Archive | Guest Posts

Guest posts for the IIAR website

[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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[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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[GUEST POST] Moving AR into IR…..

Duncan Chapple / Kea - For the IIAR blogInvestor relations just took over Analyst Relations at Tata Consultancy Services, an IT Services giant. Is IR about to eat AR for lunch? TCS has decided on the reorganisation after a year that included significant leadership changes in the firm’s analyst relations team.
In most tech organizations, AR sits within corporate marketing. This has been a natural home for AR though, as we know, not always appreciated but seen as a necessary function that is needed as part of a wider marketing organization. Most sensible senior executives know how important the analysts are in the overall ecosystem.

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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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[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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[GUEST POST] IDC EMEA provide the IIAR with their current State of the Union: What’s changing for this year and next?

By Suzannah Archibald (LinkedIn, @suzannah_a), Head of Analyst Relations at CCgroup.

IDC is usually one of the better analyst houses I encounter. They usually show tight co-ordination amongst their end-user practices, and reach out and access their client and subscriber database across over 10,000 IT decision-maker professionals (and counting). So, in mid-2017, what’s changed at IDC? And how are they handling organisational change since their change of ownership, earlier this year? These were just some of the questions posed by Industry Analyst Relations professionals at a recent IIAR webinar and networking session with…

Dan Timberlake (UK&I MD, VP Sales, EMEA), Tom Meyer (GVP Research EMEA, @tomtxt), and Mathew Heath (EMEA Marketing Director, himself the brains behind the always-entertaining @IDC_EMEA account).
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[GUEST POST] Webinar Fatigue and How to Overcome it

Webinars, illustration for blog post by Jonathon Gordon / EMI on the iIAR website

Webinar fatigue is now as common as the cold

Let’s face it, to say the webinar scene is overcrowded would be a monumental understatement.  Webinar fatigue should come as no surprise. After all, I seem to receive a new webinar invitation every other day.  While many of them sound super interesting, who has time to sit on webinars all day?  I often find myself signing up for many more than I actually attend.  Webinars, if done right, are a lot of work (the ultimate webinar project plan here).  Is it worth the time and effort?  I must admit that I am still a believer.  I consider webinars to be a great platform to interact with customers, prospects and the wider audience.  So how can you make sure they’re successful? Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] The secret trick to working with sales

Working with sales is easy. Just think like a salesperson!

Working with sales should come naturally to a marketer once you get into the head of your sales colleagues.  More than once I have been accused by my colleagues of “sounding like a salesman”.  While not often meant as a compliment, that’s how I take it.   If truth be told, I have spent a few of my years in the Sales trenches and believe that’s what gives me a unique perspective on working with sales.

Sales incentives, illustration for blog post by Jonathon Gordon / EMI on the IIAR website

Just like in any relationship, to really get to know someone, you need to understand what makes a person tick.  The thing I really loved about being in sales, is that in most cases, it’s easy to know what you should be doing and how it’s measured.  Mostly it’s about the target.  OK, there may be other KPIs thrown in for flavor, but it’s the target that really matters.  That’s pretty much what makes sales people click and how to get there is what keeps them awake at night.  The key to working with sales is helping them reach and pass that target, quarter after quarter, year after year.  Do this, and they will always be there for you. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Why AR comes before PR. Just look in the dictionary.

By Ian Gotts / Founder and CEO, Elements.cloud (LinkedIn, @iangotts).

You’re an innovative and growing software vendor, I get that. You’ve got a fab new product 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? 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. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Three ‘Must-have’ Anchor Points for Your Analyst Relations Program

Rishi GhaiBy Rishi Ghai (LinkedIn@rishi_ghai) Head – Analyst Relations, Corporate Communications, and Digital Marketing / Cyient

Launching an industry analyst relations (AR) program takes elaborate research and planning. Unlike simpler functions that a technology or service provider can delegate or outsource with minimal involvement, AR requires the continuous participation of stakeholders from a broad cross-section of the business––from corporate strategy to business-unit marketing, through to delivery and finance. Simplifying the creation of a new AR program requires defining its anchor points––the guiding forces necessary to give a direction to it and keep it on track.

Let’s take a look at three essential anchor points, which can serve as the compass of your organization’s AR program: Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Analyst Relations Best Practices: Seven Tips to Make Your Company a Star at Industry Analyst Events

By Caroline Dennington / Dennington AR (@CDenningtonLinkedIn).

Summer is upon us and though that means wet weather for Caroline Dennington in the UK and heatwaves and wildfires for Caroline’s writing partner Phil Nash, analyst relations (AR) professionals around the globe are getting ready for another busy event season with the industry influencers.

InfoSec and Forrester Forum have already taken place in London and once again, Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit in Washington, exceeded all expectations attracting a huge delegate audience and of course, hundreds of analysts!

With Symposium, IDC Directions, Catalyst, BlabkHat and numerous other major events such as Sibos and ACAMS on the calendar, how can AR Managers ensure they secure relevant analyst time at these events and importantly, engage their executives and sales personnel in meaningful conversations? Continue Reading →

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[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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[GUEST POST] So, You Did Well in an Industry Analyst Report… How Do You Get the Word Out? by Vicki Jenkins / Nelson Hall

Vicki Jenkins / NelsonHallBy 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.

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. Continue Reading →

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

Vicki Jenkins / NelsonHallBy 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 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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