Read this post on Tuesday and had a few thoughts:
Collective Conversation » ARcade » Blog Archive » Is Analyst Relations a prisoner of its own success within the IT sector?
There are, IMHO, 3 kind of business models for IT analysts:
– the prescribers (á la Gartner or Forrester)
– the number crunchers (IDC is the king of the hill there)
– the “vendor facing” analysts (it’s a very wide category, including specialised firms such as ESG, sales/CI focused firms like Current Analysis, pundits like Robin Bloor or custom research outfits)
The last 2 are funded by vendors, the first by end users. There is definitely some overlap between the those categories (IDC does custom research, Gartner’s Dataquest (for lack of a better name 🙂 does market shares and forecasts, and while funding for the “vendor facing” analysts comes from ICT vendors, they all offer quite different services -from papers to strategy, from GTM advice to lead generation, etc…
Now, in other industries than IT there simply isn’t the same kind of ecosystem, which explains there’s no AR per se: when there are no analysts, you can’t have analyst relations.
There are other kind of influencers though:
– SI’s, ISV’s, integrators, VAR’s, etc
– and many shades of opinion makers and “experts”
Take transportation for instance. Is there any “expert” that’s paid by users (rail companies) on how to by high speed trains? I’m told it is the case but not as formalised.
In the energy business, there are actually lots of experts (just type in this into google) who may influence (directly or not) investment decisions and public opinion via the media. There are also firms, some probably not unknown to traditional AR practitioners, who sell market data for that industry. I can also think of market research firms for retail, automotive, etc…
The idea has been floated many times (see links at the end of that post) that AR should morph into Influencers Relations. Turf wars (with PR for instance) and politics are going against this trend at IT vendors but agencies have embraced the trend already, though many stopped at social media only.
In theory, there’s no limit to apply AR best practices to other industries and transform PR into Influencers Relations. Some companies already do social media well, embracing the communication with customers gracefully and lobbying successfully.