Archive | AR Best practices

Effective Measurement: ARe we there yet?

IIAR laptop and post itsEffective 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 →

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[GUEST POST] Tips to Ensure a Productive Analyst Briefing

IIAR blog: illustration for post on briefing best practices by Cindy Zhou / ConstellationSince 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 :

Do:

  • 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.

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[GUEST POST] How to lose an industry analyst in 10 days (and ways)

Julia Pope / CC Group on the IIAR websiteA few months ago, I joined IIAR’s webinar focused on the IIAR Analyst Relations Professional and Team of the Year 2017. Every year, the IIAR awards analyst relations (AR) professionals and teams based on the results of an annual survey shared with the global industry analyst community. The survey gathers the analysts’ collective insight on AR professionals and their performance, and then the IIAR contrasts it with results from the previous year, based on level of responsiveness, relationship and results (also known as the IIAR’s Three R’s of AR). Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] How to Create a More Compelling Analyst Event

Yawning catI thoroughly enjoyed and could very much relate to Jon Reed’s recent post, How to screw up a vendor analyst day – in 12 simple steps. So much so that I’m inspired to write my own take on how to create a more compelling analyst event that’s more rewarding for all involved.

Vendors spend a lot of time and money on these events. Presumably, they want to deepen their relationships with analysts and influencers, and give them the insights they need to offer constructive feedback and provide perspectives to the broader market. However, like Jon, I’m constantly amazed at how often they seem to miss these marks–as evidenced by analysts that have tuned out to look at news, email or sports on their laptops or phones. So here are my suggestions for how to create an analyst day that will help you better engage with analysts. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Why AR Managers Should Fret About Quote Policies by Peggy O’Neill

Peggy O'Neill, Senior Director Analyst Relations @ InformaticaI’m the most hated person at my company today.

 

Informatica is holding its customer conference in a few weeks and we’re running around like chickens with our heads cut off to prepare for it. I just blasted out the most obnoxious email to colleagues who are preparing speeches for Informatica World, forcefully reminding them that any references to analyst research requires permission. I got a lot of eye rolling in response, but luckily no serious push back. Continue Reading →

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Common Misconceptions and 4 Key Areas Tech Start-ups Can Benefit from Industry Analyst Relations

 Photo: business man writing business strategy concept by Phenom Apps

Photo: business man writing business strategy concept by Phenom Apps

Industry Analyst Relations is often characterized as a “Pay to Play” endeavor with little opportunity for the bootstrapped tech venture; this is not the case. I would argue that there are opportunities for a dedicated Tech Startup to benefit from pursuing Industry Analyst Relations (IAR) even without a large budget to spend. Keep in mind Industry Analysts are knowledge focused experts and there can be equitable and beneficial exchanges of information for those who have put forth the effort to develop their Analyst Relations program and build the necessary relationships in the community. For those new to Industry Analyst Relations and who are considering the reasons to perform IAR, below are some common misconceptions, followed by four compelling reasons to develop an Industry Analyst Relations mission early in a Tech Startup. Continue Reading →

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IIAR Webinar: A Discussion on Effective AR Measurement and Amplification

On Friday 11th May 0800 PDT / 1100 EDT / 1600 BST, IIAR member Gerry Van Zandt (LinkedIn@gerryvz) from the Oracle Analyst Relations team will host an interactive discussion about how AR can better measure results, and more importantly how AR can better utilize these results.
AR managers and leaders tend to be highly focused on maximizing their firm’s placement in key analyst competitive evaluations, and improving what analysts are saying about their firm to their end-user clients.
However, the process doesn’t stop there!  Often, AR misses the more important aspect:  How can we as AR practitioners and leaders get our hard-earned results into the hands of the right people?  The sales and marketing teams; customer prospects; and existing customers?  How can we leverage and multiply the benefit of key analyst research to support the teams out there winning sales deals?

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IIAR Discussion Group: negotiating with Forrester. Are you getting the best value from your contract?

Feeling the pinch in your negotiation with Forrester on your subscription contract?Do you feel comfortable in buying the multiple seats being pushed your way? Is Forrester covering the technology and business areas that are important for you?  You’re not alone – many of your peers and IIAR members have commented (see the IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2017)

IIAR negotiating with forrester. aniruddho Mukherjee, ludovic leforestier

Forrester seems to force sell multiple seats, TEIs etc during renewals. Forrester analysts may be amongst the top IIAR Analyst of the Year 2017 but is Forrester seeing an exodus of top talent? As per the IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year 2017 survey, AR professionals mentioned that they felt a flip flop in Forrester’s focus on various key topics and verticals. Also the research subscription costs seem to be increasing at 10-20% yoy. They also felt that while Forrester had some great visualisation of data BUT insights were focused on niche topics like Customer Experience, Business Technology, Software and Marketing. Many Wave’s have not been renewed while others are renewed in an irregular cycle.

In past 2 years, Forrester has invested in its Consulting Practice and has been advising many end users on sourcing and business strategy. As per the IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year 2017 survey, AR professionals mentioned a lack of transparency with vendor firms on the ways of working between Forrester analysts and Forrester Consulting.

Building on our previous conversations (see links below), the IIAR will host an in-depth discussion with IIAR members, looking at Forrester’s commercial practices and explore potential solutions.

Date: 26th April 2018

Location: Webinar > REGISTER here

London based member can attend in person > pls fill in form below (Holborn).
Time: 1600pm GMT / 1700pm CET / 0700 PDT / 1000 EDT

Held under Chatham House Rule the discussion will be chaired by Aniruddho Mukherjee (@aniruddho, LinkedIn), IIAR UK Co-Lead and Head of AR and Branding, Europe for HCL Technologies) and Ludovic Leforestier (@lludovic, LinkedIn, IIAR co-founder and Director Influencer Relations at Criteo).

Of course, by attending you will not only have the opportunity to give your knowledge and opinions but also gain from that of others and have the advantage to submit questions directly. Let us have a lively discussion, the more of you that join in the better, so please don’t forget to REGISTER. Attending IIAR Events is free and restricted to AR professionals active members of the IIAR. So if you work at an analyst firm, we request you save yourself some time, have a beer and chill.

IIAR will act as channel for anonymised and aggregated IIAR Member feedback to Industry Analyst firms. This is to provide an opportunity for Industry Analyst firms to present their responses to ensure balanced view of the topic being discussed and help the industry effectively address the issues raised.

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IIAR Discussion Group: negotiating with IDC. Are you getting the best value from your contract?

Feeling the pinch in your negotiation with IDC on your subscription contract? Do you feel comfortable in buying the various Customer Segment (CS) 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 2017)

IIAR negotiating with IDC with Aniruddho Mukherjee and Ludovic Leforestier

IDC may be amongst the top IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year 2017 but are you getting the best value from your relationship? As per the IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year 2017 survey, AR professionals mentioned that they felt a push by IDC for running joint events, buying new CS which themselves are granular subset of the larger IDC CS access. As the analysts manage the P&L, they too seem to want to push buying multiple granular CS. 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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