It’s sometimes hugely tempting, but technology vendors should be cautious of ‘glamalyst’ relations, the growing trend of glamming up presentations submitted to analyst firms in the hope of simply dazzling their audience.

AR programs based on looks alone is a move in the wrong direction, and could start a dangerous arms race – because what the analysts really want are the facts, and if technology vendors go down this path, they are ultimately the ones with more to lose.

Of course, every vendor wants to portray themselves in the best possible light, especially when dealing with analysts who help influence end-user buying decisions and sway multi-million dollar deals.

What concerns us as industry analyst relations professionals is the emerging tendency to go over the top in seeking to create materials so slick, they’re actually a distraction from the point. Glamalyst relations really isn’t good for the AR industry.

In the race to not let the truth get in the way of a good story, vendors may find themselves tempted to spend ever-growing sums in ensuring their materials look good – for example, the services vendor rumored to have spent $200,000 on a PowerPoint deck to be presented to analysts, as highlighted in a deliciously gossipy post shared on LinkedIn this week by senior industry analyst Phil Fersht.

It’s true that analyst firms are moving away from spreadsheet-only driven submissions. For example, in certain Magic Quadrants, Gartner is now asking vendors to submit an hour-long recorded video to help demonstrate features and functionality.

But in response, vendors are already starting to add the Hollywood factor – raising the production values of videos that are, ultimately, intended to be used to help answer basic questions as to whether or not an offering “does what it says on the tin”.

Vendors should try and resist the temptation to overly embellish the materials they provide to analysts. Talk to us about why you should instead spend that extra money on finding and coaching more reference customers to put in front of the analysts, since the impact of customer feedback on vendor ratings continues to grow.