Archive for March, 2010

No but Yeah – when doing no AR is the way to go

March 16, 2010

Don’t worry this is not a post about Vicky Pollard from Little Britain (anyone outside of the UK feel free to contact me for more details about this epic piece of British comedy) but rather reference to a very interesting call I had last week with a contact who I used to do work for.

I receive a LinkedIn message from a former client who wanted to discuss analyst strategy with me. As a self-employed consultant,  this not a message to be ignored.

My contact has recently joined a technology start-up that has a clearly defined USP and this persons role is to look after all things marketing. The CEO wants to do work with analysts but the head of marketing  is not 100% sure this is the right way to go, so would like to bounce off some ideas of the expert (me ;-)) to make sure the decision is right.

The company’s situation is pretty clear, it’s an emerging business, with some excellent customers on board already, so is now the time to build relationships with analysts/influencer firms?

The crux of the decision revolves about the company’s growth plans. Are there a set of ‘must win’ customers or is the priority about ‘getting on the radar’ of prospects? In this instance, there is a dream list, and the vendor knows how to get to these guys directly.

So my view – its NO to AR right now, if you can’t support it properly and are focused on direct engagement with you customer wish list, better to hold off building links with influencers until the proposition is stronger, customer list bigger. Better to do it right than half do it, you only get one chance to make a first impression and with finite resources, you have to go with the activities that are likely to generate business in the shorter than longer term.

However when the company does look at engaging with the analyst community, I know a great consultant that is great at……….. 😉

Full on AR vs. Focused AR you decide…….

March 15, 2010
I have worked in the wonderful world of AR for over a decade both for PR agencies and for vendors and for the last eight years as an independent consultant. I am lucky I have never got bored of AR it changes so much its hard to get tired of it and the way things are moving there is no doubt the pace of change will only increase.
 
One interesting point to consider is should vendors have a full time dedicated AR resource or is AR a discipline that can be used as and when i.e. outsourced to an agency/external provider and undertaken on an ad hoc basis?
 
The purists will say that you can’t turn on and off links with analysts like advertising or direct marketing, while pragmatists will argue if AR is used to support marketing initiatives then its another tool in the arsenal that should be used as and when appropriate.
 
Ultimately it comes down to how you view the role/importance of industry analysts that will influence the decision. One point to consider there are analysts I know and have worked with for years, I mean years. I may not talk to them day-to-day but I know who they are and they know where I am too. While growth targets may be temporary meaningful business relationships are timeless.

Anyone for breakfast…..

March 3, 2010

Just finished a very very interesting briefing with a client about an area until today I did not really understand fully. The analyst conversation was classic two-way plenty of give and take.

A number of light bulbs went off in my head at the time of the meeting a couple regarding how to approach a particular area of the clients business that to date analysts have not found too compelling but I finally have found an analogy for how to cope with Twitter, Blogs etc..

Having discovered Twitter a while back, there are times when I will happily switch it off to get on with day job and then there are blogs to absorb. How does one cope before getting to information overload????

Answer – breakfast please…

Just kidding, in my view the key to delivering value in business is through:

  • Relationships
  • Content delivery

I’d like to cover the second one in this post as I have focused on the former elsewhere and will come back to it at some other point.

So here is the analogy piece, convention has it that eating a balanced diet is the key to living well a little of what you fancy does you good. Eat at regular intervals etc. I have come to the conclusion that the same is true for how to deal with information – one needs balance, consume the right content at the right time and it works, consume too much and you get ‘infogestion’ some content makes you move faster, other takes a lot longer to digest.

So why does this matter? Well with all the free content out there are times I feel I am missing out on knowledge/insight/potential for competitive advantage. But I think the best way is to take a balanced approach. Consume content when you have the time and when you can digest it and get on with the day job when you have to.

With that in mind – its time for lunch