Monday, May 08, 2006

Managing attention

My client this week is attending the largest conference in their industry. For this, I have been preparing materials and redesigning their website. As happens sometimes at the last minute with websites, software didn't come through in time (they aren't a start-up remember) and we missed the launch. Yet all of the executives and materials are at the conference. And the website launch goes into a list of Post-Conference Tasks. There is no contact form, no tracking, no optimized keywords, the list goes on. My demand generation dream just turned into a nightmare. I half want to go to the conference and tell everyone I see, yes I'm the marketing manager but that's NOT my design. Yes I have materials to send to you on their products. No, they won't look like anything you've seen from the company. Yes there is an 800 number, but no we can't post it yet. For a moment, I miss the light stepping start-ups, get-it-done-now environment. Not the 4 page change control document I was given here, which, funny enough, doesn't change a darn thing.

Ok, you see me. Now what?As a marketeer, managing the attention you are lucky enough to draw up is important. Digging up the interest is only half the war. What happens when the eyes or ears or fingers eagar to click the next exciting thing are sitting in front of you? I learned some lessons last week at the OnHollywood conference put on by Tony Perkins in this regard, after some kind words were wrapped around a spot-on critisism of me, that managing attention is something I could do better. Always have a backup plan, always be considering your offline channel mix, always use licensed software if your customers will be touched by your services and listen to smart people who say smart things.

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