Archive | AR debates

Why do you need AR when you have PR?

I’m often asked why bother with AR when there’s already a fully-fledged PR team? To many analysts and AR pros, this may sound like a strange question, after all do you ask an electrician to do the plumbing?

However, I’ve seen many times in large corporations PR folks coming to manage AR teams (not always successfully I must say) and in small companies marketing types having to do AR on top of the rest (sometimes very successfully if not consistently).

Many AR pros, when asked will tell you analysts hate being dealt with by PR people. Analysts in fact hate being treated like journalists: sent a lot of content, not deep enough and expected to produce coverage. Continue Reading →

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Four ways analysts must respond to the crisis

The IIAR’s developing discussion on the crisis in AR (reflected by analysts’ declining comfort in recommending solutions) took interesting turn recently. In the the institute’s second conference call on the topic, I was asked to spell out suggestions for how analysts can reverse the falling quality of information sharing by vendors, which is the root cause of analysts’ lowering confidence. These are my four suggestions. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] An Analyst’s Take on the Crisis in AR by Saverio Romeo / Frost & Sullivan

A New Approach to Market Analysis for the Evolving Mobile Communications Industry 

An argument in favour of multi-disciplinary analysts

By: Saverio Romeo, Frost 

The mobile communications industry has been infrastructure-centric for a long time. The core has been the network. The value added has been the services offered on this network. For many years, voice communications was the only service available. Then the launch of SMS brought enormous success to the mobile industry. But it also spread the fever for a “killer application”: When the success of SMS started to diminish and voice and messaging began to be transformed into commodities, the industry made parabolic journeys in order to find the next “killer application”. But the new Holy Grail was far from arriving. Continue Reading →

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[IIAR Teleconference] There’s a crisis in analyst relations

After more than a decade consulting to analyst relations teams, and some year before as an analyst, I’m seeing a deep, and deepening, crisis in analyst relations. It’s reflected in hard data from surveys of analysts and, in discussions over the last few weeks with AR colleagues in the hub of that crisis (the USA), I’m seeing it confirmed by the experiences and challenges facing AR professionals. Continue Reading →

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IIAR discussion group – So Where AR You Going?

Recently, the IIAR held a discussion group on AR careers following a series of blog posts by Marc Duke (@marcduke) on this topic.

AR still suffers from being in the shadow of PR and like Marc, most of those taking part in the call had fallen into AR careers by accident. What can we do, as an industry, to spread the word?

Fionnula Fitzsimons (@fionnula) from Bite Communications and Stephen England (@sfengland) from KCG emphasised that we need to do more PR to differentiate ourselves from PR. KCG estimates that there are about 1,500 full-time AR professionals globally – tiny in comparison to those engaged in PR. Even the investor relations community, perhaps the closest in terms of job function to AR, boasts around 100,000 members.
It’s difficult for such a small group to make much noise, and AR is a difficult story to tell. How many of our families really understand what it is that we do? The responsibility rests with us as AR managers to keep educating those around us on the value of analysts and AR to our organisations. As Stephen England put it, “if we each teach one PR person, one marketing person, and one sales person a quarter of what we do, our ecosystem would increase dramatically.” Marc Duke also felt that the IIAR could help raise the profile of AR by getting more content into the mainstream technology and marketing/PR trade press. Continue Reading →

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So Where AR You Going? – part 2

8In the second of his series of guest posts on AR careers, Marc Duke  (blog, @marcduke) looks at the skills required to succeed in AR and how to keep them in good shape.

The IIAR will also be hosting a teleconference for members to discuss the issues raised on May 3rd at 4 pm BST/11 am EDT.

So what does AR do then…?

Without wishing to sound trite, the answer to this question is dependent on a number of factors such as:

  • Size of company
  • Size of team
  • Experience/expertise of staff
  • How “AR-friendly” the organisation is

AR can cover any of the following:

  • Proactive outbound communications to support PR, marketing and sales
  • Inbound communications to support product or business strategy development
  • Reactive communication to support research questions and consulting requests from the analysts 

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So Where AR You Going? – part 1

What do you need to do to reach the top level in AR? Is it vital to work in the US? And what’s the future for the role of analyst relations? In a series of guest posts, Marc Duke (blog, @marcduke) will be looking at the issues surrounding AR careers and at how things may evolve in the coming years.

It’s a topic that’s important to all of us who work in AR and we welcome your thoughts and comments. The IIAR will also be hosting a teleconference for members to discuss the issues raised on May 3rd at 4 pm BST/11 am EDT.

I first encountered the heady world of AR in 1997 as a lowly account executive. The PR agency I worked for, Text 100, was the main agency for Microsoft in Europe. It had a very, very small AR programme which was passed around and found its way to me. That’s where my AR journey began. As the AR profession has matured, the question of where AR as a career is going is a serious one that merits consideration.

As part of the research for this piece, I spoke to several IIAR members to get a picture of their experience and thoughts on how their AR careers are likely to develop. I’ll try to summarise their perspectives and mine, with the hope of stimulating further debate on a topic which is as current as any other issue in the AR community.

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Gartner Wields the Most Influential Influencers, Peers, Not Analysts

A Glimpse into Peer Connect

Every AR person knows that many of the most influential analysts in the information technology industry work at Gartner.  But analysts are not the most influential influencers out there, peers are – IT buyerPicture showing ranking of influencerss and practitioners most trust the insights of other IT buyers and practitioners who have been through similar buying and implementation processes. The historical blockades to peer-to-peer exchange, however, have been (a) finding qualified peers and (b) providing a safe harbor for peers that prefer to remain anonymous in order
to participate. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Money, analyst attention, and implied analyst endorsement by Curt Monash / Monash Research

This post, first published on Strategic Messaging,  is reposted here courtesy of the author, Curt Monash (bio, @curtmonash)”

This was and is meant to be a generally-applicable post. It just turns out to be laced with examples from my own experiences. I hope those aren’t too distracting from the broader points.

It is widely believed among analyst relations professionals that one should engage the services of the analysts most influential in one’s industry, in the hope that the analysts one pays will speak well of one’s company, publicly or privately as the case may be. Thus, the best way for an analyst to make money is:

  • Become influential in the industry s/he covers.
  • Say nice things about the companies in it, especially the ones with larger budgets.

On the whole, I think I do better at the first of those tasks than the second.

Sometimes the connection between money and saying nice things is pretty blatant. For example, I’m often asked “Hey, would you be interested in doing a white paper that highlights our product’s advantages?” Unfortunately for my bank account, I almost never think it’s a good idea to accept the commission. It’s not that I dispute that it is possible to be ethical when writing white papers. I just don’t find it easy. And frankly, even analysts I regard as ethical commonly turn out white papers with somewhat more bias than I like to see in documents carrying my name.

Even more directly, I’m occasionally grilled to the effect “Is your view of us sufficiently favorable that we should retain your services?” Those discussions generally don’t end up in a paying relationship, but so be it; the companies who do that aren’t clients I’d much enjoy having anyway.


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[GUEST POST] Trends: Influencers Aspire For Market Maker Status by Ray Wang / Constellation

(This post is cross-posted on the SoftwareInsider blog.)

Eight Major Influencer Types Exist Today

Analyst relations, public relations, influencer relations and other interested parties have witnessed the rapidly evolving and emerging buy-side and market influencer models.  In the past, eight influencer types followed five distinct traits (see Figure 1):

  1. Fame. Awareness, notoriety, perceived market status.
  2. Fortune. Billing rates, wealth, earnings.
  3. Market impact. Buy-side decisions making, sell-side product direction.
  4. Personal impact. Individual decisions, behaviour changes.
  5. Initial business model. Revenue drivers, monetization strategy.

Figure 1. Five Traits Of The Major Influencer Types

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Gartner details the MQ process

Magic Quadrant ChartFollowing some debate on Quora ( How much does it cost to be included in Gartner Magic Quadrant?,  do make sure you check Nancy Erskine’s answer), Lydia Leong from Gartner did publish a very useful blog post on The process of a Magic Quadrant.

Gartner’s MQ continues to be the source of much debate, mostly since it pits vendors against each others some are bound to be disappointed (a MQ with all vendors in the leaders quadrant won’t probably be of much use to IT buyers).
Gartner has overhauled the process in the last 5 years and made it quite robust now, though the weightings and ratings are still not publicised (a key difference with Forrester’s wave and IDC’s Decision matrixShort List).

No one asked for my opinions, so here they are:

  • it’s better to be in than not, even if in the niche quadrant
  • an MQ is better than a Marketscope (I don’t like rating vendors against a linear scale because it implies you should choose the one to the right)
  • an MQ is still only 2 dimensions (hear below Gideon Gartner on this point)
  • allocate enough time, about 100-120 man hours per MQ on the vendor side
  • make sure you manage your constituents expectations and get their support
  • IIAR members should read @edgyurko’s Best Practice Paper (link below)

Does this help? What is your experience? Do you have any tips?


Related posts:


13/1/11 edit: corrected the “IDC MQ” name after Vuk’s comment (below).

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[GUEST POST] It’s the quality of the quantity that counts…..

Today’s post is from Mark Duke (blog, @marcduke, LinkedIn), who is an independent AR consultant. See also this post on AR measurements by @elliewarner.

I picked up on Forrester AR discussion about examples of the quantified business value generated by AR. (see here) for full details. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Outsourcing Analyst Relations: A viable option? by Fred McClimans

By Fred McClimans / Current Ventures (LinkedIn, @fredmcclimans)

Last week I participated in an interesting discussion regarding influence and the role of analyst relations (AR) – specifically around the issue of how AR staff could increase their influence through a variety of different mechanisms or channels. But one key point that kept creeping into the conversation was one of limited resources: “we simply don’t have the staff to aggressively pursue everything that we would like to accomplish” (a point echoed by many in smaller or fast-growing firms).

After a bit of digging, two basic issues kept making their way into the discussion: a lack of full-time resources and a lack of “R”-level funding (which is often split between Analyst Relations, Investor Relations, Public Relations and Marketing).

That said, there seemed to be a general consensus that yes, there are “parts” of the AR function, regardless of the size of the firm, that could be outsourced based on the size/type of organization, the goals that need to be accomplished and the availability of “outside” resources (or more importantly, funding) – all with the understanding that there must be an accountable person in-house to properly manage and drive the effort. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Help – I have just hit the glass ceiling

Posted originally on Marcduke’s Blog, thanks to Mark for his permission to repost.

I have been having a number of great conversations with members of the AR fraternity about all things AR. Smart people whose work I respect and opinions I value too.

One of the comments that really got me thinking (and now finally blogging) was as follows (paraphrased as this was a conversation I had a while back):

‘The problem I have is that I feel I have hit a glass ceiling with AR, there is only so far I can go with it. Plus in the organisation I work in, its part of the PR framework and I feel there is a limit to what I can do’

Is that really the case??? At an analyst event I put this view to an analyst and got a very interesting response:

‘Yes I deal with some really smart AR people, they really understand how we work and how to make things happen for us, and we likewise help them as well, but some take too short-sighted a view about working with analysts and need to look further than the briefing/messaging process’

In effect it comes down to what you make of AR, I have written in the past about marketing oriented AR and feel that this is the key to breaking the glass ceiling. I for one will always look at ways to push the boundaries!

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AR and social media: it’s the interaction stupid!

I’m back from the Forrester IT Forum last week, where I was invited to the AR Council (thank you @liz_pellegrini).
There I stumbled on a nice graph (right) published on John Rymer’s blogs and thought it summarises pretty well why AR should care about SocMed.
My research lifecycle
Many of my peers see blogs as an output for free research and Twitter as drinking from a chit-chat firehose. My argument there is that they’re missing the point.

Here’s the reasoning:

  1. Social media is declarative (people say what they want, where they want and choose to participate or not). This means you need to interact with a given audience where they are -on Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn or in the good old fashion way, at the pub. And chose the appropriate topic for the appropriate channel.
  2. Social media is a conversation -it’s the place to discuss and interact. I take many briefing requests from analysts on Twitter, post some comments on their blogs (if I’ve got something relevant to say and that complies with my employer’s blogging guidelines), all that to say it’s not a one way street.
  3. DO: use SocMed as a research tool. John is illustrating well how an analyst can test an idea, exchange with other analysts (this point is far tool little documented actually), etc.  But it’s also a great research tool for AR pros to see what analysts are thinking about.
  4. Timing is everything. Research is nothing if not followed up by actions: being better connected with web 2.0 tools allows AR managers to insert the right proofpoint, topic, idea, in a conversation with much better chances of being picked up by analysts because it’s more relevant to their research agenda. The idea is to switch away from being reactive to being more proactive.

Nothing really revolutionary as good AR mangers already do all this by calling regularly their key analysts, but social media is a conversation accelerator, allowing AR pros to follow more analysts and interact with them in a more timely and proactive fashion.

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Proteiform Analystus -the multichannel dilemna for IT analysis firms in the socmed era

I was reading Merv’s post on Analysts Don’t List Themselves on Social Media « Merv’s Market Strategies for IT Suppliers and it coiincidentally resonated with a conversation I was having this week with an account manager at an IT analysis research form.

Merv’s point that twitter handles and blogs are not listed on analyst bios raises a good point: I mean surely this is so obvious that someone should have thought about it already. After some checking, someone already came up with this IDEAs (sorry, bad play on word but it’s Friday).

My comment on Merv’s blog was:

Going even further, when I do a search on, or, I would expect the blog posts to come up as well.

Why is the blog content not aggregated in the research portals???

Indeed. In today’s two-zero’s world, analyst output is proteiform (see Should the analysts be blogging?), so why segregate it by channel?

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[GUEST POST] Josh “Groundswell” Bernoff on What do analysts actually do?

Josh50_2Josh Bernoff, yes as in Josh Groundswell Bernoff, from Forrester posted recently a great post on what analysts actually do. Now, it’s not a new subject but it’s still pretty difficult to explain to your mother. Joes does it elegantly and kindly accepted my request to reblog it here. Thank you @jbernoff!

PS: another thing about Josh, is that he’s got a really great job title: Senior VP, Idea Development
Forrester Research. That’s quite cool I thought….

What do analysts actually do?

As you think about the debate about Forrester’s blogging policy, I’d like to share a little more about how the opinions you read from Forrester analysts come about. With 15 years experience in this business, I know it’s a collaboration. The analyst needs data and support from the company, and the company needs the analyst’s brain and benefits from the reputation that analysts build up. A lot of time, resources, and quality standards go into what we do. I’d like to take you inside the relationship between analysts and Forrester. This is a long post, because there’s a lot that goes into what we do. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Analyst Relations Basics – part three

NB This is a cross-post from the Buzz Method blog, where it was originally posted in February 2010 as the third in a series of articles on Analyst Relations basics. Please note that the views expressed within the article do not necessarily reflect those of the IIAR – they are the opinion of Dominic Pannell, founder of Buzz Method Ltd.

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[GUEST POST] Analyst Relations Basics – part two

NB This is a cross-post from the Buzz Method blog, where it was originally posted in November 2009 as the second in a series of articles on Analyst Relations basics. Please note that the views expressed within the article do not necessarily reflect those of the IIAR – they are the opinion of Dominic Pannell, founder of Buzz Method Ltd.

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