How to: build an AR plan around a milestone event

24May07

AR process for milestone event

AR has moved a long way in the past few years. Previously vendors would be jumping with delight when they shifted their AR outreach from briefings at (or after) the event to a few weeks before.

This in itself was a great move, as a company’s messaging had a chance to be refined before it went into the public domain. As a bonus there was also the possibility of identifying positive analysts who could be used to provide a quote to the media.

However, best practice AR is more than a pre-briefing. Inquiries and consulting should and must be used to identify the problems that customers are facing, gather market intelligence and test messaging. What’s more, AR should also look to add value by providing customer and partner evidence to validate a vendor’s offering.

As I mentioned earlier, training and auditing the specific analyst market will go a long way to improving the overall effectiveness of any campaign.

The diagram illustrated is not an end in itself but provides a guideline on the key steps that should be followed around a specific milestone event (such as a product launch). Not every campaign will need such a comprehensive approach but AR professionals should work with marketing teams to establish which milestone activities throughout the year would benefit from this.

I always say that you have two ears and one mouth and that they should be used in that ratio – after all the true benefits of AR lie not only in briefing an analyst but by listening to what they say. This in turn will positively affect a companies messaging, strategy and go-to-market.

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