Archive | AR briefing tips

[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 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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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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[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] Analyst Briefings: The Delicate Business of Client References, by Vicki Jenkins / Nelson Hal

Vicki Jenkins / NelsonHallThis 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 →

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[GUEST POST] Analyst Briefings: Preparing for Success, by Vicki Jenkins / Nelson Hall

By Vicki Jenkins / Nelson Hall (LinkedIn@VickiJ_NH) Vicki Jenkins / NelsonHall

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.

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[GUEST POST] Analyst Briefings: Are you a Strategic Team Member or the Note-Taker? by Vicki Jenkins / NelsonHall

Vicki Jenkins / NelsonHallBy Vicki Jenkins / NelsonHall  (LinkedIn,  @VickiJ_NH).

This is the second 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 the role of AR in the briefing process.

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[GUEST POST] Key Requirements for Vendors When Briefing Software Analysts, by Natalie Petouhoff / Constellation

Natalie Petouhoff / Constellation (IIAR)By Natalie Petouhoff (@drnatalie, LinkedIn) from Constellation Research.

In any given week, analysts hear many pitches. What may not be apparent is “How engaged is the analyst?” So if you are a vendor, how do you engage an analyst? First, don’t be one of those people who is more interested in getting through all your slides in the short period of time you have with the analyst versus really having an engaging conversation with the analyst. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Maximizing the impact of an analyst briefing – 2 of 2 by Richard Stiennon / IT-Harvest

 By: Richard Stiennon, Chief Research Analyst at IT-Harvest and a former VP of Research at Gartner

The second of a two-part blog on ’Maximizing the impact of an analyst briefing’. This is an adapted excerpt from Richard Stiennon’s book – Up and to the RIGHT: Strategy and Tactics of Analyst Influence. You can read part 1 here. The IIAR will be holding a webinar with Richard on October 4th to hear more about his book and IIAR members wishing to buy his book will receive a 50% discount.

Build a relationship

Every interaction with the analyst builds on your relationship but the briefing is a structured opportunity to establish a communication bond. It is important to identify who is going to represent the company to the analyst.  Contact consistency is key. If a different person briefs the analyst each time, they are not going to know anyone at your company at all. There are two separate bonds to create. The bond with the AR/PR person and the bond with the product person. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Maximizing the impact of an analyst briefing, by Richard Stiennon / IT-Harvest

By Richard Stiennon, Chief Research Analyst at IT-Harvest and a former VP of Research at Gartner (LinkedIn, @rstiennon)

In a two-part blog, the IIAR will be publishing an adapted excerpt from Richard Stiennon’s book – Up and to the RIGHT: Strategy and Tactics of Analyst Influence. In this post Richard provides some advice to AR pros on ‘Maximizing the impact of an analyst briefing’. The IIAR will be holding a webinar with Richard on October 4th to hear more about his book and IIAR members wishing to buy his book will receive a 50% discount.

Most analyst firms, including Gartner, do not charge for analyst briefings. Savvy PR professionals take advantage of this to get early recognition of their clients. The analyst briefing is one of the most important ways to influence a vendor’s position in the all important Gartner Magic Quadrant. With Gartner, the vetting process is more stringent than for an inquiry, which is another opportunity to interact with key analysts but is reserved for paying clients.  You have to fill out a briefing request and send it in. You should know beforehand which analysts you want on the call; if you appeal to more than one, you may get several on the call. A briefing is a rare opportunity to get a full hour of an analyst’s time. Follow this guide to maximize the impact of your analyst briefings. Continue Reading →

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The hype cycle of Vendor Briefing Requests

Have you ever submitted a vendor briefing request? For those of you who have, and for those who have yet to experience this joy, here’s a humorous and (perhaps only slightly) exaggerated description of the process and some insights into why AR people always seem to struggle with it.

What’s clear is that analysts and executives alike don’t know or care how complicated the process is and don’t appreciate AR folks sometimes …. especially when it goes wrong. I’m sure we all have stories of briefings going wrong before they have even started – because the dial-ins don’t work, or there’s a troublesome time-zone challenge, or because the IP-based telephone network decides to crash.
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How to structure an analyst briefing?

Ludovic Leforestier - IIAR Board MemberJames McGovern (@mcgoverntheory, LinkedIn) asked here how to structure a briefing.

Before you actually get started, figure out what you’re trying to achieve. Simply “engaging” and “developing the relationship” or “outreach to analysts” aren’t AR tactics that deliver outcomes, it just conveys you’ve got no clue of what needle you’re trying to move. Check the AR Compass for some thoughts on analyst relations impact.

Here are some of the past posts on the IIAR blog that dealt with the subject (full list below):

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[GUEST POST] Vendors: suggestions to maximize briefing value, by Carol Rozwell / Gartner

Carol Rozwell from Gartner (blog, @CRozwell, bio) kindly allowed us to reproduce here her post on Vendors: suggestions to maximize briefing value. It neatly complement her peer Linda Rowan from IDC’s Briefing tips and best practices.

 

Last week, I was treated to a number of interesting vendor briefings, the most engaging of which was conducted in Second Life. But despite having the opportunity to view some innovative product offerings, I also had to contend with some frustrating vendor practices. In the spirit of helping vendors maximize the short time they have for a briefing with an analyst, I offer my list of five worst practices I wish vendors would curtail:
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[GUEST POST] Briefing tips and best practices from Lisa Rowan / IDC

Analyst PhotoOur guest post today is from Lisa Rowan (@lisarowan), IDC’s Program Director for HR, Learning and Talent Strategies.  Read on for Lisa’s tips for briefing analysts from the analyst perspective.

There are excellent resources available to assist the AR profession including IIAR but on this side of the briefing table, it seems like that advice is not universally followed. As analysts we get a steady stream of requests for our time and often for a first introduction. I’d say that for the most part this goes well but there are some tips I thought might be worth underscoring to make the briefings effective for you and the analyst. For a lot of you, these might seem obvious but trust me that I wouldn’t write these tips if there weren’t situations where these things occur.
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Analysts: When you’re looking for a briefing – help me to help you

As much as Analyst Relations professionals spend time pitching briefings to analysts, we also spend alot of time fielding briefing requests from analysts with specific needs whodon’t always appreciate how much work is required to set up a briefing. Before we actually get everyone in the same room or on the phone, we AR professionals need to:

  • Understand the depth and scope of the information requested by the analyst: is it strategic, forward-looking and under NDA or is it available in existing content such as publicly delivered decks, collateral or online content
  • Identify the right spokesperson(s): is she/he authorised? AR trained? Does he/she have all the knowledge or do we need multiple spokespeople?
  • Select the best delivery method for this content and how long will it take: are we talking about an all-day live demo or will a series of shorter phone-based conversations do the trick?
  • Make sure the content is right: Does the spokesperson knows how does this fit into the overall corporate messages? If based locally, is the spokesperson familiar enough with the Corporate content and possible future releases and other upcoming stuff?
  • Do we need to include customer or partner evidence and, if so, what form does that need to take: a case study or a phone call w/ an actual customer?

We then need to steal time from those people’s day. For instance, if it’s a local briefing using pre-sales, how can we justify spending one full day of on screen demo with a local analyst when that resource could be working on a RFI for an important deal?

All that is not always easy, even if good AR folks are like swans: maintaining serene appearances while paddling frantically.

How can analysts help then? By being specific and actionable. For instance, if you just write a show email asking for a meeting like the one below, it doesn’t contain enough information to be truly actionable:

Good morning dear X,
How are you? Very well I hope. I have learnt that you had taken over responsibility for topic X at Vendor A.
I just wanted to make sure you knew that our firm had invested in the space and we now have a full time analyst covering topic X. His name is Y.
Could we schedule some time to meet, and we could perhaps meet some people on your team?

The easiest is to send us a professional (rather than personal), corporate-sounding email, that we can easily forward stating the following:

  • Who you are and what your firm does?
  • Your areas of coverage?
  • How the briefing you’re asking fits into your research schedule?
  • What is the research process you’re using?
  • What’s the end deliverable? A report? How long? Does it mention other vendors? Who’s the intended audience?
    Etc….

It doesn’t need to be War and Peace but it does need to contain enough information to help the AR professional fulfil your request as quickly and completely as possible.

Thanks to Naomi Higgins for her contribution to this post.

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Gartner improves the vendor briefing process

In the most recent Gartner Analyst Relations Newsletter, Peter Kalinowski explains how the Vendor
Briefings
process has been simplified based on feedback received from AR professionals.

Amongst other things, all analysts now have access to the materials and the scheduling is easier. Also, vendors are getting a single point of contact -a welcome return to the client relationship model that META Group used.

This is a great improvement however some other questions like materials under NDA and access by Gartner’s consultants have been raised at the last IIAR Forum and would merit being clarified.

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