of ROI and Business bottom line (i.e. revenue & profit).

As a consequence, I always start my conversation with a few questions:
- what do you expect from your website?
- what are your website's revenue streams?
- how do you define your website's performance?

You'd be surprised by how few people actually know the answers to these questions (or even care - but let's not be too sarcastic here). That is why even though a first meeting can start with a short presentation (based on a high analysis of the client's website and some competitors best practices), the objective is to start a (guided) conversation in the room in order to figure out the answers to these critical questions. The Client ultimately must be involved in the process and at best take ownership.

These answers will then lead the path to the requirement for design, usability, functionality, conversion paths, etc.

If not, you're sure to miss the mark and you'll have the same conversation all over again down the line.

Our job as online strategists (or marketers) is to educate our clients for whom the online world might not be a priority but "just another marketing/revenue channel" My belief is that business people like to talk business, not jargon and concepts. So it's up to us to figure out how to reach out to them and bring them on board.

Joel Kelly said...

Awesome, thanks Stephane!