Tuesday, March 30, 2010

universities are customers too

Obviously, I keep up with the e-marketing environment online, and so I've signed up for loads of online newsletters. One such [from e-consultancy.com] pointed me at what looked like some interesting research from ATG [atg.com]. As is the case when research papers are produced as part of a marketing strategy, I was required to 'sign in' to get access to the research details. This included my email address. Now, before my complaint I will add that they do say 'corporate email addresses only' - but as you can see below, my UK university address was rejected I am assuming that this is because all .ac.uk addresses are blocked. As this blog entry makes clear, I think this is a mistake. However, the only other reason I can see from their rejection message is that my address includes two uppercase letters [my initials] - surely that is not the reason for the rejection? If that is the case - double shame on the techie who set up the fields because ... email addresses are not case sensitive [before you jump down my throat, they can be set up to be case sensitive, but convention is that no one does so].
Well, I can appreciate that they may be trying to limit access to the report - but why? The significant results are already in the public domain - probably as a result of their PR efforts. Don't want students quoting the figures in assignments ... and if so, why not? And remember, students become managers and business owners.

But more importantly [for ATG] ... I could have been the marketer from a university who was interested in buying their services [the whole point of the paper being researched, written and published].

To get the report - which was very good - I entered my email address on my .eu domain. Don't ATG know that anyone living in the EU can register a .eu domain - including students?

Or was it just a techie's error that .ac.uk domains were rejected by the registration software?


  1. Hi Alan,
    Glad you managed to download the paper and, clearly, we have had a technical glitch with our system.
    Yes: we do ask for some information from those who download white papers, but – although we ask for corporate email addresses (mainly to avoid sending a confirmation email to an address that is not often checked), we do not limit the address format; certainly not capital / lower case.
    We are looking into it now.
    We are of course delighted that you or others can use our results – all we would ask would be to quote the source :) – and, until we fix our bug, please let us know if we can help with any other information or documentation.
    mfontber AT atg DOT com

  2. Hi Mireia - how good that someone has [I assume] a Google alert out for their company name and responds to blog comments ... well done. Let's hope my comments help solve your glitch.

    If I do use anything from your report it will be either on my website [so you get a link] or a text book, in which case you get full Harvard referencing :-) ... Alan