For Account Managers, Owners, Marketing Managers and Clients – 7 Business Essentials you must know and be aware of when doing anything online and not only when building a website.
In the early days, AndMine started with a humble team of four – two programmers, an intern and myself. At the time, compared to today’s standards, web was still in its infancy. Clients, big and small were trying to come to grips with the new terms and buzzwords being touted by online aficionados. It seemed those buzzwords helped elevate a lot of the cowboy selling and over-hype of online; it was the next big thing that clients had to get into. To me, it was the dot-com bubble revisited on a micro small business and SME scale. I spent a lot of my time talking with clients; demystifying the expectations and explaining the resources required for a reasonable to rich return on investment.
Now AndMine is a team of forty (and growing strong) I see a whole new perspective from my account managers facing the same challenges with clients. Our mindset of under-promise, over deliver is often superseded by a little bit of that plug-and-play ideology that we are used to from technology; or putting the tech basics into the too hard basket.
We aim to manage our client’s expectations and grow their knowledge. But it is becoming increasingly obvious that there is a widening technical gap between our day-to-day toolkit and how to communicate complex ideas in laymen’s terms. It often becomes the common ground of frustration. It is often worse when you try and Google some advice and you are confronted with a guide seemingly written in another language.
So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about laying down some common answers to arm managers, owners and team members alike to cut through the digital jungle.
A word of caution before we proceed, it is often a minefield dealing with IT operators; especially the one-man-bands that tinker with your setups and do stupid things like guess the A-record when trying to migrate email to Gmail. (An A-record is the part of your domain name which points to your website address.) This rookie mistake happened to one of our clients recently by an IT ‘expert’ trying to migrate their email. With frequent similar stories, it seems actual IT experts are as rare as hen’s teeth. Not to point the finger in one direction, digital agencies can be just as irresponsible.
For larger organisation’s, the other things we are noticing are internal IT and Marketing departments still not quite on the same page when it comes to digital fundamentals and opportunities. It’s like they have all the intelligence and will certainly figure it out. But the gap here seems to be IT on one side of the river, marketing on the other and both arguing about how to build the perfect bridge.
The truth is, there is no silver bullet and a lot of fatal traps when considering your digital ecosystem and keeping it well oiled. If you’ve ever experienced the frustration of not knowing who, how and when something will be fixed or improved, you were starring at what I call the “Online Tech Gap”.
Now to write about all the pitfalls my team and I see in detail, it would probably make a good book, it would also date as quickly as it was published. There are a few reoccurring trends that I’ve been talking about since I was at the coal face with clients doing almost everything myself from server setups to website design and software development.
So here they are, keeping them as low tech as possible, the 7 Things to Know When Building A Website or Working With with A Digital Agency – OR – the 7 Business Essentials you must know and be aware of when doing anything online.
Please click the links below to view each of these in detail as each have been expanded upon from the original post.
While often tedious, I hope these tips have armed you with a new perspective when working on your digital ecosystem. I do want to add, if you are working with a professional and trustworthy agency, many issues will resolve themselves as the relationship grows.
Remember though, most of us put a lot of this knowledge into the too-hard basket, when really much of this is awareness. Even my team members find it difficult to explain some of these basics in a reasonable timeframe if there is no basic understanding on the other end of the phone or email, especially under pressure of a campaign or website launch. This is a huge mistake. With a little bit of insight and tiny bit of learning you can avoid many of the time bombs set by the once confusing properties of the digital landscape.