Archive | AR Best practices

[GUEST POST] #Visionaries, #Disruptors and Complete Lunatics

By Jonathon Gordon / Directing Analyst, Expert Market Insight (LinkedIn, @Jonathon_Gordon)


Recently, I have been taking an interest in the Gartner Magic Quadrant, trying to understand how helpful the model is and what role it plays. I looked at a bunch of these industry super models and one thing in particular caught my eye, or rather something that didn’t appear to be there. That something was a little dot in the far bottom right hand corner of the bottom right hand quadrant, the one Gartner calls ‘Visionaries’.

If you want a quick verification without doing all the hard work, just Google Gartner magic quadrant and take look at the image tag. Low and behold, you should get something like this and the pattern will become clear … Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Why Startups Need Analyst Relations More Than Growth Hacking

By Theo Pristley (@tprstly, LinkedIn), originally posted here on Forbes and republished with his express permission. Co-authored with Ian Gotts (@iangottsLinkedIn), tech advisor, investor, speaker and author.)


Industry and IT analyst firms collage (IIAR blog)

Analysts Or PR ?

You’re an innovative and growing startup, I get that. You’ve got a fab new product or service that’s going drive dramatic benefits for enterprise customers, I get that. You’ve even got a blog to push out great customer stories now and then, I get that too.

But how do you accelerate growth without piling on expensive sales guys? Or employing ninja growth hackers? And how do you make it easier for the large corporates to find you and get comfortable placing big orders with you?

ANSWER: You create relationships with the analyst community. And here’s why.

Analysts are important

Analysts have the ear of people with the purse strings. When they speak, the C-Suite listens. When a company goes out to tender for a third party product invariably an analyst will be involved in the decision making process, whether directly as a result of a consultation or indirectly through a research paper. They are able to influence not only potential customers, but they also coach and advise your potential acquirer on their product strategy including which vendors to buy.

Being included in an analyst research note is worth more than 100 blog posts, column inches in the FT/ WSJ or exhibiting at the next xyz conference. You need the analysts, whether you like it or not, to survive in both the short-term and thrive in the long term because their word carries weight. If a customer refers to an analyst for a product shortlist and you’ve never engaged with the analyst you can guarantee you’ll never make that list no matter how mind-blowingly awesome your product is.

Analyst Relations (AR) can deliver far greater short term and long term tangible benefits than any PR campaigns. Yet many startups start engaging PR before they even consider AR.

It’s never too early

It takes time to build a relationship with the right analysts that cover your product’s area. Let’s not confuse a relationship with meeting the analyst once or twice and fire-hosing them with your product pitch. You are aiming for a relationship of mutual respect, and that takes time to develop which is why engaging as early as possible is critical for survival for a startup. Done well it can position a vendor ahead of the short list in product selections and gain the attention of the leaders of industry, the media, and the competition. Poor (or no) analyst relations can result in your product being ignored by potential clients and it may limit your penetration in your existing clients

Being spotted by an analyst early on is major kudos for a small company but also for the analyst because they love to be the one who discovered a cool new vendors and write about them. And it’s also their opportunity to help you out and form part of your success. Analysts are no different from anyone else, they love being part of the action and have an ego to fuel. And again, it can’t be stressed enough, if they don’t know you neither will their clients when they ask about the market.

IIAR Blog: Box leader in the Magic Quadrant re-tweeted by Aaron Levie

Even the cool customer Levie knows the value of an analyst

But they are expensive and we don’t have the time!

Certainly, there are costs with engaging with analysts. Most charge an annual fee to be a client and have access to the analysts and research. But don’t think that you can buy your way to the top of a Magic Quadrant or Wave, or into the minds of the analysts. Or that paying for one or two consulting engagements with the analysts will do it. Think relationship, not prostitution.

Often it is the amount of money that vendors perceive they have to spend which stops them building a relationship with the analysts. The issue is most vendors spend too much money in the wrong places. It doesn’t have to be that way.

And apart from the hefty fees they ask you to sign up for there’s also the potential overhead of someone in an Analyst Relations role. Traditionally this is a new, fairly junior hire or it is outsourced to a PR/AR agency. Both of these lead to the wrong relationship being developed with the analysts, but it is a very common mistake.

Analysts need to be briefed on product functionality, but they are far more interested in customer stories. However, meeting or calls with analysts, understanding their needs and providing the information they need in the format that they want can be time consuming. They often feel like they are more difficult to deal with than clients. But they can afford to be as their influence and value is so much greater than even your best client.

What is required is a carefully crafted strategy and deep understanding of what drives analysts and how they operate. It also needs someone who has the ability and gravitas to engage them as peers and forge that professional relationship your company and product deserves. It’s not about booking appointments or groveling for time. It is the role of a senior exec or founder who inevitably has other priorities – company operation, client sales or product strategy.

So how do I make this work?

Few senior executives have engaged with analysts or developed an effective analyst strategy. And with conflicting priorities, they do not have the time or luxury to learn. But companies readily hire a Non-Exec Director to add an external perspective, exercising their ancient Rolodex and to sit on a board. Their brief is often financial or governance and theyoffer pithy advice like “if you sell more and spend less”.

A more cost effective approach is to hire a Non-Exec Director or Advisor who understands Analyst Relations and can help shape the analyst strategy, coach the senior team on the best way to engage with analysts, and act as a sounding board for decisions. They will add more value to the business as your go to market plans are meaningless without the visibility in the market that strong analyst relationships will bring.

For the price of a junior in a PR or AR firm, or hiring an intern growth hacker, you can bag a NED or Advisor who knows how to tango with the analysts.

And that’s when you can hook bigger fish.


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Wrap-up: IIAR Germany 2018 kick-off

IIAR German Chapter meeting at Restaurant Ella, MunichA few inches of snow in the deep midwinter in Munich didn’t stop the 2018 IIAR German chapter kick-off from going ahead, with six intrepid AR professionals getting together to exchange news, views and the occasional snippet of gossip – under Chatham House rules, of course.

Hosted by IIAR Germany chapter leads Yvonne Kaupp (@YveKauppLinkedIn) and Simon Jones (@simondestrierLinkedIn), the networking event was focused on the topic of “how to run an effective inquiry”, with IIAR members and guests (our “prospective members”) sharing best practice and experiences. One point which came through loud and clear is that everyone is nervous about running their first analyst inquiry calls – usually related to having enough questions to ask in a 30-minute call. Continue Reading →

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IIAR Discussion Group: negotiating with Gartner – is it the new seventies IBM?

IIAR Discussion Group: negotiating with Gartner Aniruddho Mukherjee and Ludovic LeforestierFeeling the pinch in your negotiation with Gartner on your subscription contract? Do you feel comfortable in buying the various seats options being pushed your way? Are you confident that you are getting value from your contracts?

You’re not alone -many of your peers and IIAR members have commented (see the IIAR Tragic Quadrant) on Gartner’s hard stance and cowboy attitude during negotiations: it maybe the IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year 2017 but also the hardest to work with.
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[GUEST POST] What is your product and what does it do? by Adrian Sanabria / Threatcare

Adrian Sanabria / Threatcare, guest post author on the IIAR websiteThis post by Adrian Sanabria / Threatcare (@sawaba, LinkedIn) was first published here on his blog.


Lessons I learned trying to make the most of vendor briefings

I’ve always been a sort of ‘cut-to-the-chase’ kind of guy. I’m self-taught when it comes to security and technology. Over the years, I’ve learned how to skim through a book, article or website to extract the important information. Sometimes I’m just trying to figure out how to do something, or I’m looking for an answer to a specific question.

Just tell me what time it is, I don’t need to know how atomic time clock frequency standards work.

Conversely, I also have an appreciation for context and a good story — as long as you eventually get to the point.

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[GUEST POST] Engaging with mobile analysts … now’s the time!

Mobile World Congress logo on IIAR Website - GSMA

The final speaker agenda is being nailed down, and the Global Mobile Awards judges have now announced their shortlist. However, there’s no resting on your laurels when it comes to Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona outreach. Next on the action list is the extremely important task of your analyst outreach strategy.

Industry analysts play a crucial role in the marketing sales cycle and supplier selection.

Findings from CCgroup’s own Catalyst Insights reveal that when it comes to shortlisting vendors for an RFP, B2B tech buyers place analyst due diligence and reports in their top three most valued sources of content. Continue Reading →

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Friday tip: make conference calls invite great again

Robot phone IIAR websiteA little tip after being on one too many calls which was needlessly hard to join today.

You’ve all been there: you’re on a mobile phone (because you’re busy wrapping the previous call on your laptop) but the number is buried in the invite body. Then it is a US number, like 0808 800 0082, that doesn’t work for anyone not based in the country. And then you need to memorise a 9 digit passcode. Nine digits, what were they thinking about?

The good news is that there’s a fix. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] IIAR Webinar: ‘Tis the season for Gartner Methodologies

Gartner IIAR logosOn September 7th, the CCgroup AR team joined IIAR’s latest webinar on Gartner methodologies with by David Black (LinkedIn), MVP Methodologies & Content Engagement at Gartner and moderated by Ludovic Leforestier (@lludovicLinkedIn), from the IIAR Board.

David spoke about the firm’s research methodology behind reports such as Magic Quadrants and Critical Capabilities.

The AR community has always been tuned in to Gartner’s research calendars, with “Every season is Magic Quadrant season” being the mantra shared by many. As such, many AR professionals were keen to learn more from David. Continue Reading →

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German IIAR Summer Stammtisch 2017: scope of AR, ISG/Experton and Paulaner

One of the most picturesque beer gardens in Munich was the setting for this year’s IIAR German Chapter Summer Event, gathering AR professionals and industry analysts. Our topic of the night was what it takes to make an analyst relations (AR) program mature and strong.

As we discussed, what success looks like actually depends on your business objectives and expectations of the individual companies and stakeholders. We all recognised that “AR” has a very wide scope, since it also covers many complementary disciplines and – depending on your job – may include Market Intelligence, Go-to-Market, PR, Sales Enablement, Strategy, or all of these. Reporting lines also influence the weighting of AR components.  Continue Reading →

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Stay tuned for the IIAR Analyst Relations Professional and Team of the Year 2017…

IIAR AR Professional of the Year

The IIAR AR Professional of the Year 2017 survey run by the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations is going to be announced tomorrow, Wednesday 12th July 2017 at 2000 BST during the 2017 IIAR Summer Party, sponsored by TCS!

Who will succeed as top AR professional current title-holder Signe Lonberg?

Which AR team will take the title from the current holders IBM?

Is the ‘responsiveness’ of AR professionals to industry analysts requests and needs still the single most important determinant of AR performance? As well as announcing the best AR team and the best AR Professional of the Year, this year’s survey will also provide unique insights into the evolution in analysts’ perception of AR performance.

Analysts have now voted… No drum roll yet – as we’re not ready to announce the winner just now, but we will tomorrow evening during the IIAR Summer Party at the Shangri La at the Shard – promise!

Make sure you register if you’d like to attend as the event is strictly by invitation only!  

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IIAR Munich Beer Garden Event – Join us on July 27 for the next IIAR German chapter Stammtisch!

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN! The IIAR German Chapter invites to the next IIAR Munich Summer Event. This year, we will be settling in to a centrally located beer garden in Munich. We’re looking forwards to a great summer night of networking while enjoying a Maß beer together and exchanging news and insights into the world of AR and analysts, in a relaxed Environment.

Join us for the next IIAR German Chapter Summer Event on

Tuesday, July 27, 2017, from 7pm CET Continue Reading →

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IIAR Webinar with ARInsights: How to Manage an AR Event

Events create a lot of stress for AR teams, often stretching them to a creaking point. They account for an large proportion of the overall AR budget, their organisation consumes the team and put great demands on executive time.  Nothing can go wrong, and no detail can be overlooked.  AR teams are tasked with creating personalided analyst and executive agendas that can have no conflicts, while making sure that analysts and executives are left with no idle time.
In this webinar, Crystal Golightly (LinkedIn, @crysgolightly) / ARInsights will share best practices how to take the stress out of organising analyst events gathered by working with clients such as Oracle, Cognizant, Infor and many others.

This session will be moderated by Ludovic Leforestier (LinkedIn, @lludovic), IIAR Board Member and Global Influencer Director at Criteo. Continue Reading →

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IIAR London Forum: Best Practice followed by NelsonHall: Getting the Message Out in a Post-Truth World

As 2017 is shaping up to be a Tectonic Year when it comes to Analyst Relations the IIAR will be holding a London Forum on April 27th and on the evergreen topic of AR Best Practice, IIAR members are invited to share and debate best practice relating to Analyst Relations, Ludovic Leforestier (LinkedIn@lludovic), will moderate the session. This will be followed by a NelsonHall Session on Getting the Message Out in a Post-Truth World, presented by  Rachael Stormonth (LinkedIn, @rstormonth), Guy Saunders (LinkedIn, @GuySaunders1), Paul Connolly (LinkedIn, @Paul_NH), John Willmott (LinkedIn, @John_NH) Continue Reading →

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IIAR Webinar: Getting Started in Analyst Relations

What better way to kick off the start of the new year than a “How to Guide” for Getting Started in Analyst Relations.

Lyn Fariello, (LinkedIn@LynFariello) will talk through everything you need to know from the practical aspects of managing a briefing and analyst evaluation through to the strategic aspects like identifying and managing stakeholders, key targets and planning.

Moderated by: Ludovic Leforestier (LinkedIn, @lludovic)
Date: Wednesday 25th January 2017
Time: 1600 GMT/ 1700 CET/ 0800 PST/ 1100 EST
Duration: One Hour
Register HERE

Link to the paper for IIAR members.


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IIAR Discussion Group: Negotiating with Gartner

Successfully negotiating your contract with analyst firms to get the best business value from commercial relationships with industry analysis firms is a key activity for many analyst relations (AR) teams.negotiating-with-gartner

A follow-on from our first IIAR Discussion Group will review the outcomes document from the first meeting (IIAR members can download it <<here>>) and continue the conversation. As Gartner is the largest of the analyst firms we expect the discussion will no doubt focus here; this will not be to the exclusion of all (or any) of the other analyst companies.
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IIAR Best Practices Webinar: Strategic Analyst Tiering For Digital Business

This new IIAR Best Practices Paper will be resented by Susan Galer (@smgaler, LinkedIn) in an IIAR Webinar moderated by Ludovic LeforestierLinkedIn @lludovic), Bearing Point and IIAR Board, this how-to webinar is designed to go beyond textbook best practices, providing step-by- step techniques you can put in place immediately to:susan-galer

  • cut through the noise and determine which analysts really matter to your company
  • forge ahead even when you don’t have a business plan from internal stakeholders
  • match your organization’s objectives to the analyst’s true scope of influence
  • answer hard questions to bridge the gap between expectations and reality

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[GUEST POST] Why AR comes before PR. Just look in the dictionary.

By Ian Gotts / Founder and CEO, (LinkedIn, @iangotts).

You’re an innovative and growing software vendor, I get that. You’ve got a fab new product that’s going drive dramatic benefits for enterprise customers, I get that.You’ve even got a blog to push out great customer stories now and then, I get that too.

But how do you accelerate growth without piling on expensive sales guys? And how do you make it easier for the large corporates to find you and get comfortable placing big orders with you?

ANSWER: You create relationships with the analyst community. And here’s why. Continue Reading →

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IIAR London Forum: Creating AR impact – are agencies an asset or a threat

To kickstart Q3 and the forthcoming events season, the U.K. Chapter of the IIAR  has organised an evening of healthy debate, intelligent content and responsible drinking.

The topic for our panel discussion is an evergreen one: should vendors keep AR in-house or could they benefit from external support? panel discussion2

Agenda – Wednesday 14th September 2016 – London

  • 1800: Welcome drinks
  • 1815: Welcome note & update by the IIAR Board
  • 1830: Tutorial: Case studies in Effective External AR support, Dominic Pannell /Buzz Method (LinkedIn, @buzzmethod)
  • 1900: Panel discussion – Creating AR impact – are agencies an asset or a threat?
    Chaired by Ludovic Leforestier /Bearing Point and IIAR Board (@lludovicLinkedIn) with

  • 2000: Analyst firm spotlight with Aditya KishoreHeavy Reading (an Informa company)
  • 2045: Drinking Class on Gin presented by Paulina Michelak, By The Bottle
  • 2115: networking sponsored by Tenderlake and By The Bottle – Networking Through Responsible Drinking

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[GUEST POST] Three ‘Must-have’ Anchor Points for Your Analyst Relations Program

Rishi GhaiBy Rishi Ghai (LinkedIn@rishi_ghai) Head – Analyst Relations, Corporate Communications, and Digital Marketing / Cyient

Launching an industry analyst relations (AR) program takes elaborate research and planning. Unlike simpler functions that a technology or service provider can delegate or outsource with minimal involvement, AR requires the continuous participation of stakeholders from a broad cross-section of the business––from corporate strategy to business-unit marketing, through to delivery and finance. Simplifying the creation of a new AR program requires defining its anchor points––the guiding forces necessary to give a direction to it and keep it on track.

Let’s take a look at three essential anchor points, which can serve as the compass of your organization’s AR program: Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Analyst Relations Best Practices: Seven Tips to Make Your Company a Star at Industry Analyst Events

By Caroline Dennington / Dennington AR (@CDenningtonLinkedIn).

Summer is upon us and though that means wet weather for Caroline Dennington in the UK and heatwaves and wildfires for Caroline’s writing partner Phil Nash, analyst relations (AR) professionals around the globe are getting ready for another busy event season with the industry influencers.

InfoSec and Forrester Forum have already taken place in London and once again, Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit in Washington, exceeded all expectations attracting a huge delegate audience and of course, hundreds of analysts!

With Symposium, IDC Directions, Catalyst, BlabkHat and numerous other major events such as Sibos and ACAMS on the calendar, how can AR Managers ensure they secure relevant analyst time at these events and importantly, engage their executives and sales personnel in meaningful conversations? Continue Reading →

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