Let me start by saying that I want people to help me clarify and understand the perspective of developers and designers. I can readily admit that being a marketing consultant skews me toward an outcome or ROI-focus and maybe I’m missing the future-looking meme or zeitgeist that a more creative type might be seeing.
I was at a #WP10 event and the subject of Flickr and Facebook for photos came up. Correction: I brought it up. I was sitting at a table with 3 WordPress developers and 1 designer. I was the only person there that was really about marketing. For me, it was an opportunity to tap the perspective of a group that often gets marginalized or ignored in business discussions.
The conversation was promising and I got into a back-and-forth with @professor/Jesse. Then things went weird.
From my perspective, all I heard from Jesse was that his wife used Facebook for all her photo needs and had plenty of storage, so Flickr had no value. I talked about the value of storage as a selling point regardless of the actual needs (more = better). But that didn’t seem to hit a cord with anyone at the table. I can’t say that I’m sold on that as a USP, but I know that basic numbers can win customers (see the MegaPixel marketing for digital cameras as an example).
I then shared, that I’ve found that conversion rate was higher for Flickr photo traffic than for Facebook. What happened next just confused me — another Dev at the table felt the need to comment that I’d basically given the argument to Jesse. I can accept losing an argument, but I really don’t know what I lost in this situation.
From my perspective, this is what I said:
- Flickr has held on to photography buffs and power users
- Flickr is giving way more storage than Facebook
- Flickr has the opportunity to acquire new users because it can promote the large amount of storage
- Flickr can make inroads with anyone sharing a lot of photos (Instagram users are an example)
From my perspective, this is what I heard from @professor:
- My wife posts a lot photos on Facebook
- She shares more than most people and qualifies as a power user of photos
- Flickr doesn’t present any reason for her to switch
- Flickr doesn’t have any appeal for someone already on Facebook.
I’m going to take as a given that I missed some nuance. I’m assuming that Jesse dropped some knowledge and I totally missed it. THIS IS THE PROBLEM. If I’m missing some knowledge from a guy that literally wrote a book on WordPress and has respect from WordPress folk in NE, then I want to know how I’m missing this. I was also actively looking for his insight, so imagine how bad it is for companies that only see developers as cogs in the machine.
More to the point, how do I integrate development and design thinking into any project if I can’t understand the points they are trying to make?
Even more to the point, if we are living in a world defined by design then what happens when the person leading marketing doesn’t understand the points of the people actually leading the build?