As a digital marketing firm in a part of the world that aspires to greatness but lags behind technologically, our experience developing clients’ web presence or mobile apps is as satisfying as it is exasperating.
At their core, our consultations reveal that clients want to have their cake and eat it, too. They want access to the multifaceted digital world without abandoning their terribly stale legacy systems. When it comes down to it, most clients show minimal enthusiasm for understanding the impact this has on their business. The resulting paradigm is a twisted combination of clashing ideologies and the amalgamation of the culture of corporations and the culture of the masses.
Engaging in digital media is a brave, bold step into a strange, new world for many clients. We must guide them while avoiding the anxieties that would disrupt our process as well as our profit.
The process is educational and technological. We keep clients current on the realities of various social media networks and what their use means for business. This is largely a task of separating fact from fiction and managing their expectations of their digital presence.
Nowadays, we begin by securing a brief before we offer them possible solutions. In the past, we have overworked ourselves before realising the client wants a roast breadfruit and not an entire market stall.
The real work starts with a rundown on the current digital landscape and ends with us highlighting the need for keeping content fresh. Somewhere in the mix, we also encourage clients to maximise their IT division and use latest versions of software and hardware.
Many clients hardly understand the necessity of keeping their digital presence bustling with ideas and content. We’ve even had to explain how and why material becomes passé. Some more pressing challenges are explaining how their digital presence can inform the rest of their practices and the best practice for building communities out of commonalities.
Ages ago, Panmedia proposed an island wide backup plan to the relevant government ministry to ensure essential services could still get a hold of the web if the island’s main access point was broken. We were essentially ignored and so Jamaica still exists on a precarious situation regarding web access in times of disaster.
Jamaicans’ taste for new technologies has always been insatiable. Our technological capacity far exceeds what the current infrastructure delivers. Look at what happened earlier this month with one of the service providers. Still, many clients have grandiose ideas of what slim resources can perform. We have been prepositioned before to create Jamaican versions of eBay and Amazon.
In the space we operate in the developing world we often see people seeking to capitalise on new technologies without fully understanding their scope. The lessons we learn and the chance to educate clients and be seen as thought leaders often makes this a rewarding experience. But it can also be terribly exhausting.