Nothing warms the veins of my secret technologist heart more than the sound of marketers buzzing madly about how to get the hottest social app or technology entwined into their latest campaign.

Yet all it takes for my blood to run cold is to hear a creative strutting around a design agency claiming to know which technologies are the hottest and how to implement them – just because they came up with some sexy design for a Facebook app… big deal!

Can a team of creatives – no matter how brilliant – discern in enough detail the functionality needed or map out the user experience required to create a killer app?  Perhaps – it sure would look good, but would it work? Not without a collaborative strategy.   

All hail those that are turning on the power of technology to the masses, but lets not get geeky for chic’s sake.  

Any new technology whether it be a social app or a custom app must be an outcome of brilliant strategy.

The frightening fact is that most marketers don’t ask the most important and fundamental questions before initiating a new online strategy. Try What are my customers ready for?; What are my objectives?; and What is my plan? on for size. Go on I dare you.

Yes – ‘What is my plan?’ is the key question everyone in business should ask themselves before they start telling their digital experts what technologies are right and wrong, but how many actually do?

In the rush to not get left behind and illustrate some innovation, the fundamentals seem to be getting left behind. Thinking digitally does note equate to thinking less strategically in fact it is a call to a deeper strategic and holistic vision.    

In my view there are three things that are fundamental to a successful technology outcome:

  • Get crystal clear on your customer profile and know them inside out
  • Define your objectives and goals both internally and externally, and
  • Determine the nature of the strategy in achieving these goals and objectives. It sounds deceptively simple, but it is amazing how many outfits are skimping on this process.  

The next trick is to find a technology partner who not only gets this stuff, lives and breathes it but can educate you on what technologies are appropriate and fit your strategy, and very importantly the boundaries within your IT department. Very few operations are blessed with a mini Bell Labs or RMIT in their basement, it is your technology partner’s role to guide you and your staff through the fog of jargon and misconceived technology inaccessibility.     

A good litmus test for any technology partner is how well they are explaining the longevity of their recommended technologies and how they will evolve in the future, well before you go on a spending spree.

The key with technologies is to plan a quick, simple staged deployment to allow for flexibility and measure the success of the app by your customer – how else do you make it better!