Guest posts by analyst relations professionals
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!
There is a kind of Google out there in the realm of IT industry analyst firms, a purveyor that turns the successful models of the “Big Three,” Gartner, Forrester and IDC, on their proverbial ears. This little firm does not market itself very much; it rather eschews the “branded analyst firm” approach where analysts largely become subsumed in the one-to-many brand-first approach, hoping for margins that impress boards and investors. Rather it aims for some simple values: It purely focuses on serving its affiliated analysts and helping its affiliated analysts service their clients. Maybe you have heard of “V3.”
I challenge you to find V3 on the Web: The URL is actually not www.v3.com but www.valleyviewventures.com – like International Data Corporation goes quite strictly by “IDC” these days, but the URL just hasn’t been changed yet. You will not be awed by the V3 web site, but that doesn’t matter one iota to Fred Abbott, V3′s founder, who says with utter sincerity, “It’s all about the analysts.” Continue Reading →
Recently, I’ve done joint announcements with Oracle, SAP, HP, Tibco, Software AG and HP. As you can imagine, I’ve had varying relationships with each and I’m happy to report that the state of the A/R industry is good and that we can work together.
When I was in PR, it was cat fight supreme with territorialism and turf wars. Most of the announcements I did with these companies didn’t have that element. For the most part, the announcements were about standards, not products. So that went a long way towards working together. Still, if you include IBM, the companies I’ve named here aren’t known for being best buddies.
As and aside, I can say that the executives (who can be the source of most problems) all worked towards the cause of the best briefing possible.
Some things are given, like in a certain area (we just did SOA) the analysts know the exec’s by company and the exec’s know each other so I’m happy to report they acted like grown ups.
With the typical name calling (from the CEO’s)and belief in your own products, the first issue to overcome is that the announcement is usually about a jointly create product or standard, not us vs. them. That rule has to be set down first and if you don’t overcome that, you have no chance at building trust, the basis for working together.
DIVIDE THE DUTIES
One company can’t dominate the duties or it is not a joint announcement. This also forces the companies to work together to approve what the others have created as their part of the announcement. There are analyst lists, invitations, charts, follow up issues and any number of duties that need to be attended to and dived up. Once that is done, you must rely on each other and the level of trust inherently rises.
It’s important that the analyst see this as equal amongst the companies. One company presenting more than another is a dead give away. You can’t help Q and A as the analysts will direct the question directly to a company.
You either put your differences aside and work together, or you’ll never get anything done. It’s tough to do when your day job is to hammer the company that you are working with on the announcement. These are the days of co-opetition though. You learn to get along or you’ll never make it to announcement day.
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.
Analyst relations professionals are dealing with more types of analysts and analyst-like influencers every day. How do you know who’s important among these new faces? Some insights from a pharma influencer relations study can give you fresh perspectives on identifying, differentiating and prioritizing your AR targets.
This post is reprinted from my personal blog Sway, where I discuss analyst relations and broad-based influencer relations. You may know me best as founder and managing editor of Tekrati, Inc.
Solid research is the only way to cut through the chatter about identifying and prioritizing influencers for word-of-mouth marketing and other forms of influencer marketing. Mike Gotta (Burton Group / Gartner ) yesterday pointed out a just such a study, from the pharma industry. I like this study because it focuses on finding the hidden opinion leaders who drive the first wave of word-of-mouth product referrals.
The study identifies two distinct types of opinion leaders among the target physicians:
- those who are trusted and respected by peers (called sociometric leaders)
- those physicians who think of themselves as well connected and influential (called self-reported opinion leaders)
The opinion leaders identified by their peers are not the traditional targets pursued by marketers. If anything, they contradict current marketing wisdom about influencers and influentials. They are not overtly well connected, outgoing or high profile in terms of being published or public speakers.
Three nuggets to think about:
The study finds little overlap between the two types of influencers. Physicians fell into one group or the other.
The under-the-radar opinion leaders are quicker to use new product and more likely to influencer others to try it. This finding is based on matching network data with perscription records.
The under-the-radar sociometric opinion leaders are more interested in what their peers are doing, and are more open to word-of-mouth or social influence, than the self-reported opinion leaders.
Both types of opinion leaders play important roles in robust influencer marketing programs. One group is not better than the other; they’re just different kinds of people. The best course of action is to identify and address both types of opinion leaders. That means doing more research and more segmentation.
Hat tip: Mike Gotta
Study: Opinion Leadership and Social Contagion in New Product Diffusion – by Raghuram Iyengar, Christophe Van den Bulte, and Thomas Valente, 2008
Summary of Study: [email protected]