A Canoe Without a Paddle: Marketing Blues

Like the old saying, “going up the falls in a canoe without a paddle” depicts, this describes the rate of progress with some of my own projects that I have going so far. My issues with the projects I have right at this moment are communication barriers with my clients. Most people do not know, or understand the jargon of the web or computer science, so there is this big black hole of understanding that you have to mull through. The “snags” I commonly face are Two fold: development timelines, and costs and services.

So, you ask me to create this wonderful virtual world on the web for you. You think big, flashy, you want it all. I do the consultation with you, write everything down, and then I take my notes home to write up the estimate. Our next meeting I present you with my facts and figures. You decide to chew on information for a while because it is considerably more time and money than you anticipated. We set up another meeting.

We meet again, and you decide to go ahead with the project, but you want to trim, and rethink some of your proposals, mainly in the development area, as you see that being big is sometimes not being better. We agree to refit the scale, and I draft up another, leaner, layout for you. You are happy, and we move forward.

The system is up and running, you are happy. However, you are not completely satisfied with the layout as you begin to realize that the look and feel does not quite fit your needs and expectation. You ask if I can do some changes.  I send you another estimate, and you are miffed because you are expecting so much more based on the original contract, that you feel that you just got “shafted.” I explain that the contract specifically states out the parameters for the service, and that you only wanted the site built and have a general upstart done to get your project moving. Site maintenance and service is another venture that requires a long term contract, and cost index; basically another contract with a team of technicians with data entry personnel to keep your online world in real-time. Your “grand images” of a virtual world just turned into a static webpage with a few links.

I find that this scenario occurs with One-Third of the businesses that I interact with. I chock this up with basic communication barriers and lack of understanding with today’s technology frontier. There is a lack of understanding with most small businesses that I deal with as they do not fully understand the online world and “how and what” is involved with marketing at this level. You are not going to find anyone who is willing to learn the trade, (ie. go to university for Four years to learn computer science) and do the work for free—basic thinking, and perhaps commonsense, right?

One Thought on “A Canoe Without a Paddle: Marketing Blues

  1. Welcome to my world — only with writing! Communicating with clients can be torturous at best!! Just last week I had a client who kept saying he wanted the articles (on dog worms of all topics) to be “personal.” No, he didn’t mean to use “your” a lot as in “your dog” and “your vet” etc. It took me several stabs at communication trying to figure out what he wanted was actually better described by the word “relevant” rather than “personal.” And, even then, the challenge became even bigger as I then had to figure out how in the heck to make “worms in dogs” fit the winter season or the New Year. 🙄

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