No Requirements Doc for Online Marketing?

Trying to figure out why Online Marketing and the Technology that supports it keeps Repeating Past mistakes, I arrived at the conclusion Technology and Marketing shared the blame by using the Wrong Model and spending Dumb Money, respectively. 

But I was not satisfied with that conclusion either, still seemed not to be Root Cause – I still had to ask, why?

Why, with all the smart people around the industry, all the brilliant technology innovation, do we have the Wrong Model / Dumb Money problem?  Why does Online continue to mimic an inferior Offline model, instead of creating a new one, unique to itself?

Then it hits me.  No requirements doc.  So simple.

Marketing never told Tech what they needed to really get on board.

Not requirements for a platform or application mind you, but for the Industry.  The Requirements needed for major Marketing investment in Online Marketing / Analytics.  Requirements that would attract attention from people like these folks.

What is needed is an Intervention by Marketing on the Tech / VC side, or the Tech side to say, OK Marketing, what do you want?  A meeting in the middle.  Something like a translation of the ClueTrain Manifesto into tangible Requirements.  So that the brilliant technology innovators can start turning out products and systems Marketers can enthusiastically use.  As opposed to (for example) the tech folks hosting tons of conferences on social media to FUD Marketing into using products and platforms Marketing knows won’t deliver.

Really, when will Tech get over the answer to every innovation pushback from Marketing being “Oh, we don’t know what the future will bring, better get on board now?”  That’s ridiculous, from a Marketing perspective.

After all, we now have 10 years of Web Analytics we did not have access to in 1999.  Maybe the Web Analysts should do the requirements doc, since they have “both brains in the game” already!

What do you think?  Is this Online Marketing Requirements Doc idea too nuts?  How else would you explain each new technology wave repeating the Marketing failures of the past, instead of bringing  anything new or useful in terms of Marketing or Advertising?


2 thoughts on “No Requirements Doc for Online Marketing?

  1. I don’t know. From my own experience on the tech side of a couple companies, it wasn’t necessarily a lack of requirements. Some times it was vague requirements, some times it was requirements that changed day-to-day. I think there is a definite disconnect, though. Tech and Marketing don’t talk. Tech has plenty of data (examining how a visitor “walks” through a website, etc) but it may not be in or Tech may not present it well to Marketing.

    Perhaps the big problem is the disconnect. Tech doesn’t understand Marketing or marketing needs; Marketing doesn’t always grasp Tech limitations or know what is possible from Tech (and Tech doesn’t explain it well, hence the FUD). Meeting in the middle sounds like a good approach. If you can get Tech to buy into the business needs and work with a plan (rather than reacting to problems or the whim of the day), you’d be way ahead of most companies.

  2. Hi Jon, thanks for the comment!

    I agree with you. What I’m trying to figure out is Why does this happen?

    Is it Learning problem, Tech and Marketing folks just Learn differently, and we have to Teach them differently? Is it a Teaching problem, we’re not Teaching people the right things or we’re not Teaching them in the right way?

    It’s a heck of a challenge, we have to meet in the middle somehow.

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