Ben Dunkle’s Blog

Evolving work structures in marketing communications

When it comes to new media, many talented people, top-notch agencies, and renowned print service companies are finding themselves on the outside looking in. Art directors, mechanical artists, pre-press specialists, media buyers, press-operators, etc. are being forced to reckon with the web. Suddenly, they’re being faced with projects that

Clients are demanding it. They aren’t getting more marketing dollars to spend, especially considering the current economic landscape. When reality hits home, that those dollars are better spent online, print-centricity is left twiddling its thumbs.

There is a huge, HUGE opportunity for the dinosaurs, and it all comes down to the solid relationships that have formed over the last few decades. Clients love their agencies. Agencies love their printers. One only has to look at the incredible work produced within the constraints of this relationship to grasp the potential this has once it harnesses new media.

But getting there requires an infrastructure overhaul. Pre-press specialists and mechanical artists need to learn html, css, and cutup. Art directors need to talk wordpress, jquery and ruby. Account executives need to become SEO jedis. Media buyers and copywriters need to get on facebook, twitter, and youtube so they  can understand the mindsets of the new demographic.

And if I owned a printing company, I’d launch an online services department. I’d  go out and hire the best PHP/MySQL web development expert, and the best IT/networking/server master I could find. Pay them well. I’d buy a big, fat reseller account with a top-notch hosting company. I’d promote the heck out of it via, what else, lots of print ads in local magazines and newspapers. Pretty soon, I’d have tons of agency client sites running under my company. I’d be reaping setup and hosting fees. My php dude/tte would be enabling all the crazy web 2.0 stuff that only agencies and clients can dream of. My network dude/tte would be setting things proper on-location. In no time, the new department would be generating revenues far beyond what I’d be getting from print.

It will take lots of time and money, but this is an issue of survival. It’s time for people to dive in.

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