Technology as a Creative Discipline
A few years back, while working on the “before & after” gallery for Chrysaliz Design, I got to thinking about the artistry that went into decorating the homes in the photographs. This idea stuck in my brain such that I began considering the artistry of everything around me eventually focusing on the technical solution I was providing. I consider this one of my Monolith moments as my approach to technology solutions became less analytic and more artistic.
When most people think of a technologist they picture an anti-social literalist. A = A. They’re assumed to be hard to communicate with. It appears to be difficult for them to make leaps of logic or use inference and assumption to get to an answer. What’s it take, can you give me an estimate, can’t you guess? They’re geeks. They know technology, not creativity.
Increasingly, however, these are the people we go to when we have business problems, not just computer problems. More and more they’re responsible for the strategic business solution, the creative solution, and on through execution. They know what’s possible rendering their reality more amazing than our dreams and their dreams more feasible than you might think. These are not the technologists (read geeks) of yesteryear who remain locked in the deepest darkest crypt in the far corner of a remote building with mainframes, cables, and blinking lights. These are savvy folk both dedicated to their craft and in touch with with society rendering them uniquely able to ideate on the cutting edge of feasibility pushing technology-driven solutions to the absolute limit. They may wear jeans and t-shirts you don’t understand, but these are the people you want on your team.
This innate love and understanding of technology combined with Moore’s law of the exponentially increasing channels of technical communication we have come to rely on the creative technologist to solve to our business problems. We demand of them integrated cross-channel CRM campaigns complete with tracking and algorithmic based granular segmentation, channel and device appropriate messaging, and smart messaging — and they deliver. They deliver because they know the latest rules, technologies, integration points, and general usage of Facebook, twitter, email, banners, mobile usage, ipads, mobile web, web technologies, mobile application, social applications, platforms, inheritance, scale, and more. There’s groupon, QR codes, POS integration, cookies, and silo’d databases with tons of data just waiting to be useful, and they make it so.
Where others see the confusion of 1’s and 0’s, mash-ups, and integrations they see art akin to The Royal Ballet unfolding into an elegant set of requirements and solutions. Ask if it can be done; the answer is yes. Ask what can be done; the answer is limitless. Convey the business problem, and stand back — the art is in the solution.
The future of marketing is an elegant technology-driven solution, not a pretty picture and a catchy phrase. Already today the customer needs more — they need value. They need to be catered to and customized for. They want timely, relevant, device appropriate messaging delivered in either a channel-agnostic or channel appropriate way which is convenient for them. Give them what they want, when they want it delivering a message of utility how they are ready to receive it. That’s value.
Pure technologists and pure designers are yesterdays marketers. Today’s complex world of Marketing 2.0 requires intimate knowledge of both. That’s Technology as a Creative discipline.