If Solutions Come First, Tools Will Follow

Photo from Flickr user Just Us 3

Photo from Flickr user Just Us 3

Snow means shoveling. Around here, the two go together like hot dish and tater tots.

The recent snow (and my shoveling of) reminded me of something I overheard last winter.

I had been a rather snow filled week. I was taking my son to the Mall of America for rides and play. Avoiding traffic and contributing to his facination of trains, we took the light rail from downtown to the mall.

While riding, I overheard one woman talking loudly on her phone. I make a point to not eavesdrop, but when you speak loudly in public places, everything becomes fair game. She went on in a heavily southern accent (Alabama I learned later) about all the snow they had seen since being in Minnesota.

Nothing new so far. We often hear marvels at the snow though I’ve seen many places with much more. What struck me as interesting was what she said next.

The snow is just everywhere. You wouldn’t believe what they do. They just push it out of the way. There are piles next to the doors of the hotel. Even on the roadways. They just push it to the side and you drive right by.

This made me laugh as I couldn’t think of many alternatives. We could just leave it and wait for it to melt. Or, we could use heat to melt it notwithstanding the impact ice would eventually have.

Thinking back, I find it interesting how something we take for granted was such an amusing solution for someone not accustomed to snow.

Thinking about marketing on the Internet today strikes a similar chord. We spend a great deal of time talking about Facebook, Twitter, social networks and blogging without an adequate discussion on need.

There are hundreds of posts on how to talk to the C level about digital marketing or social media. There are lists and guides for implementing the technology. From the inside, we’ve begun to take the snow for granted.

Each campaign has unique needs. What is used to solve those needs should be dictated by the problems at hand. While digital technologies have provided some great tools, they are never even adequate for all situations. Selecting the right tools for the right problem deserves more attention.

Otherwise, we end up talking about shovels. Our Alabama bretheren will be thinking dirt while we think snow. But that’s miscommunication and rarely happens in this industry.


3 Responses to If Solutions Come First, Tools Will Follow

  1. I highly enjoyed reading this blogpost, keep on creating such interesting articles!

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