Monday, February 26, 2007

Please can I have some MOAR?!

There is an old debate in the AR/PR industry on the implementation of AR, should it be outsourced/handed over to an agency or not? In my view the key to this lies in what sort of AR is being delivered, I see a big distinction between Communications Oriented AR (COAR) and Marketing Oriented AR (MOAR).

What is the difference between the two? COAR is by and large one way, and runs the risk of treating analysts as press/journalists i.e. information consumers/re publishers - but no dialogue please, unless the feedback is positive, while MOAR is a two-way relationship based approach that looks at the inherent value of the analyst, the capability of his/her firm compared to the current and future business strategy of the vendor/business unit.

While it looks like I am playing with TLAs or FLAs, pulling off MOAR is as hard as any attempt an organisation makes at being Marketing Oriented. But I am always up for MOAR!


French said...

Aren't you avoiding the implicit point that you've just made with these last two posts? The net of these posts is that outsourcing AR is likely to involve outsourcing to strategic marketing/influencer agencies in the near future, rather than specialized AR or PR agencies as we know them today.

Anyway, I think that today's MRM systems will eventually enable companies to deconstruct these concepts of CO and MO.

Today, BPO is redefining many areas of business processes, measurements, staffing, best practices and efficiencies. Perhaps we'll see the rise of CPO -- communications process optimization (or outsourcing) -- in the near future. It seems like the natural "next step" whenever business policy/accounting technologies like MRM systems are introduced.

marcduke said...

My view is that agencies will have to change and become more focused in the way they deliver services. In the case of AR/PR agencies either they deliver value or vendors will go elsewhere - nothing new.

I also feel that AR and PR agencies have to demonstrate a strong understanding of marketing, as communication technologies evolve and customer segments fragment further. How this BPO - who knows?!

ARonaut said...

Agree -too many AR pros think of AR outcomes as published research... and completely miss the point.

It's about influence, not clippings you get after you've entertained your mates.

French said...

I wonder how much of a challenge it is for PR/AR professionals to demonstrate marketing acumen without setting off alarms up and down the corporate / product marketing ladders. It seems as though some of the emphasis on tactics and outputs comes from outside the AR community -- from people with marketing titles intent on keeping their analyst relations coworkers (inhouse or other) in a tightly defined box.

marcduke said...

Very interesting point. I think the debate revolves around the skill set of those in AR/PR. Traditionally (and this is a generalisation) people in these roles have great people skills but not necessarily the analytical skills that product marketing people have (another generalisation). Things are changing though as ex-analysts take up AR roles and the 'profession' matures. The recent Forrester report on how AR Managers can improve thier value being a clear example of that.

Duncan Chapple said...

Very useful exchange of views. PR agencies have major obstacles to developing a more strategic approach, both internally and in the client. However, this is really determined by the rapport between PR and marketing in the client: the outsourced supplier simply reflects that.

Mark -- keep posting!! Let's exchange links.