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BG vs. AD.

As our regular readers know, Communications News publishes a series of Buyers Guides each year (10 in 2004). These guides provide readers with contact information for companies selling products or services in the Buyers Guide technology area featured in a particular month. For example, this month's Buyers Guide pertains to E-business Technologies, with nearly 90 companies listed under appropriate product/service categories.

Buyers Guide technology areas run the gamut--from broader topics, such as the LAN guide in January, to the more targeted Storage Technologies in May or Conferencing in June. A lot of work goes into obtaining and updating the information in these guides so that our readers have the most up-to-date information available.

Such monthly directories are one method of disseminating this information. Another way, practiced by our sister publication, Health Management Technology, is to publish an annual directory of products and services. Such an annual directory includes all the same information as the monthly Buyers Guides, but in one combined presentation--and it replaces one of the 12 monthly magazine issues.

Communications News also posts all Buyers Guides on our Web site, effectively creating an annual online directory of providers of virtually every product or service our audience needs.

The questions I would like to raise with our readers are: Which of these formats is most useful to you in evaluating and selecting products/services for your IT network? Are the monthly guides on specific topics more valuable or more useable, that is, than an annual directory that includes all the product/service categories?

In short, would you rather receive one annual publication with all product and service categories included, or are the monthly, narrow-topic Buyers Guides preferable? Or, perhaps, is neither useful to you in selecting products and services?

Also, knowing when an annual directory or monthly Buyers Guides would be most effective for your purchasing research-and-selection processes would be helpful. Do you research products/services in the fourth calendar quarter? The first? Are there particular times during the year when you purchase certain technologies, or are all purchasing decisions made in the same time frame? Also, how long generally passes between your research-and-selection process and actual purchase of the product/service selected?

We would appreciate hearing from the product/service vendors on this issue, as well. What months do you generally sell most enterprise end-user network products and services? What do your customers tell you is the normal lead time between their investigating solutions and actually purchasing them? What format-annual directory or monthly Buyers Guide--is most effective in disseminating the necessary information to purchasing influencers?

I hope you will take just a few minutes to register your preferences on this important service provided our readers. A short Web form for your response can be found at www.comnews.com/opinion_bg.asp, or you can simply e-mail me with your thoughts. We want to put the right information in your hands at the appropriate time, but we need to know when that appropriate time is.

kanderberg@comnews.com
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Title Annotation:Editor's Note
Author:Anderberg, Ken
Publication:Communications News
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Feb 1, 2004
Words:501
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