We All Need A Technical Understanding

Just back from my Hawaiian honeymoon, mai-tai-addled and catching up on the mail blocking my entry to my flat, I tripped over 4 copies of Media Week to spot Rob Taylor’s Best of the Blogs post – Do you have a feeds director? It was hula music to my ears!

Talking about Bing and Farecast in the US, he gives a mini-master class on what it means to provide easily accessible information to search engines and suggests, “We could see this becoming increasingly important in site development briefs and maybe as its own stand alone ‘feeds’ channel within a marketing department.”

Well crack open a pineapple, fill it with Malibu and stick a garish mini-umbrella in it by way of celebration because I’ve been saying this for years!

Marketing departments should be using smart technology to provide search engines with tidy and timely informationwill help them make the right decision about what products and services they should display to a particular user.

In other words, marketers need to get smart about the technology available to optimize their content and distribute it where it’ll have the most benefit for the end user.

I’ve never understood the reticence of somefolk in our industryto even try and getthe concept of SEO, XMLor APIs.

“But I’m not technical!” is usually the cry but it’s really not difficult to get your head around and it’s vital as we progress and innovate towards a totally digital media world.

Building a website from the ground up, making sure the navigation and data accessibility is sweet for both the user and 3rd party digital channels is crucial to success.

I remember once helping a client understand the basics of the purchase funnel, persuading him that a 7 page application process might be a feat of engineering for his internal reporting needs but that he was losing customers and revenue hand-over-fist, and the search engines were losing the will to live trying to interpret what each page was about.

We live in an age where easy access to data and a streamlined flow of inventory equals success in a fast-moving online market. Making sure the marketing departments and technical teams understand each other’s remits and work together towards the common good can only help us build a better and more relevant web!

  • Ian Wright

    Totally agree with you Mel, integrated does not just mean integrated media planning, buying, and execution. You have to understand how all the integrated digital infrastructure can significantly help increase your campaigns effectiveness.

    Nobody likes change but if people were a ‘tad’ braver and dipped their toes into these areas they will soon realise how many benefits it can deliver. It will vastly improve their overall marketing performance and in many cases reduce overall costs. Seismic changes are going on but be brave out there.

  • Jack Wallington

    I agree 100% Mel. I’ve often found that the content side of our industry – the ones that have to understand the technical side of the web to engage users best – have been willing to learn these skills. However I’ve heard “I’m not technical” way too many times from marketing teams and I’m always dubious of how these people can actually understand how to use the tools to their full potential.

    I would only ever hire someone that has to work with digital if they have at least run their own website or blog either in their own time or at work. It proves understanding and passion for the web.