Shar VanBoskirk, an analyst for Forrester, spent some time in Denver this week with a group of marketing exces that work for Kaiser Permanente, Genesco Retail, Radio Shack, Jones Apparel, and Adidas America.
Her big takeaway:
That one of the greatest challenges for interactive marketers today is getting support and cooperation from their traditional brand marketing colleagues.
Opportunity, please meet Challenge. Challenge, Opportunity.
It’s poor form that so few “brand marketing colleagues” are up to speed on the Web and what it means for all involved. Sure they’ve read a few books, built a few sites, placed some banners here and there and even made a home for themselves on Facebook. And that’s a good start, but it’s still a long ways from Web craftsman status. The craftsman are for the most part working in small design shops and other configurations that typically don’t merit a seat at the mega client’s table.
When that seat is there, there’s often a language barrier. In my last staff job, one of the key functions I brought to the agency was digital interpretation. That is, the geeks in the room who actually build things would speak, I would then translate for the traditional ad guys, who would then speak back, and I would repeat the process, except in reverse.
I know many others are also busy “teaching the language.” There’s a lot to learn and clients too need to swim further from shore and start to experience the rush of the digital stream. For those who wish to push off with a guide in the boat, the best ones won’t be found on Madison Avenue–that’s not where digital lives. But they can be found, with a little social networking, perhaps.