Monday, August 11, 2008
Knowing what company you work for
For those starting off in interactive, one of the most difficult things that occurs is not a challenging problem or an angry client. It is explaining what your company does. I'm sure you can recall saying to a friend, "I work in digital advertising" or "I work in an interactive agency". You explain it. You know it. But the inevitable result is the distorted words that comes out of your friend's mouth, "so you build websites then". Ughh. Sigh. Why can't your friend understand what you do?
Explaining it from the wrong angle. I think we have trouble explaining what we do because we are trying to define ourselves strictly as marketers. We, the digital community, are product designers first, and marketers/advertisers second. We create digital products. We have information architects, project managers and builders. We create exceptional designs but also consider the experience of the user when they interact with the digital product. Secondly, we consider our digital products place in the advertising social circle, and what methods will help make people aware of this new "building".
So next time, when someone asks what you do, tell them you design digital products. A simple metaphor helps us most of the time.