Analyst relations seems straightforward enough – as a tech vendor, you relate key milestones and elements of strategy to those industry analysts who you think will have the greatest reach to your target market. Right? In my opinion though, the best analyst relations professionals also flip that model. With just as much vigour and interest, they ensure that the leaders in the company are not only aware of overall market trends and emerging technologies that could impact short term AND long term revenues, but they also consider how best to respond to market indicators. How do you do THAT? It’s like inserting yourself into the C-Suite, or as part of the Office of the CEO or Strategy team. How do you get senior executive leaders to listen? And more importantly, to take action based on the market trends you bring them? Continue Reading →
Edelman has an opening, in the Seattle or Portland office, for a seasoned Analyst Relations (AR) practitioner within the PNW technology practice. We are seeking a Senior Account Supervisor to join our growing team of talented and collaborative communications professionals who provide a diverse client base with expert counsel in analyst relations, communications & event planning, content development, and media and influencer engagement.
The Senior Account Supervisor role will have a deep understanding of the AR landscape and the ability to leverage AR strategies to support PR and digital team counterparts. As a Senior Account Supervisor on the AR team, you will also have the opportunity to help drive new business and marketing efforts, as well as lend support to team across practice areas, which makes interest and comfort in driving PR programs as well as AR efforts highly desired.
- Build and execute strategic AR programs to increase analyst awareness of client strategy, product portfolio and executive team
- Drive coordination with stakeholders and PR/social team members for integrated execution of client initiatives
- Help lead new business initiatives for the AR team, uncovering prospects and managing the RPF process
- As needed, help lead and drive PR programs for clients as our PNW technology practice continues its rapid growth path
- Oversee financial and operational performance of multiple accounts simultaneously, ensuring quality work, deadline and budget adherence, and that plan creation and execution map to goals
- Counsel clients and troubleshoot client and internal issues, providing strategic counsel in partnership with senior managers (VP, SVP)
- Work seamlessly with external agency partners (e.g., advertising agency, promotions agency) as part of integrated marketing team
- Act as local client-facing representative of larger AR team, attending planning meetings, client events and updates as necessary
- Demonstrate writing excellence when crafting internal and client materials and correspondence
- Use relationships with analyst influencers and internal business partners to meet client needs
- Supervise staff in multiple offices by mentoring, motivating, coaching, consistently providing feedback, holding them accountable and conducting their reviews
- Introduce clients to new capabilities, initiate new business process and display strong presentation skills during client pitches
- Commit to continuous learning and improvement of leadership skills; set and pursue stretch goals
- Demonstrate behaviors consistent with Edelman’s values (Quality, Integrity, Respect, Entrepreneurial Spirit, Mutual Benefits) and Code of Ethics and Business Conduct
It was with great sadness that I heard Claire Dessaux, Managing Vice President, Research Content and Delivery at Gartner, died recently.
Claire struggled with health issues off and on in recent years, but she was still too young to leave us, and her premature death robs the world of a steadfast friend, reliable co-worker, and cheerful presence for those who knew her.
For the analyst relations community, it’s worth taking a moment to mourn her passing even for those who didn’t know her, as we lost a key advocate in Claire. In her role at Gartner, Claire pushed for more transparency, predictability, and communications with vendors. Longtime, experienced Gartner analysts would grumble about how Gartner management continues to mechanize research, making it increasingly templatized and fungible, but Claire understood the need for consistency, scalability, and getting away from the “prima donna analyst” that plagued Gartner pre-Gene Hall. Continue Reading →
When even hyper-successful companies like AWS invest in dedicated analyst and advisor relations management although they seem to dominate their markets anyway, it suggests they realize much more value in AR than ‘only’ to position high in an industry report.
Even small innovative businesses seek to engage regularly with the likes of Gartner, Forrester, IDC or with boutique analyst firms, although they may be far from making it ‘onto’ a flagship MQ or Wave or Marketscape report. Why do they prioritise time and money to AR?
Because it pays unique dividends that are harder to achieve otherwise.
This article aims to explain AR results in the context of the business functions that it supports and based on years of hands-on experience. Continue Reading →
Over the past few months, the analyst community has been experiencing an array of changes, with many analyst departures and career moves shaking up the status quo. As we come back to work and the summer days fade into autumn, there’s no better time to catch-up with analyst firms and understand what has changed, what’s to come and exactly how their services can support AR pros and their programmes.
We have had the pleasure for Giorgio taking time out of his busy schedule to take part in our infamous 10 questions. Giorgio is a research director for IDC’s European Infrastructure and Cloud research and leads the team of analysts responsible for tracking the cloud infrastructure, server, storage and converged systems markets in Western Europe.
What are your coverage areas?
My main focus area is European infrastructure, a broad spectrum of things ranging from Multicloud management software to service provider datacenters. I’m also increasingly involved in this year’s research sprints (we call them Launchpads) around emerging technologies (Quantum, Edge, Blockchain…) driven by brilliant analysts across multiple IDC teams.
What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
Analysing the analysts! Three trends I see: the traditional need for ad-personam advisory to IT buyers is not only steady but increasing. With technology topics becoming ever more complex (see the interdependencies of Multicloud, or political nature of Blockchain use cases or AI’s ethical dilemmas), leaders need fact-and face-based opinions more than ever. The second is the changing nature of data. Data are the wheels of any self-respecting research vehicle. In the 3rd Platform era, generating data differently, from new sources and manipulating it better and faster than ever before is crucial. The third is the growing connection between branding, marketing and analyst house services – i.e. the analyst company becoming a digital agency.
What’s your typical day like?
The day starts at breakfast or in the bus, swiping through emails. After that it’s a lot of “Can you guys hear me alright?”, pulling out the toothpaste at security LHR T2 and providing feedback on reports and deliverables. The fun part are workshops or improvised whiteboard meetings with customers, and the unpredictable, sometimes heated conversations with IT buyers at our events. Also enjoyable are the rare isolation days (often in summer heat) with a piece of paper and pen, drawing the research agenda for the next months.
Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
Not a horror – but a thriller story. I’ve once attended an analyst event linked to a broader customer conference where the facilities were just not fit (or not booked properly). The poor AR person spent two days leading a bunch of analysts (distracted fellas in general) across ultra-crowded, immense halls from one meeting room to another, holding a tourist guide sign and a megaphone. In rare cases did the analysts arrive on time. In some cases they never made it to the meeting room. I think a couple of analysts are still roaming in that conference center (haven’t seen them since). In another case I flew into Vegas on the promise of an analyst track with executives – except there was no such thing, only technical sessions. Learnt my lesson on asking for agendas then!
What is your research methodology?
The ideas stem from anecdotal discussions with “Pathfinder” IT buyers and other IDC analysts. The proof points from primary research in form of small to large surveys. The hard data on market numbers from vendor conversations and guidance process.
Any favourite AR professional you’d like to mention? Any why?
Most of AR folks I know are great and enable easy access to vendor executives. I’ve worked closely and for a long time with Jos Baltes (HPE) who is not only hyper-responsive but also great to get a beer with. Most recently Caroline Dennington (NetApp) adds the British humour (!) – Antonella Crimi (Equinix) and Anna Carzana (AMD) the Italian flair. I’m missing several I know – impossible to mention all!
Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve attended.
I’ve recently attended a one-day analyst-only event where keynotes were kept to less than 1 hour and most of the day was spent on one-to-ones, with some breaks in between. I thought it was great – even if I ended up talking myself dry. A good AR practice is booking events in the calendar well in advance – even if analysts themselves are sloppy RSVPers!
What are your offerings and key deliverables?
Within my team, we deliver on a subscription program with report, surveys and customer enquiries; release multiple Tracker datasets on a quarterly basis and work on challenging custom project advising vendors and buyers on infrastructure-related decisions. A recent one I liked was advisory work for a custom chipset manufacturer to identify and position their Edge Computing and Gateway strategy.
Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?
With a mixed Asian-Italian family we are way too fussy about food. For the Londoners – L’oro di Napoli in South Ealing. For the Frankfurters – Sushi Boy in Eschersheimer Tor; Lam Freres in Bahnhofsviertel.
What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
Selecting what NOT to do or cover is the tough one for the next 6 months. With Innovation Accelerators kicking off it’s like the candy shop, but one can’t do everything properly! Next 30 minutes getting home on time for dinner!
Although crisis situations can at times feel out-of-the-blue, AR nightmares can usually be solved by adhering to a simple to follow maxim: it’s all about communicating what you can, when you can.
However, in an escalating crisis of epic proportions, it’s important to ensure that you, as an Analyst & Influencer Relations specialist, tend to your priority analyst relationships first and foremost.
Here are three simple tips for how to survive your first crisis as an AR professional working within an escalating crisis, or in a PR nightmare scenario where you’re asked to give advice on how to inform the analyst community. It can be anything from a briefing which has gone off the rails to an issue in a local market that mushrooms into a global performance or critical security flaw.
No matter the issue, there are ways as guardians of the relationships our Vendors have with Industry Analysts, that can be replicated across most B2B technology and marketing companies. Continue Reading →
Several pieces have already been published on the unceremonious departure of Peter Sondergaard, Gartner EVP of Research (LinkedIn, @petersonderg)already (ZD Net, Research Live, Kea), none adding any facts above and beyond the SEC filing.
We ran a quick poll yesterday and results weren’t conclusive: some will miss Peter who has been one of Gartner’s stars and highest earners over the years, masterminding the Gartner Symposium keynotes and presiding over the research agenda. Others welcome the change.
— IIAR (@IIAR) August 22, 2018
He is replaced by Mike Harris, formerly head of IT research (GITL). He was himself succeeded by Yvonne Genovese who moved from heading Gartner for Marketing Leaders (GML) where she drove high growth from a small base to a sizeable business.
AR pros should monitor closely research direction, quality and methodologies following this leadership change.
We wish good luck to Mike in his new role and send a heartfelt appreciation to Peter, also wishing him the best for his next steps.
When: Tuesday 21st August 2018.
Where: Pier I Cafe, Riverside Park South and 70th Street on the Hudson River, Manhattan
- 1st Ever IIAR NYC Summer Party
- [INVITATION] Calling all NYC based AR Professionals and Analysts
- IIAR Webinar: the state of Advisor Relations: Europe (13 Dec) and North America (14 Dec)
- New! US-based IIAR Networking Events in November and December
- IIAR Opportunity at IDC Directions in Santa Clara and Boston
When I was a management consultant, I couldn’t describe what I did. Not to my parents, not to strangers. Not in a way that convinced them I had a real occupation, and maybe I didn’t.
Try describing what an “industry analyst” does: “Research, writing, 30-minute consulting engagements.”
“But you can’t solve any problem in 30 minutes.”
“Just watch me.”
“You don’t know anything about the company.”
“I know something.”
“But — but — but –”
The assumption most people make is that marketing problems are unique. Perfect knowledge of the context, the company, its tech stack is required to construct a solution. This assumption is false. Continue Reading →
Andrew Hsu‘s (LinkedIn) views on AR prioritization are handy. In a recent presentation, he stressed the role of prioritisation in helping us to think about AR, be more refined than our instincts can allow and to help us justify the choices we made when we allocated limited Analyst Relations resources.
Andrew’s starting point is the need to make smart, big bets. Rather than randomly allocating effort without focussing on influence, we want to focus our energy on a smaller number of analysts and, I think it’s implied, to boost the impact of the analysts we prioritize.
The common-sense of AR is problematic. We focus on the people we know, the ones who are cynical about our brand and the ones with whom we do the most business. Instead, Andrew says that we need to focus on both our business goals and the attributes of the analysts. He hits the nail on the head when he says that AR people are often ‘doing God’s work’ – merely serving the analysts. Instead, we need to focus on the timely needs of the business. Continue Reading →
He was truly one of the best, and the analyst world is poorer without him.
Dave Michels of TalkingPointz has written a very lovely post about Brian which is very much worth reading if you knew him.
Our condolences go to his family, friends and colleagues. Rest in peace Sir.
The IIAR is pleased to present the addition of three new members to the IIAR Board as a result of this years’ elections held in June.
Please help us welcome Beth, Suzannah and Aniruddho to the IIAR Board, for terms that run from July 1, 2018 through to June 30, 2020. Continue Reading →
Analyst relations is easily the most misunderstood function in marketing.
I’ve been involved with analyst relations — or AR — for over a decade, working on dozens of Gartner Magic Quadrants and Forrester Waves. I’ve experienced the impact that analyst relations, when done well, can have on growth. And I know how much time and effort it takes to do it right. It’s not witchcraft nor is it a simple “spend more / do better” formula.
It’s time to set the record straight, so in this post I’m going to debunk five of the most common myths I’ve come across. Well, turns out this ex-mathematician is not great at counting, so I’ll be dubunking a bonus 6th myth as well 🙂
- Myth #1: Analyst firms like Gartner are “pay to play”
- Myth #2: Your PowerPoint slides matter
- Myth #3: Gartner is the only analyst firm that matters
- Myth #4: You can move the “dot” in a Gartner Magic Quadrant
- Myth #5: Just becoming a Leader in an analyst report will double/triple/10x your growth
- Myth #6: Your PR firm can manage analyst relations
Read on! Continue Reading →
Can other vendors copy Israeli firms’ exceptional success in earning Gartner, Inc.’s Cool Vendor designation? Maybe not. Their success reflects both Israel’s unique start-up ecosystem and those start-ups’ ability to leverage Gartner’s experienced account management in Israel.
The numbers of Cool Vendors in Israel continue to rise. At the recent Cool and Hot Vendor Forum, Suwen Chen’s presentation showed, using data from Gartner, Inc., that there were more Cool Vendors in Israel than, for example, in China and the UK added together. The gap is widening: It has grown from 15 Cool Vendors in 2012 to 33 last year and 35 in 2016. The count could be even higher if we account for the many Cool Vendors originally founded, funded and staffed in Israel which have moved headquarters to the USA, such as Loom Systems. Twenty firms founded in Israel have gained the designation so far this year. More will probably be added in the rounds of Cool Vendors later this month and in September. Continue Reading →
Gartner has been forced to delay a Magic Quadrant report for at least six months due to the mass departure of pivotal analysts covering the enterprise data center space.
The delay followed news that analysts Dave Russell and Pushan Rinnen were leaving to join vendors. The duo were the mainstays of the Gartner team covering data backup. Their counterpart in the EMEA region, Robert Rhame, is also moving on.
Their timing was remarkable: Gartner was due to kick off research for its 2018 Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery Solutions last week. With all three authors choosing to leave Gartner, the firm had no credible option but to delay the start of the report: this is now on ice until 2019. Continue Reading →
Effective measurement has become a bit of a challenge for AR practitioners, as stakeholders are demanding more tangible, immediate results that can easily be linked to business outcomes. With smaller teams and tighter budgets, AR professionals are under immense pressure to justify investment and prove overall value.
As such, the IIAR’s recent webinar on measurement and amplification, led by Oracle’s Gerry Van Zandt (LinkedIn, @gerryvz), couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve included below my key takeaways from the webcast as well as Gerry’s advice for anyone looking for help or inspiration around efficient AR measurement.
A major hurdle that I keep seeing, especially in organisations that don’t yet have mature AR programmes, is the inability to set AR-relevant objectives. Too many organisations still try and measure AR in the same way as PR and get massively frustrated by the meatier up-front investment and absence of immediate results. Continue Reading →
Today’s guest post is a long(wish) read by Jon Collins from GigaOm (LinkedIn, @jonno) following our IIAR Webinar on “How not to be an industry analyst?“
If you enjoy this, why not check his “How not to write an autobiography?“
Introduction – a glass of wine…
For a start, a bit of background. I never meant to be an industry analyst, not as such: indeed, having done my time as a programmer, then IT manager and various forms of consultant, I hadn’t a clue what one was. Back in 1998, I was responsible for training and other informational services at a mid-sized consulting firm when a report from a company called “Butler Group” came across my desk. That was my first connection with the world of analysts.
A year or so later, I was looking for something new (a cyclic habit in my career); I was also drinking a rather fine glass or two of red, when I stumbled across an advert from Bloor Research. With my inhibitive defences down, I banged off an email straight away. I barely had time to regret it, as the following Monday I went for an interview… and the rest is an 18-year career.
These were exciting times. At the turn of the millennium the dot-com was still bubbling up: we launched a couple of web sites and face to face forums at the time (IT-Director and IT-Analysis) and set to making the most of the complexity and uncertainty, charging for clarity and simplicity. I remain proud of my 2001 report about the inevitable move towards universal service provision. We call it the cloud these days.
I paraphrase history, but by and large, analyst firms emerged in the mid-1990’s, as attention moved from bespoke ‘turnkey’ solutions and towards custom-built software. From there, they made sure to cover the space like any good ecosystem. So, has anything changed, over the past two decades?
I have worked for a variety of smaller firms and I have done a short stint at a bigger one —IDC. I’ve spent an awful lot of time hanging out with analysts, AR professionals and the firms they represent. I’ve also spent some time not being analyst, working behind the scenes to help some of the largest vendors tell their stories. And this, to an extent, is mine.
I don’t know if you are familiar with the C.S.Lewis classic, The Screwtape Letters — written from an old devil to a little demon? In a similar vein, I thought I’d capture some of the things I might tell my younger self. As they say, getting it wrong is the best form of experience, and it is good to share.
Since becoming an industry analyst almost two years ago, I’ve sat in on nearly 100 vendor briefings and have some tips and do’s/don’ts to share to help you prepare for your next analyst session. First, know that Constellation is a firm very accessible to technology companies of all sizes and no, you don’t have to be a client to brief us. Based on availability and relevance to my coverage areas, I’m happy to take the call and enjoy helping young start-ups.
Let’s ensure we both get the most out of our limited time together, so here are my tips for you :
- Be respectful of the analyst’s time. Our free briefings are 30 minutes, and if I’m able to, I will often extend to 45 mins (at my discretion).
- A little light research to understand who I am and my coverage areas (Marketing (B2B and B2C), Sales, and Customer Experience. I prepare by visiting your company website and learn about you on LinkedIn before the call, please extend that courtesy.
Le CXP is one of the oldest IT analysis firms around. It was created in 1973, six years before Gartner, under the auspices of the French Ministry of Industry by some of the largest French companies at the time: Air France, Anotec, Bred, BSN (now Danone), EDF, RATP and the Société Générale. Its remit was to provide expertise on packaged software -hence the name in French, the deliciously quaint Centre d’Expertise des Progiciels. It’s been doing just this plus some consulting for IT users, gently and in French (Americans would call this in “local language”) until it bought PAC, a rival but vendor-focussed French firm, in 2014. At last I should say, and after PAC’s founder, Pierre Audoin, passed away.
Before this, Le CXP bought German BI specialist BARC in 2011 and PAC snapped German firm Berlecon on the same year. As a result, we’ve got a Paris based firm doing more business in Germany than France. They must like it there.
Are you still following me?