Business playing catch-up

I recently was involved in the successful launch of a microsite project at work which attracted worldwide attention, received over 3 million visits in three weeks, with 1.3 million visits on launch day alone (we didn’t collect qualifying data so I have no breakdowns of actual visitors or any of the fun stuff), and which presented a multimedia experience that was hosted in part by YouTube.

Thankfully, YouTube and our server hosts provided reporting on everything, so prior to the in-house client meeting where we handed over the bill (we went over budget due to unforeseeable launch coordination issues that were not the team’s fault, but just had to be dealt with) I assembled the graphs and charts in PowerPoint and presented it as the opener to explain what had been accomplished. It also explained why the overage in budget was actually very slight in consideration against the greater project, a fact with which the client readily agreed.

The visual graphs and charts were much better received than the accompanying Scope of Work with the actual information and breakdown of details on what had been done (normally a SOW is signed before work begins, but this was an unusual project). The visiting client asked for an electronic copy of the deck to present to his own internal staff and the executive board for the client. As a means of providing the executives with a summary of what they were looking at, the client put into their own words several phrases to be presented as “business take-aways” from the successful project.

Take away #1?  “The web works.”

It was then that realization hit me of just how far back in time I had to step in order to understand my client. The Masters program at Quinnipiac is already light years ahead of the prevailing thinking within the commercial aspects of Interactive Business as it is, and stepping from theory to reality was a bump. It’s more important for me to wrap my brain around the fact that to many people, there’s just as big a jump if not greater to go from Interactive Business to Traditional Business thinking. Even with a client who regularly puts large sums of money into the web for various pursuits, there was still residual uncertainty left within the highest echelon of business decision makers as to whether the web was *really* worthwhile.

Staggering, man. Just staggering. Some days I think I’m hopelessly behind the curve of the internet even with my formal scholastic training. Other days I wonder just how far ahead I am. All depends on who I talk to.

But yes, Virginia. “The web works.”

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