Monday, March 30, 2009

Digital Visionaire

Q: Introduce us to yourself and your company.
My name is Alex Alonso and I work as a project manager for the Visionaire Group. We are an award winning digital agency offering creative solutions via websites, ad display and emerging media.

Q: Interactive Producers come from all walks of life, they are a hybrid of talents, tell us about your background and how you got interested in digital production?
My start in digital production was more of a means than at end, at first. I started in Advertising (broadcast production) and when my wife and I wanted to move to NYC the only interesting opportunity at the time was as a junior producer for a small interactive shop. At the time I had little exposure to Flash and most of my personal online activity was utilitarian. So needless to say, I learned a lot there and quickly became more engaged with digital space as a whole.

Q: How do you stay on top of emerging technologies and keep your team informed and motivated?

Every project offers a unique conglomeration of minds/talents and naturally you learn things you otherwise wouldn’t just by rubbing elbows with them. There’s also a select group of digital partners that make it a point to share information about new software developments which may help us achieve something new, as well as ground breaking executions that inspire.

We have been testing various ways to internally share information. It’s still evolving and sometimes finding time to share is the bigger challenge. However nothing works better than tapping someone on the shoulder and saying “hey check this out”. Fortunately our office space allows that kind of closeness to communicate quickly and effectively. Ultimately, getting to know each team member (personality, skill set, what motivates them, etc) is key to individual and corporate success.

Q: What does your ideal client/project look like?

The ideal client is organized. Knows their strategy and objective and doesn’t deviate. They also let us lead the creative process while providing feedback that refines, not limit. At the very minimum the ideal client should be friendly but professional.

Q: How do you educate your clients and set realistic expectations for a project?
Clear, consistent and honest communication facilitates both.

Education is tailored to each client and project, so it varies. For me it starts with knowing my client and understanding their perspective. From there, I can say what needs to be said in a way that the client will not only understand but [hopefully] be receptive to, whether it’s something technical or conceptual. Our creative directors are great resources and I consult with them whenever I need to and that helps me formulate a balanced response.

Setting expectations requires a global view of the project with a thorough understanding of the parameters (time, budget, schedule, resources, specs, etc) and actively communicating rather than making assumptions. I find that most problems start because someone didn’t communicate; they made an assumption. So I do my best to communicate anything and everything relating to a project so that the client stays informed. It involves many emails, meetings and/or visuals but as long as the message gets across you’ll avoid problems down the line.

Q: What was the best project you have ever worked on?

I cant really peg one as the “best”. The ones I have enjoyed the most are those where I have been challenged to do something difficult. And of course, the ones where the client absolutely loves what we do from the beginning (which is most projects).

Q: How many projects are you comfortable producing at one given time?
It depends on the scope of each project but generally 5-8 is the max I would prefer to take on.

Q: What does your dream production team look like?
The one I have now. Our team is so solid technically and creatively and works well together. Everyone is different but complimentary in the skills and views that they bring to the table.

Q: How do you ensure that your client's best interests are met?
By doing my job honestly and with integrity.

Q: What is your vision of what the next phase of our industry is going to look like?
We’ll see more of an integration of the different media that are already converging, but more so with the prevalence of video because of increasing bandwidth. Another influence is the social aspect of the web with continued growth of online social networks and micro-blogging services like Twitter. As they continue to evolve so will the way marketers reach their consumers.

Q: Please share a snippet of wisdom that you would like to impart on our readers.
Be diligent in your work.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Alex

    I forwarded an introduction to Craig who I believe sent it your way via linkedin. I am not sure if you are on linked in often so i thought i'd get in touch with you here.

    Great interview btw. Hope to hear from you!


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