Archive | Guest Post

[GUEST POST] Managing RFIs: 8 Best Practices for Analyst Relations Professionals

By Rishi Ghai (LinkedIn@rishi_ghai) Analyst Relations, Corporate Communications, and Digital Marketing / Cyient. 

Receiving a request for information (RFI) from an analyst firm often triggers two reactions among analyst relations (AR) professionals––first, the thrill and gratification of having the business on the radar of a relevant analyst; and second, the anxiety of responding to the RFI with comprehensive and accurate information.

Analyst-firm RFIs are complex beasts. Managed well, they can be a technology/service provider’s (TSPs) gateway to the much-coveted “star” ratings, rankings, and mentions in analyst firms’ research. On the contrary, poorly managed RFIs can end up misinforming analysts, leading them to build an inaccurate analysis of your company.

Responding to RFIs takes a lot of diligence, but the process can be simplified and made more manageable. Here are eight things you can do to ace RFIs and minimise the overwhelm. Continue Reading →

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So, You Did Well in an Industry Analyst Report… How Do You Get the Word Out?

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

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.

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[GUEST POST] 7 Ways to Grow Analyst Firm Business: A How-to-Collaborate Guide for Industry Analysts and Account Managers

TW - 7 Ways to Grow Analyst Firm Business - Collaboration Between Industry Analysts & Account ManagersBy Rishi Ghai (LinkedIn@rishi_ghai)

It’s universal––the bittersweet relationship between sales and delivery functions. Industry analyst firms are no exception. The subject of bringing in more business for analyst firms is perhaps the biggest cause of friction between account managers and industry analysts, especially where senior analysts have P&L responsibility.

A typical scenario plays out something like this: analysts, in their capacity as advisors, tend to enjoy greater proximity to technology/service providers and buyers––and assert to know more about business leads for the firm than account managers do. Account managers, on the other hand, tend to disagree and think that analysts aren’t willing to stretch beyond their comfort zones to bring in more dollars…and on the argument continues. Yet, once this friction is transmuted into collaboration, engagements with clients and prospects become richer and more consistent, and untapped business opportunities start to open up. Continue Reading →

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Analyst Briefings: The Delicate Business of Client References

By Vicki Jenkins/ Nelson Hall (LinkedIn@VickiJ_NH) 
This is the fourth in a series of blogs for AR professionals containing tips and pointers on how to optimize the relationship Vicki Jenkins / NelsonHallbetween 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 (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.

Continue Reading →

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[Guest Post] AR Planning Doesn’t Have to be Like Nailing Jell-O to a Tree

By Vicki Jenkins / NelsonHall  (LinkedIn,  @VickiJ_NH)

With a background as both an analyst relations (AR) professional and an industry analyst, I have seen what happens on both sides of the fence, and communication between the two sides is not always straightforward. Hence, this is the first in a series of blogs for AR professionals containing tips and pointers on how to ensure that the AR/analyst relationship stays smooth. Topics will include briefing preparation and follow-up plans, promotion plans for report placement, and industry analyst days. As it’s that time of year, I’ll start by taking a look at AR planning.  Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Do You Have a Digital Devil’s Advocate? You need one.

By Phil Hassey, CEO CapioIT (@PHassey, LinkedIn)Phil Hassey / CEO, capioIT (IIAR guest post)

Digital is truly transformational to an organizational ecosystem when it works, but it is increasingly runs the risk of significant corporate exposure and risk when it fails.  Unfortunately the failure of digital will lead to the reduction in innovation and down we spiral. No-one wins with that environment. Just ask Westfield/SCentre who had to completely alter their strategy for ticketless parking after capioIT identified major security issues in Nov. 2015 (Reference – Westfield may have a “Smarter Way to Park”, but the risk to individual privacy and security is not sma… http://wp.me/p15cZf-dy). Westfield simply was not in the position, or resourced the right individual to identify the unknown unknowns, or unintended consequences of the otherwise positive innovation of ticketless parking. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] The mysterious HfS business model… revealed

By Phil Fersht (@pfersht, LinkedIn) from HfS (@HfSResearch).

SuperHfSMan

So how do you build a business where not a lot of people understand how you make money and many assume you’re a not-for-profit that provides the industry with free research?

The answer is simple: flood the market with a daily dose of insight and have everyone feel part of what you are doing.  Make your information company open, social and collaborative; make everyone feel like they are a “client”, even when they are not. Make people want to spend time reading your stuff and also invite them to weigh in with their views and opinions. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] The Truth About Freemium Research

By Paul Connolly (@Paul_NH, LinkedIn) from Nelson Hall (@NHInsight).

For over a decade, freemium has been the ubiquitous business model for fledgling internet firms and the developers of smartphone apps. Users sign up for free to enable basic features, and are then drawn into subscribing to various levels of premium functionality. More recently, the freemium model has been the subject of considerable attention in the B2B market research space, with some rather extravagant claims and unsound thinking being used to herald it. Let’s have a closer look. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Building credibility to boost sales with IT Analyst Relations

By Sven Litke (@SvenLitke, LinkedIn), Kea Company, first published on Influencer Relations and Marketing.
Many thanks for allowing the IIAR to re-publish.

When talking to IT vendors eager to grow their business I usually come across a number of common challenges they face. One of the biggest issues which lies outside the companies (as opposed to e. g. finance requirements to fund the growth or adding enough skilled people to their workforce) is that once they are moving out of their comfort zone they are facing prospects that are much more skeptical than those in their home markets. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Gartner Updates: Notes from the AR regional briefing in the UK

By Henrietta Lacey-Gutsell / CGI (@henriettalacey, LinkedIn)

Gartner has its ‘listening hat’ on at the UK AR Regional BriefingNew methodologies introduced by Gartner

Gartner recently opened its doors to AR professionals with a day of presentations and interactive workshops targeted at the influencer relations community. The idea was to build on the AR forums given at the Gartner Symposium conferences and spend more time on topics that we, as AR professionals, have said we wanted to know more about.

Overall, it was an excellent event with a good balance of presentations and interactive discussions. The first panel slot was rather over staged and an over-run at the start of the day left little time for what must have been one of the most useful sessions of the day by David Black on Gartner reports and methodologies (“Gartner Update: Magic Quadrant Contextualization and Critical Capabilities”). See below for a summary of the updates. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Key Requirements for Vendors When Briefing Software Analysts

Natalie Petouhoff / Constellation (IIAR)By NataliePetouhoff (@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] Can you build a meaningful relationship with analysts, even if you don’t pay them?

By Eria Odhuba (@eodhuba, LinkedIn), resident analyst relations lead at The Comms Crowd 

“We have a problem with analysts,” I hear you say. “You have to buy analyst services to have a good relationship with them,” has got to be the most common phrase any analyst relations professional hears from colleagues.

Cynicism reigns when it comes to judging analysts, which reflects the way many of us might feel about the role they, and other influencers, have when recommending IT products or services.

Admittedly some are harder to engage than others if you do not have a subscription, but is that true of all Analyst Houses or is there a middle ground?

Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] This Thursday, learn what the new Ovum is up to: webinar with CEO Steve Hotham

By David Rossiter (LinkedIn@davidrossiter) from Sunesis,

The new CEO at OvumSteve Hotham, is hosting a webinar on Thursday this week (May 22nd 2014) at 1600 UK time.

It’s open to all AR professionals and users of the current Ovum and Informa Telecoms & Media (ITM) research services.

According to Claire Booty, PR manager for Ovum, Steve will use the webinar to explain the rationale behind the merger of Ovum and ITM, highlight its new products, research agenda, and introduce key staff appointments.

If you want to attend, just email Claire with the names, job roles and contact details of those who wish to attend. She’ll send you all the details.

 

 

About the author

David Rossiter (LinkedIn@davidrossiter) runs Sunesis, a specialist AR agency, and writes the Analyst Insight blog.  He is a former board member of the IIAR and is now co-chair of the UK chapter.

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[GUEST POST] 451 hires ex Ovum, Gartner chief to lead global research

Brett AzumaBy David Rossiter (LinkedIn, @davidrossiter) from Sunesis.

It was good to hear from Brett Azuma last week. He got in touch to let me know he’s just been appointed to lead the 60-strong analyst team at 451 Research.

If you don’t know him already, Brett’s an experienced and well-respected leader.  He’s previously held senior positions at Ovum, where he was managing director, and Gartner, where he was group vice president/chief analyst. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] “This position has now been filled” – IIAR and Job Postings

By Caroline Dennington / Symantec (@CDenningtonLinkedIn).

When the IIAR was first formed, one of its goals was to enable members to help each other achieve their goals. Primarily this has taken the form of sharing best practice, but we also recognised the value in publishing job postings – analyst relations is quite a specialist field, after all.

A logical place for IIAR member Logicalis to post an ad for a new Analyst Relations manager, therefore, was in the Jobs section of the IIAR web site.

Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Ode to the Analyst Firm Salesperson and Other Key Non-Analysts

By Peggy O’Neill (@pegoneill, LinkedIn) from Informatica.

I just survived Gartner Symposium in Orlando and as part of my regular post mortem, I analyze what went well and what I can do to improve the experience next year. A critical player for me this week is my Gartner salesperson, which got me thinking about how many AR managers neglect this key participant in their program.

Analyst firm salespeople are unsung heroes in the AR world because AR managers tend to overly focus on our analysts and overlook these useful resources. I remember one year when I was at Oracle OpenWorld, I took out my account execs for dinner one evening – no analysts, only my key salespeople from the major firms to a fun dinner as a thank you and hosted them, as usually it’s the salesperson hosting us. This was years ago so hopefully things have gotten better out there, but I was saddened when one of my account execs said it was the first time he saw an AR manager do something special for sales rather than for an analyst. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] When Your Company Takes Out Your Favorite Analyst

By Peggy O’Neill, AR Director / Informatica (LinkedIn).

It happens to the best of us. Your analyst relations program is humming along nicely – your analysts are behaving, your internal constituents under control – when one day, wham! You get a call from one of your SVPs sharing some exciting news! Joe Analyst, one of your company’s key advocates, has now joined your company.

AR managers will inevitably grapple with this scenario as analysts migrate to vendors often. Informatica took out two high profile analysts last year and I’ve experienced this at previous employers too. AR managers can expect certain behaviors when an analyst who used to cover your company comes inside, so your best bet is to prepare for when that day hits and take full advantage of the opportunity. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Crunching the analyst firm numbers – what do they tell us about Gartner, Forrester, IDC & others?

This post was originally posted by Dave Noble / IntelligenAR (LinkedIn@IntelligenAR) on his blog.

aji nagabon

Not all IT research is about numbers, but the IT analyst business definitely is. It’s a business after all, and if you don’t make the numbers, you don’t have a business. But what’s interesting is how many different ways there are to make the numbers stack up.

It’s somewhat ironic that while IT analyst firms often rely on public – and private – disclosure of information from both vendors and end-user organisations to make their prognostications, they often don’t like to reveal too much about their own businesses. The big public firms, Gartner & Forrester, disclose good detail about their revenues to meet their statutory requirements, and perhaps a little more, while the private firms tend to be fairly vague. Continue Reading →

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