The two faces of AR

Its been a while coming but recently I had the chance to read the Forrester report in engineering AR (http://www.forrester.com/rb/Research/time_to_engineer_ar/q/id/57611/t/2) my thanks to Kevin Lucas for letting me read the report (currently not a subscriber).

It’s a good read I will comment about it on the AR forum that Forrester runs. But as always it got me thinking about AR and how things are evolving. The big seem to get bigger and the small use social media while the big, try to use social media.

As I see it – yes generalisations here but we have two modes for doing AR:

  • Open walled
  • Closed walled

I’ll start with the latter, closed wall is Gartner and Forrester – the procedure for interaction is well-developed and outlined and now features a specific AR component. When you submit a vendor briefing request, you submit it you don’t email it. You know what to expect by when, you know what’s on offer if you pay and what you can get if you don’t. You also know the reach and influence of the firms.

For open walled read the others, the analysts tend to be active in social media, the content they produce tends to be free, some post presentations on slide sharing sites. The analysts will tend to be happier to provide feedback in a briefing.

But what difference does this make to AR then?

Its means a lot, it means that you can’t treat all analysts in the same way (why would you?) it also means you need to think long and hard about what the vendor corporate objectives are and what role interacting with analysts will play to help you meet these goals. Lastly it means you will need to firmly set expectations with spokespeople as to what to expect from the different analysts and last it means you will needed to have a blended approach to working with the firms those that are open walled and those that are closed.

You may argue that it’s always be this way, but I feel that social media has been a major game changer. The principles are the same but channels are more varied and more dynamic than ever.

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