The beginning of spring signals more than just nature’s rebirth and a leap forward to BST time: it’s also a reminder that the calendar Q1 for most AR programmes is coming to an end. While preparing for Q2, AR professionals re-visit their plans and look at new ways to bring value and pepper in new, fresh ideas to their strategy. From finding new ways of engaging in a more innovative or streamlined manner with industry analysts, to capturing the attention of stakeholders (internal and external) more strategically, a spring clean of your AR approach can prove to be very beneficial.
It’s important to not get stuck in a cycle of using the same tactics. Every quarter, it’s good to take the pulse of an AR programme, look back and assess activity.
Spring or the end of calendar Q1 is a good time to think more creatively about approaching challenges, or about making a great AR programme more innovative. But as much as we may feel that the highly anticipated rays of sunshine give us some much-needed fresh energy, we all know that coming up with new ideas and innovative plans doesn’t come easy. And these ideas come very rarely on demand during a brainstorming session.
Having studied and worked in the communications sector for the past nine years, I’ve tried and tested several ways that help to increase inspiration. And since working in AR specifically, a profession not renowned for its creativity, these techniques and tips have helped to inspire fun ideas to include in traditional AR programmes.
Here are my AR spring clean suggestions to help in coming up with some actionable, measurable creative ideas:
- Dust off your summer clothes. It can often be difficult to find the time to network: aligning availability for you, your team, for analysts or for other AR professionals can be quite tricky. But networking or (if time out of office is hard to come by) even joining webinars, plays a key role along the path of being introduced to new ideas and ways of approaching day to day to activities. From sharing best practice tips with peers to engaging with analysts in a more relaxed and informal manner, finding time to network or join a webinar discussion can help to stimulate creativity.
- Read, read and read more. It’s easy to get absorbed into focusing only on tasks at hand, especially during busy periods; but making sure that you read relevant analyst blogs, reports or books and essays aimed at AR professionals helps to ensure that you are ahead of the game. Learning more about analysts and the AR profession, and gaining insight into how others approach their AR programme is a sure way to constantly improve and aim for excellence. Sharing is caring, so I recommend looking at the IIAR blogs or analyst-authored blogs such as SMB Group analyst’s Laurie McCabe’s blog (I really enjoyed her latest post, How to Create a More Compelling Analyst Event); for avid readers who prefer a meatier read, I recommend the book How Industry Analysts Shape the Digital Future.
- Find the right balance. This is less about how a good diet, exercising and sleep can help to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and more about facilitating healthy communication with internal teams (beyond the sales teams) that could benefit more from AR insight. Anything from suggesting ways in which AR could help in achieving specific business goals to sharing a great analyst blog on a topic of interest, can help to gradually create more internal AR advocates.
A spring clean is a welcomed activity in personal and professional endeavours. It’s also a great way to feel like you’re starting off fresh – so clear away the clutter and let those creative AR ideas start to come to life.