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 →
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, @) 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.
Registration is required, attendance is free for IIAR Members, non members should contact the IIAR Community Manager: Maria Ashton (mashton at analystrelations dot org) for options.
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.
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.
Continue Reading →
This new IIAR Best Practices Paper will be resented by Susan Galer (@smgaler, LinkedIn) in an IIAR Webinar moderated by Ludovic Leforestier ( LinkedIn @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:
- 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
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 →
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.
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 (@lludovic, LinkedIn) with
- 2000: Analyst firm spotlight with Aditya Kishore / Heavy 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
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 →
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 →
Peggy O’Neill, Senior Director, Analyst Relations at Informatica, (@pegoneill, LinkedIn) is the IIAR AR Professional of the Year 2016 for North America. In this interview, she discloses a few best AR practices from her own shop.
- What’s been your career path to becoming an AR pro?
I was a former analyst at Gartner and Nielsen/NetRatings and Oracle recruited me to head its analyst relations program in 2001.
The IIAR German Chapter is planning a networking event in a Munich Beer Garden, AR professionals and analysts alike are invited. One of Munich’s famous beer gardens will provide a great relaxed environment in which to exchange news and experiences of the AR world.
As a key topic for this Stammtisch, we’ve chosen “How Analyst Relations and Sales need to become best friends”. Understanding the changing sourcing patterns in the wake of digitization is key for Analyst Relations Professionals aiming at supporting effectively sales and marketing.
Crisp Research will speak about the changing business models of analyst houses vis-à-vis the digital transformation and the changing sourcing strategies. Continue Reading →
By Vicki Jenkins/ Nelson Hall (LinkedIn, @)
This is the fifth in a series of blogs for AR professionals containing tips and pointers on how to optimize the relationship between AR and industry analysts. Here I take a look at promoting your organization’s inclusion in an analyst report.
Often times, before committing to participating in an industry analyst report, subject matter experts will say to their AR colleagues, ‘What happened with the last report we participated in? What did we get out of it?’ In many organizations, it’s not realistic to send the report to the marketing team simply asking them to leverage it, as they have many other commitments and deliverables and might not understand the value of the report and how to make best use of it internally or externally.
Based on my background as both an AR professional and an industry analyst, I and NelsonHall colleagues have put together guidelines for planning promotional campaigns to communicate positioning in analyst reports, using NelsonHall’s (vendor) Evaluation & Assessment Tool (NEAT) reports as an example. NEAT reports help strategic sourcing managers to evaluate outsourcing vendors, and consists of a two-axis model: assessing vendors against their ability “to deliver immediate benefits” to clients and their ability “to meet clients’ future requirements”.
Plan for promotional rights
When participating in industry analyst reports, it is important to secure budgetary funds for promotional rights (or ‘reprint rights’ in old terminology). If your organization does well, the rights will be needed to promote your organization’s position in the report. In the case of NelsonHall’s NEAT, promotional rights allow vendors to use the NEAT graphs, supported by quotes from NelsonHall analysts, as part of their service marketing initiatives (e.g. in marketing collateral, press releases, news articles, social media, websites, etc.). NelsonHall also delivers a bespoke report containing a summary analysis of the vendor’s capabilities within the specific service type (including financials, strategic direction, and strengths), plus the latest market analysis summary for the service in question.
NelsonHall and most other industry analyst firms have guidelines on how the reports can be used and have a review process regarding their usage.
Promote your positioning internally to support external campaigns
Promotional rights of analyst reports typically allow promotion for an agreed upon timeframe. The extent to which a vendor is able to leverage the promotional rights depends on being able to communicate their positioning effectively within their organization, and to encourage usage.
In reaching out to colleagues across the business, explain the significance of your positioning as well as the potential benefits to your organization. Make sure the personnel that participated in the report preparation, briefing, and securing of client references are made aware of the analyst firm positioning of your organization.
Make it as easy as possible for colleagues to leverage promotional rights by, for example:
- Getting approved analyst quotes
- Preparing slides for internal departments to use externally. Usage examples include sales presentations and inclusion by solutioning employees in proposal responses
- Developing brief articles (or simply bullet lists) based on the report
NelsonHall recommends vendors share their NEAT positioning with the departments listed below and provide direction on how it can be leveraged:
- Marketing/Social Media:
- Develop some one- or two-line quotes or facts about positioning to be used as tweets
- Share a link to a news release about your positioning, to be posted on LinkedIn, Facebook or other social media used by your company
- Place an article about your positioning in client and employee newsletters
- Seek opportunities to include your positioning in marketing brochures, marketing campaigns, annual reports, and if applicable earnings scripts
- Develop an e-mail marketing campaign about your positioning.
- Web Team:
- Explain the significance of your positioning and ensure the NEAT graph(s) have strong website real estate for the full duration of the promotional rights(in my time as an AR professional, I once paid for reprint rights for a year, only for the web team to remove the relevant collateral from the website after a month! I had to remind the team of the value of the reprint rights in order to get the web post reinstated)
- Ensure the NEAT graph is accompanied by key benefits and include a quote as well
- Provide a link to the NEAT report.
- Public Relations:
- Draft a news release
- Provide the NEAT graph(s)
- Ensure the news release is shared with key global media contacts as well as trade media, and local media where the company has contacts and a presence.
Following these simple guidelines can help AR to ensure that their business gets the most mileage from their participation and positioning in an industry analyst report such as NelsonHall’s NEAT series.
By Vicki Jenkins/ Nelson Hall (LinkedIn, @)
This is the fourth in a series of blogs for AR professionals containing tips and pointers on how to optimize the relationship between AR and industry analysts. Here I take a look at using client references and case studies in the briefing process.
Quite often, participating in an analyst report requires providing client references as part of the briefing process, and in the area of outsourcing these can be rather difficult to secure. It is important to develop relationships with your sales and client services teams and to let them know about upcoming analyst reports that will require references so they can assist you without it being a fire drill. Knowing that references are required well in advance also enables your colleagues to select references appropriately, and avoid overusing certain clients where they are handling multiple requests for the client’s time. Continue Reading →
This is the third in a series of blogs for AR professionals containing tips and pointers on how to optimize the relationship between AR and industry analysts. Here I take a more detailed look at preparing for analyst briefings.
I’ve been an AR professional for 15 years now and work for a variety of technology and telecoms companies (large and small). Some have Gartner contracts, some don’t.
I have never seen or heard of any evidence that says you can buy your way on to a Magic Quadrant. Nor does the amount of money you spend influence where you appear on the MQ.
My personal experience supports that. I’ve had clients who spend a lot of money with Gartner fail to be included on an MQ (or be included but not where they wanted to be). I’ve had clients who spend no money with Gartner be included on an MQ – and in good positions. Continue Reading →
A fellow AR manager called recently to weep on my shoulder. She wanted a sanity check about setting internal expectations on what analyst relations could or could not do as her executives were making demands she considered outlandish. She sought my unvarnished opinion about the requests involved in case they were possible and she needed to step up her game.
I listened in disbelief to what her execs were asking for, probed for more details, and I’m sad to report that at the end of the conversation we concluded it was time for her to leave her company as she was working at an outfit where the culture and expectations were antithetical to a successful analyst relations program. Continue Reading →
One of the biggest misconceptions about Analyst Relations is that you need megabucks or unlimited budgets in order to succeed. Of course, having the financial muscle to engage with analysts will ultimately get you further – and help drive deeper relationships with your Tier One analysts, but you can also do it on a budget. Continue Reading →
A growing issue for AR pros and their companies is defining what ‘digital’ means. Or, more importantly, understanding how the different industry analyst firms define digital and “digital transformation”. It is certain that digital will “disrupt”, and that more existing businesses will get ‘Uber-ed”, as one of our panellists put it. However what is less clear is just how and where digital transformation will impact existing business models over the next few years, as well as what the opportunities and threats will emerge from digital. How might the AR pro navigate the new digital landscape when briefing and engaging with industry analysts firms? These were just some of the questions posed to a distinguished panel of leading industry analysts at the latest IIAR event hosted at the glamourous Heron Tower on August 13th 2015.
Aniruddho Mukherjee of the IIAR kicking off the evening with an overview and update on IIAR to its members,whilst Debleena Paul and Neil Pollock also both from the IIAR look on
|Is 2015 a tipping point in terms of digital transformation?|
The convenor, Debleena Paul, got the ball rolling by asking the panellists whether 2015 is a tipping point in terms of digital transformation. Are digital technologies beginning to bring the kind of disruption that has been promised for some time? Marianne Kolding (Vice President and Executive Sponsor, European Digital Transformation Practice at IDC) responded that it was coming but that it was not there yet. A lot of firms have it on their agenda and are “dabbling”, but change wasn’t happening everywhere. Tim Walters (Co-founder and Principal Analyst at Digital Clarity Group), saw that ‘phase 1’ of the change had occurred, where companies beginning to educate the public about how digital was something that they would need, but that ‘phase 2’, where companies were beginning to think about what they were going to do about it, was only just beginning.
Pictured, from left to right, Debleena Paul (IIAR), Dominic Trott (PAC), Tom Reuner (HfS), Gerry Brown (Ovum), Tim Walters (DCG), Marianne Kolding (IDC)
|Digital transformation can be anything. The first problem is identifying it, says Gerry Brown from Ovum|
Very quickly the panellists got to the issue plaguing discussions of digital transformation thus far: What exactly is it? Tom Reuner (Managing Director for IT Outsourcing Research at HfS), thought that digital transformation meant different things to different people. The term was being used by everyone simply as a place holder. Debleena quizzed the panellists on what their definition was – noting how each industry analyst firm seemed to have a different conception of digital transformation.
|Digital transformation is a process, not a project, says Marianne Kolding from IDC|
Marianne Kolding told the audience that IDC saw digital transformation as where the business model for the company was fundamentally changed. This was both in the way it served its customers but also how its employees operated. For IDC, digital transformation was not just about reconfiguring the front-end but also transforming back office processes. Firms had to build a new way of looking at technology. Digital transformation cannot simply be another project, she argued, it has to be a process. Dominic Trott, (Senior Analyst Digital Business at PAC), told the audience that PAC has two definitions for digital transformation. The first is tackling the front end where the company attempts to build tighter customer interactions but the second is a broader change in culture and mindset in terms of reorganising the business around the needs of the customer.
Debleena Paul (IIAR) grills Dominic Trott (PAC)
|Digital is a wave but has unexpected force, Tim Walters from DCG notes that companies need to understand and react appropriately to the energy|
Tim Walters reminded the audience that the kinds and amount of change that companies were undergoing today was not unprecedented. Companies had been subject to similar waves of change through earlier technologies. And like these waves before companies needed to understand and react to the specific energy in the wave. What is different this time, argued Tim, was that whereas in past waves it was the company that led the change, this time around it is the consumer that is empowered; it is the customer that is driving the change.
Tim Walters and Gerry brown debating the finer points of the digital ecosystem
|AR Pro Tip 101 on how to improve a presentation: Ask the analyst what they would find valuable!|
The conversation turned to how AR pros might improve the way they present their companies digital transformation strategy to industry analysts. Here, rather than dissensus, there was much agreement. Tom Reuner strongly pushed for companies not to present technologies but “narratives”. Companies needed to come up with narratives which were true for their organisation as they were for the problems experienced by their customers. Rather than standard ‘corporate decks’, Gerry Brown, (Senior Analyst, Customer Engagement in Digital Technology at Ovum), wanted to hear ‘war stories’. This includes what has worked and what hasn’t; the upsides and downsides of the digital transformation strategy. Tim Walters was similarly interested in hearing the ‘process’ by which the company understands their customers’ problems. He was much less interested in companies telling him what they can do, but rather how they were now doing things they couldn’t do before, because a client has a new problem and has asked for it.
Your Point of View!
You’re read what we think. We’d love to hear your point of view on what digital transformation might mean for companies and how AR pros could do a better job of communicating their transformation strategies to industry analysts and others. We’re working on a longer version of this blog post, and would like to incorporate your feedback into a white paper that would be circulated with IIAR members. Let us know your experiences. Add your comments to the blog or email us.
It wasn’t all digital transformation, however. There was also time for some of the event attendees to enjoy an expert talk on the famous Heron building fish tank! We learnt it was the largest privately owned fish tank in Europe, and the names of quite a few fish too!
Over the last 12 years, my colleagues and I have run dozens of webinars and telephone conferences to address the most frequently asked questions of analyst relations managers. This week I’ve been running the numbers, looking to see which topics got the most attention. Several of these topics were used more for than one event and, indeed, looking back even to 2003 I can see that some of the topics are timeless. Five thoughts come to mind. Continue Reading →
Last week, the second German IIAR Stammtisch gathered AR professionals and analysts for a private dining event in central Munich, this led into an interesting and enjoyable discussion about AR measurement. The overarching question was how to best communicate internally the value analysts can bring to the business, and the value of well managed communications between vendors and analysts.
“Why should I speak to this analyst” is a question AR pros are often confronted with. The pressure on AR pros has risen during the past years in terms of showing the return of investments gained through analyst relations and showing the value analysts can bring. In recent years expectations have both grown and changed. Analysts are well aware of the new challenges, and eager to learn how to address.
In past years reports, whitepapers and analyst advice were naturally part of the relationship, today budgets are tighter in many companies, and investments in analyst insights have shrunk. Or teams became smaller, and bandwidth more limited to support research projects. Even more important becomes the task to explain to the internal stakeholders the treasures analysts can open up for them, and the value they can bring to the business.
AR professionals can face very different challenges. For example, an AR manager working for a new company in a niche market and a strong growth rate may face different challenges to an AR manager working for a large and established player in a saturated market. At the IIAR Stammtisch we exchanged about the specific pain points each of these AR managers might experience and the differing ways forward.
AR professionals and analysts have a common interest – proof the value of their work. Whilst we can’t do without AR measurement this has to be a value discussion rather than a simply a counting exercise, like counting the number of reports, the number of tweets, of interactions and so forth. AR pros and analysts need to join forces and seek ways to provide value to both sides and proof of the value delivered. The German Stammtisch, as part of the IIAR, will explore quantitative value measurement of Company+AR+Analyst interactions for a future IIAR Best Practice Paper.
Look out for more updates on this topic. We welcome your thoughts and experiences, leave a comment below – how do you show value delivered ?
Author – Yvonne Kaupp, IIAR Board Member and Lead for the IIAR German Chapter
What – IIAR Discussion Group – Negotiating your Contract with Gartner
When – Thursday the 22nd January 2015 @ 4pm GMT, 5pm CET, 12 Noon – New York
Where – IIAR Webinar
Who: Discussion initiated and will be chaired by Aniruddho Mukherjee (Head of AR and Branding Manager, Europe for HCL Technologies)
Register Here – To attend please REGISTER <<HERE>>, now