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

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

[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

[GUEST POST] The Final Countdown… or how to survive attending MWC 2013

By: Suzannah Archibald, Senior Marketing Executive, Loudhouse Marketing Consultancy

Suzannah Archibald works in the influencer marketing team at Loudhouse (www.loudhouse.co.uk), a B2B marketing services consultancy based in south London.  Find her on Twitter @suzannah_a, LinkedIn or on Suzannah@loudhouse.co.uk

 

It’s that time of year again. When all thoughts turn to the biggest global mobile technology and applications showcase in the world, Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress (MWC). Held each year by the GSMA, the show unveils some key yearly indicators that any attending exhibitor, press member, or aspiring Steve Jobs-acolyte should know about mobile.

According to a recent IIAR webcast I listened into with industry analysts Keith Humphreys of euroLAN and Catherine Haslam of Ovum, as well as members of the IIAR membership committee, estimates say that you’ll be one of nearly 1,500 exhibitors, and more than 67,000 attending members of the public. And if MWC 2012 estimates from the GSMA hold up this year, there could be many more who are interested in demonstrating or learning about your mobile wares.

How can you possibly hope to get maximum value out of Analysts who are attending MWC 2013? Continue reading

[GUEST POST] How AR is Doing: An Ex-AR Practitioner’s View from the Other Side, by Evan Quinn / ESG

This guest post has been authored by Evan Quinn (LinkedIn, @evanquinn, blog) who is a Senior Principal Analyst at ESG (Enterprise Strategy Group) covering Data Management, Analytics, Big Data and Cloud Platform-as-a-Service. While at Axicom, Evan was also on the IIAR board .

Speech is free: Evan and ESG are not associated in any ways with the IIAR and the post below contains Evan’s opinions which might not reflect the views of IIAR’s members or ESG.

A couple of years ago I decided it was time to step away from the analyst/influencer relations function for at least awhile.  The researcher/competitive analyst side of me was asking for an outlet, and so I left the AR ranks.  But, ironically, in my current job as an industry analyst I have  the opportunity to see how AR practitioners perform their jobs every business day.  I am here to report that things have changed somewhat in AR, and in some cases not for the better.  But first some background. Continue reading

[Guest Post] Humpty Gartner’s Logic

Blog courtesy of: Simon Levin (IIAR Board Member), Managing Director at The Skills Connection

A client of mine was talking to a Gartner analyst recently and learned, to his delight, that the analyst had given a particular prospect a clear steer in his direction.

“They’re a mid-sized company and they asked for my advice on relevant vendors, so I told them you guys were definitely relevant for small and mid-sized enterprises,” the analyst said.

But nothing happened. Our client didn’t hear from the prospect. And it was only later that we discovered our client had even been removed from a previously compiled consideration list as a direct result of this brief conversation.

The client was mortified. The analyst was baffled. The prospect, of course, missed the opportunity of acquiring what may well have been the best possible solution for his particular set of requirements. Continue reading

[Guest Post] Analysts are treated inhumanely

By: Duncan Chapple, Consultancy Director at Loudhouse 

This is an independent opinion piece submitted by an IIAR member and AR professional – it does not represent the official views of the IIAR.

Analyst relations (AR) programs have a substantial opportunity for improvement. This month I’ve been reviewing ten years’ worth of data from the Analyst Attitude Survey, which Loudhouse Research and Lighthouse AR co-produce. Around 700 analysts have taken part in the survey and, after around 180 analysts downloaded the summary last week, I’ve also been thinking over comments from them. What I’ve seen is that there’s a real opportunity to work smarter and more strategically. Continue reading

[Guest Post] A Member’s View: Forrester’s marketing pitch at the IIAR London Forum

By: Ludovic Leforestier

Dispatches from last week’s IIAR London Forum – A member’s personal perspective on Forrester’s Presentation at the IIAR London Forum. You can view the official IIAR report here.

After a fascinating presentation from Neil Pollock (see his blog post here [Guest Post] Why IT Vendors Should Take Industry Analysts (More) Seriously), Forrester came “en force” to give IIAR members an update on the company strategy. Tom Pohlmann (@tpohlmann, LinkedIn), Forresters CMSO patiently presented and answered IIAR members’ questions. My take on this is that the firm is on a journey to deliver strategic research advice up the food chain and deliver at a strategic level - they’ve started with IT managers, then moved on to CMO’s in the past and are trying to better penetrate the rest of the C-suite. Forrester disagrees with this statement. Continue reading

[Guest Post] Why IT Vendors Should Take Industry Analysts (More) Seriously

By: Dr Neil Pollock, University of Edinburgh Business School

After several years’ research on industry analysts and IT Research firms there are some interesting conclusions to be reached on how industry analyst firms are exerting influence on IT vendors and their product markets. This is just a snapshot of some of Dr. Pollock’s findings.

1. Industry Analysts Stifle Novelty

The first point shows how industry analysts are one of the new ‘institutions of information technology’ with the cognitive authority to shape technological fields. One common way they do this is through proposing names and definitions for emerging technological trends, an activity with positive and negative consequences. We saw, for instance, how this could stifle innovation. IT vendors offering new kinds of products were penalised if their technologies did not conform to standard product definitions. We observed how one seemingly novel solution belonging to a newcomer received a critical review, which led to its rejection from a major procurement contest, effectively calling into question the robustness of its solution. The suggestion here is that industry analysts can help but also hinder innovation. Continue reading

[Guest Post] Maximizing the impact of an analyst briefing – 1 of 2

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

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

[GUEST POST] Will the real leader please stand up?

I know many of you are short of time so I will try to summarise my point here. In almost 20 years spent in the influencer relations world I can count the number of AR people achieving senior promotions to leadership roles on one hand. I’ve participated in many conversations over the years with AR professionals feeling left out of those promotion decisions, maybe it’s time to either accept that as the status quo or chose to do something about it. The rest of my post focuses on doing something about it.

If you’re like me you’ll have read or listened to discussions that, on reflection were just common sense or obvious, I’m increasingly concerned that common sense doesn’t prevail and there are times when you need a simple reminder that can act as a catalyst to help you take a decision or move forward in some way. I’m hoping that this post is one of those.. Continue reading

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