Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Solution to the Problem is Not a Solution at all, it's a Process,

Process, Solution, business, Advertising, Daniel Lebeskind, David Armano, AdAge,  Vietnam Advertising Association, In working with a client recently on a social media project, I found myself spending an inordinate amount of time trying to explain how things worked on the Internet. From the company website, to their blog, to Facebook, to Twitter, LinkedIn and the myriad of aggregation sites that crawl the web daily looking for what they, and they are all different, consider 'news'. Personally, I thought my charts and graphs were amazing - but probably it was all a lot more complicated than the client and I needed to get our heads around the problem - uh, solution.

So I recalled a conversation with architect Daniel Libeskind on Discovery Channel recently where he described his firm's inability to win a certain project because the solution to the client's problem they proposed, was not a solution in the traditional sense at all, but an actual process in which human nature would change in relation to the architecture, as the architecture changed. This seemed to perplex his client. The solution was a process, a change in behavior, not a rock solid thing in a box.

For all intents and purposes, the Internet has changed the architecture of communications forever by changing the balance of power between what used to be the broadcaster and who used to be the viewer, listener or reader. Now the broadcasters and the broadcastees are on a more even footing, allowing conversation and interplay between the two. And so that has shaken the business planning of the companies who used to just make it all and ship it out the door. No waiting for 'likes' or 'comments' or 'friends'. Just wait for the sales numbers - and if that didn't work - try something else.

I used the chart above from David Armano of AdAge a few years ago to take the Vietnam Advertising Association to task for not having a website. They do now. But this simply chart illustrates the change in working process from old commercial communications to what is going on now. Now all us Internet gurus and clients need to figure out is how to get paid and how much one should pay for this new process of thinking.

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