Sometimes, you have to pull away the layers to get the core of a marketing issue.
The other day, I was watching Dilbert on Netflix. The gist of this episode was that technology department was not working with company executives, nor vice versa. The schism that started in the conference room physically manifested itself as a crack on the exterior foundation of the office building that eventually spread, causing the entire building to collapse.
One of the things that makes comedy work is exaggeration; but all too often in our everyday work, while we don’t see buildings crashing down, we do see campaigns and projects crashing because technology and business—whether it’s sales, marketing or the C-Suite—aren’t on the same page.
Technology is a tool, just like the wheel or a knife. However, have you tried to drive a car resting on four knives? Or cut a piece of meat with a wheel? What I’m saying is that you need to use the RIGHT tool for the RIGHT job. That’s where strategy comes in.
At Pipitone Group, we’re often told by clients, “We need an e-mail marketing engine so we can announce our new products more efficiently and effectively,” or, “We need an online advertising campaign to increase awareness of our brand,” or, “Our website needs updated with more interactive features.”
Many of these needs may be valid, but the number one answer clients most often hear from us when we get these requests is: Why? As we probe the answers to that question and the inevitable questions those answers raise, we find that the client doesn’t have a technology problem or even a marketing problem—they have a business problem.
Once you’ve peeled away the onion and identified the true problem, then and only then can you prescribe the best strategy to go about solving that problem. In today’s world, eight or nine times out of 10, it will involve some sort of technology—or tool—as part of the solution. But a sound strategy, and an integrated approach, will help ensure the problem gets solved, instead of crashing down all around you.
Remember, a tool—almost any tool—in the wrong hands can be deadly. Have a strategy and, when necessary, ask an expert to help.