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Integrated Talents - Creating Compelling Digital Marketing

Dec 15, 2007
I have a secret I feel I need to share with the world. I am a creative geek. There - I've admitted it. For years people like myself have been forced underground, afraid of revealing our true identity. Well today I'm coming out.

Suspicious Characters

As I've gone through my career in Marketing (Advertising, DM and now Integrated Marketing), I have found that many people are suspicious of anyone who displays a flair for things both creative and technical. It's like you're not allowed to be good at both - something about different sides of the brain is the normal reaction.

While it's true that creative and technical thought requires different processes, haven't we all at some time solved a technical problem in a creative way and vice versa. Personally, I believe people who only use one side of their brain are missing out on something. I generally try to use both.

Time for New Partnerships

In this world of increasing technological dependency, creatives and technologists both need to embrace and have an appreciation of the other side. For creatives, technical understanding and partnerships are now just as important as art director - copywriter partnerships have been since the 60's. You wouldn't expect an art director who didn't understand the writing process or be able to contribute to it to be worth much. Equally, art directors now need to forge similarly close partnerships with technologists.

Because the web is predominantly a visual medium, both designers and developers must have an exceptional understanding of good design, usability and functionality. Developers now must pay more attention to design details and see them as important as making it all work. Designers need to understand the process of web development and work in partnership with developers to find the best design solutions.

The Web is Bringing Creatives and Technologists Together

The internet is still a young child - growing up and learning to make its way in the big bad world. Designers, writers and developers have been working out how to work together with mixed results. In the past all three have been guilty of just doing their own thing and have been able to get away with it. But, this is no longer the case. As web users become more savvy they're quick to weed out poorly designed, written and built websites. We need to see things from a different perspective:

1. Developers need to care about the visual look and how easy it to navigate because the web is mostly a visual medium.

2. Designers need to care about the functionality because the web is interactive.

3. Writers need to care about search engines because websites need to be found and easily digested.

Also, clients now have a better understanding of what their online activity should be achieving and want to make their budgets work harder. That means all of us need a much greater appreciation of strategy and planning.

To achieve all of this requires a change of mindset. Individuals who can specialize whilst having a broad understanding of the digital marketing world are the ones who are best placed to benefit. So - by getting both sides of our brains to integrate, we can start integrating our talents, which will lead to better integrated digital marketing.
About the Author
Peter O'Flynn is Creative Director of Marketing Team Direct - the through-the-line integrated marketing agency that fuses online and offline marketing effectively.
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