Startup marketing podcast

July 1, 2011

Here is a link to a podcast ( I did with team at Grow VC (thanks guys)  about start up marketing  hope you find it of interest.




So where AR you going?

April 14, 2011

I have recently written a thought paper on AR and part one has been published by the IIAR:

AR U Creative?

February 14, 2011

I was at a recent client meeting last week presenting to the marketing managers about AR plans for next year, and my conclusion AR needs to get more creative.

Given the impact of social media on comms in general and that it is now a widely view that in the B2B space social media is not a neat fad for Starbucks and Skittles, but a serious channel that should be integrated into marketing. AR needs to be much more creative in how it works with this comms channel and uses it to make AR as creative as possible. I realise there are some that do so already but I felt it appropriate to put the call out.

Social NOTworking

February 14, 2011

Had a great meeting with an analyst I have known for a long time and after the vendor discussion had wound down I casually asked – so what is your approach to social media? How has it impacted your firm?

The response was very interesting:

“Social media, I don’t have time for it! Given that I know who I sell to and what they value, I can’t see the point of wasting my time or someone’s junior time on it. So in short the only impact social media has had on my business is none at all!”

I thanked her for time and though it best to post it on my blog!

It will be interesting to see if this firm does change its approach in the time to come.

Veni, Vidi, VC

February 14, 2011

Post two from the Annual Funding & Investment Summit,  on the panel about VC investment much was made about business models and company valuations some of the questions included:

What should one show?

How slick should the presentation be?

What if there is no revenue but a massive online community?

What if the people you are talking don’t actually understand what you are talking about?

Other interesting points how much are you asking for and how much will you give up for it?

Boiling all of that down it seems to me to be a marketing issue – know what you are selling and who you are selling it to. Simple – yes but theory is 😉

The Funding Travel checklist…market sizing data, business models and other holiday essentials

February 8, 2011

I recently attended the Annual Funding & Investment Summit,  it was as events go spot on for me, really interesting content and people and a LOT of follow up work.

The opening slot was a market context piece by Nick Parker of Parker Consulting all excellent stuff re size of market, key trends and key players etc..

It got me thinking about key things needed when embarking on the odyssey that is securing funding for businesses (guess I am on a similar journey – oops sorry for the physco speak).

I have recently focused on the VC/start up market to provide ad hoc marketing support so expect more from me on this area. A common theme is the need to secure funding to help with growing the business/idea.

Many, many more intelligent and scholarly people have written books and made successful speaker careers on this topic but the one take home point is never mind the check list it’s all about attitude be prepared for a long, long hard fight the key thing is are you though enough??

Crossing the great divide? Where AR meets VC

January 19, 2011

Just got off a great call with a really interesting firm call Neovian Partners and one of my clients. Good discussion and questions etc.. but it triggered a thought in my mind.

There has always been a link between analyst firms and tech investment. I recall in the very distant past that Gartner had a link with a firm called Sandbox – may be wrong so can someone from the AR community help me on this one – thanks! The idea being that Gartner content/insight was used to help investment decisions. I also ‘fondly’ recall the backlash following the dot com boom/bust that a fair few investment decisions were made based on market sizing numbers that shall we say were questionable – oh when we were young and free 😉

In 2011 I can see that there is a new breed of firm part analyst, part investment influencer not just in terms of market sizing but more in terms of investment advice based on an understanding of technology/business model. If you are working in the start up world (my focus). This is as exciting an area as social media savvy analyst/firms.

It’s not a case of crossing the great divide between AR and VC but enjoying the ride of influence and information ecosystem.

My focus for 2011- Focus

January 11, 2011

Just fired up Twitter, about to check Quora for new questions, then on to LinkedIn to review the Q&As from the groups I am subscribed to……

At some point I might get back to the day job……..

Actually it is part of the day job. But I remember years and years meeting a senior Microsoft Exec when doing an analyst tour with him and he gave a fab piece of advise in dealing with email – a major issue then – now its minor given the myriad of information sources we all HAVE to be linked to.

He said ‘I spent two hours a day doing mail. One hour in the morning and one in the evening and do the stuff I really need to do in between that’

Well it is common sense but will definitely be a piece of advice I will look to follow in 2011.

Hang on just seen a new tweet I need to look at…..

It’s the quality of the quantity that counts…..

November 30, 2010

I picked up on Forrester AR discussion about examples of the quantified business value generated by AR. (see for full details.

Kevin Lucas was after examples of:

  1. AR primarily delivered the business value alone
  2. AR delivered the business value in tandem with others. In these cases, was some mechanism used to attribute a quantifiable proportion of the business value to AR and, if so, what mechanism was used?

 So here is what I came up with:

  1. Prior to a briefing beginning with a former client the analyst begun the session by saying ‘I have a call with a current client that wants to know if they should renew their contract with you and they are asking me to advise them. By the end of the briefing I need to know how to answer them’.


Kevin’s questions to this: How did the vendor know that any subsequent renewal was caused by the analyst? And, if they had such evidence, how did the vendor assign numerical value to AR? For example, did they assign all the renewal value to AR? Did they feel that there were other renewal contributors and, if so, did they apportion value among the contributors?

My response: I was with the European MD he did not ask the analyst the name of the account, nor follow up with the sales, so no precise value was assigned to AR. But it certainly reaffirmed to the MD in case he was in any doubt of the importance of briefing analysts as they do have a direct impact on sales decisions.

  1. An analyst who provided a vendor I was working for with a set of leads as a thank you for research the vendor had provided him that helped him with his presentation.


Kevin’s questions: Did this vendor use a provisional sales order size as the value of each lead here or did it only assign value if the deals were closed? Leads aren’t always easy to size financially, because so much can happen to the deal size as it migrates down the sales funnel, so did this vendor manage to assign a value to them? I’m guessing that, in this case, all of the business value here was attributed to AR, or did AR face any challenges even when claiming that?

My response: Some more context the organisation in question is 100% channel focused so all leads generated are fulfilled by the channel and all marketing activity is designed to generated leads to then be fulfilled upon. In this case the leads where provided directly to the marketing team to then work on further for ultimate fulfillment. AR was not concerned with the conversion ratio or revenue generated from the leads. For the organisation this has been by the most concrete value of AR to date. Again the key metric is the generation of value not the quantity of the value – hope that makes sense.

  1. The sales person asking for analyst reports to help close a deal


Kevin’s question: Here again I’m interested to know how much value was attributed to AR. Did the vendor know whether the report was the deal clincher or was it just one factor of many? Did the vendor attribute all deal value to AR or did it attribute only some because other players, like the sales force, were assumed to be contributors to bringing the deal in?

My response: On this one the aim of AR was to fulfill the request demanded by sales and not look further into whether the deal was won or lost and the extent to which the AR coverage caused the deal to be successful or not.

The take away from all these examples is that, in my view there is a limit to the exact $ or % value you can assign to AR. You remind me of the 50% of my advertising is effective but I don’t know what 50% adage. My feeling on measuring putting ROI/value to AR is that there is value in all of the interactions with analysts and their firms but it’s all about context and business objectives, which in many cases are relative to the company and the individuals involved.

A couple of other scenarios to consider:

An analyst that tells a CEO that a business model is flawed and going down that route could spell the end of a company – what value do you put on that?

The analyst that suggests a vendor to partner with and that comes to fruition what value do you assign to that.

Currently I am doing a lot of work with emerging startup companies and the AR experience I find is very, very, different from established vendor (sorry all I have a habit of stating the obvious). With an emerging company you get a lot of time with the decision makers. Rather than specifics AR has a HUGE role to play won’t bore you with the details but although the value in most instances is not quantitative (sorry, frustrating for you I know) there is NO way that AR is forgotten about. My view is the AR needs to look at ways in which it can add value which links back to your paper on Engineering AR, for me working in the world of startups I find that every ounce of AR must deliver value however you define it.

My final point on this one AR is an art and science; if you measure everything you take the art out of it. Social media and marketing measurement software is starting to provide the data, but there must always be a place for intuition and personal relationships.

Look forward to hearing your comments on this one.


Another Tweet to browse?

November 26, 2010

Long gone are the days when Twitter was merely to let everyone know when you were having a coffee Now its a crucial channel/business tool. I’ll leave it to others to debate the metrics and theory.

Recently I have used a great tool called row feeder which collects all of the Tweets for a word/term and enables you to analyse the content.

The upshot it’s another channel to monitor and no event  is complete without a Twitter hashtag on it. What happens to the event is that analysts tweeting when not there, attendees provide commentary/analysis on an event while it is going on not after. Other people join in the debate who are not analysts at all.

The result is that the event organiser (AR pro) can also become an editor to amend tweets that don’t have the event hashtag and as result will in some instances keep the debate going if people forget the hashtag. 

This makes events more dynamic for all concerned.