I just sat in the most painful agency presentation ever.
I’ve attended a total of 5 agency presentations for a microsite that I’m building up. It consists of 2 key areas; design and e-commerce. Most agencies have their strength in either one. The only agency who could do both successfully was a merged submission between a design house & an IT solutions company.
Most of the presentations were educational (I now know a lot more about e-commerce engines than I care to remember), some even fun when we were tossing out ideas on how to improve the design.
The most excrutiatingly painful one was the last presentation for the day. It was attended by the project manager, her CEO and CTO (chief technical officer). The CEO was a 58 year old man who had a lot to say about his experience and his 101 crazy ideas. I listened to all of them and tried not to cut him off coz he was probably more experienced and I’ve this inability to offend old people. He told me his staff was made up of different nationalities coz of their stereotypical strengths. Like the IT head is from India coz Indians are known for their IT strengths. His design guy is from Philippines coz they are good at drawing. Im sure he didn’t mean to sound like that.
When they flashed the proposed design and the CEO asked, “nice right?” like a proud dad showing off his pre-schooler’s art piece, I almost choked. Anybody can slap a few pictures together into a montage. What’s worse they had 2 navigation bars, one on top and one bottom coz they decided it was a fantastic idea to embed the microsite into the main site’s frame. So anytime someone needs info from the main site, they just click the top bar!!! Isn’t that a FANTASTIC IDEA??
Maybe they didn’t know what a microsite means.
The IT guy was worse. When he went through the technical portions such as CMS and e-commerce integration, he went through every single layman shit. Like for security purposes, they will ensure that the login password for admin module has at least 8-14 alphanumeric characters. ISN’T THAT A GIVEN?!?!
Then he proceeds to say that admin module allows you to contact your newsletter database through email. I quote, “So you have an email function with inbox, outbox and send. Much like your own personal & office email box, which also has an inbox, outbox and send function.”
What’s worse was that he spoke excrutiatingly slow with a lot of throat clearing.
“So you have… an email function ahem with… inbox, outbid and… send. Much like… your ahem own personal… & office email ahem box, which… also has an ahem inbox, outbox and send… function ahem.”
The meeting lasted 2 hours long. My IT guy, god bless his soul for sitting in on the IT parts, however was no help to this situation. When asked to show portfolio of sites with e-commerce capabilities, the ahem guy showed big sites he’s done for MNCs but has no e-commerce function. Then my IT guy asked about a particular web link on their presentation which had a /fertilizer tag and proceeded to access it on his own laptop, while giggling over the word fertilizer. So ahem guy launched into an explanation of how that website was formed when no one really cared at all coz it wasn’t applicable to our needs!!
The killer part was when the CEO said he had Arabic staff so if I needed a proper translation of website in Arabic, his company could add value. He then told me I should make an Arabic site. I said our main markets do not include middle east but thank you very much we know who to consider if we require it. Do you know what he said??? That the Malaysian and Indonesian Muslims will be impressed by your site if it’s Arabic. Puzzled, I asked if Muslims knew how to read Arabic. He said no but coz it’s the language of the holy land, they will be impressed and awed!! I said if they don’t read Arabic it’d be redundant to have that language. Do you know what he said?? “well the Muslim prayer is done in Arabic but I bet they don’t understand what they are praying about anyway.”
What?????? that’s like saying the Americans will be impressed that there are Singaporeans who can speak pretty good English JUST COZ MY WEBSITE IS IN ENGLISH?!??!
I practically had to shoo them out of the meeting room. After that I apologised to my IT guy for that last presentation. He laughed and said I guess they are a no go?