Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR) http://analystrelations.org The IIAR is a not-for-profit organisation established to raise awareness of analyst relations and the value of industry analysts, promote best practice amongst analyst relations professionals, enhance communication between analyst firms and vendors, and offer opportunities for AR practitioners to network with their industry peers. Fri, 22 Jun 2018 12:45:50 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 76177372 The IIAR Summer Party celebrating the IIAR AR Professional and Team of 2018 http://analystrelations.org/2018/06/19/the-iiar-summer-party-2018/ http://analystrelations.org/2018/06/19/the-iiar-summer-party-2018/#respond Tue, 19 Jun 2018 21:52:44 +0000 http://analystrelations.org/?p=237342 2018 IIAR London Summer Networking EventWe are excited to announce the date of our famous IIAR Summer Party, which will celebrate the achievements of various analyst relations teams and professionals. The event is kindly sponsored this year by EY and HCL Technologies.

Join us in a great riverside location, for a glamorous night of drinks, canapés, and networking on the London SouthBank, with leading industry analysts and analyst relations peers alike.

Date: 11th July 2018
Time: 1830 – 2130 BST
Where: London SE1

This event is free for IIAR Members and Industry Analysts.

We have a limited capacity as this event is increasingly popular, yet we want to keep it intimate.

IIAR members should register using the link sent by email and apply their code. Check your spam folder and use the form below if you haven’t got this email.

Analysts can get a priority ticket from IIAR Members or register for the wait list here.

If you are not an IIAR Member but are a bona fide AR professional and would like to attend, you may purchase a ticket or join as a member on the EventBrite page. Tickets may be purchased but are subject to approval by the IIAR.

Invitations with the exact address will be sent after approval of each attendee by the IIAR board.

Register now! We have limited capacity and for security reasons we will only be able to accept guests registered 24h before the events with a personal confirmation.

For any questions, fill in the form below.

 

[contact-form]

See also

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[GUEST POST] Debunking Five Analyst Relations Myths http://analystrelations.org/2018/06/08/guest-post-debunking-five-analyst-relations-myths/ http://analystrelations.org/2018/06/08/guest-post-debunking-five-analyst-relations-myths/#comments Fri, 08 Jun 2018 15:16:32 +0000 http://analystrelations.org/?p=235069 Hand with ace card up the sleeve (IIAR website)Analyst relations is easily the most misunderstood function in marketing.

I’ve been involved with analyst relations — or AR — for over a decade, working on dozens of Gartner Magic Quadrants and Forrester Waves. I’ve experienced the impact that analyst relations, when done well, can have on growth. And I know how much time and effort it takes to do it right. It’s not witchcraft nor is it a simple “spend more / do better” formula.

It’s time to set the record straight, so in this post I’m going to debunk five of the most common myths I’ve come across. Well, turns out this ex-mathematician is not great at counting, so I’ll be dubunking a bonus 6th myth as well 🙂

  • Myth #1: Analyst firms like Gartner are “pay to play”
  • Myth #2: Your PowerPoint slides matter
  • Myth #3: Gartner is the only analyst firm that matters
  • Myth #4: You can move the “dot” in a Gartner Magic Quadrant
  • Myth #5: Just becoming a Leader in an analyst report will double/triple/10x your growth
  • Myth #6: Your PR firm can manage analyst relations

Read on!

 

Myth #1: Analyst firms like Gartner are “pay to play”

Okay, so let’s start with the big one. No, they aren’t. Let’s kill this myth once and for all.

No matter how much money you spend on things like research subscriptions, strategy days, webinars, or events — you can’t buy your way into analyst reports and rankings. Companies who complain about “pay to play” are just bad at analyst relations. There, I said it. I’m going to focus on Gartner to debunk this myth, but the same concept applies to all of the major analyst firms I’ve worked with.

Consider the story of NetScout, who once tried to sue Gartner using the “pay to play” myth. NetScout wasn’t happy with its placement in a Gartner Magic Quadrant(MQ) a few years ago, claiming that:

Gartner has a ‘pay-to-play’ business model that by its design rewards Gartner clients who spend substantial sums on its various services by ranking them favorably in its influential Magic Quadrant research reports (‘Magic Quadrant reports’) and punishes technology companies that choose not to spend substantial sums on Gartner services.”

NetScout argued that competitors who spend more with Gartner ranked higher, and that Gartner salespeople implied that spending more money would improve their position in the Magic Quadrant.

Here’s how the Magic Quadrant works in a nutshell: Gartner evaluates vendors using a proprietary methodology honed over decades of research. Analysts apply this research methodology to form conclusions about vendors and markets, in a peer reviewed process. Magic Quadrants categorize vendors into one of four quadrants based on Gartner’s assessment of them in two dimensions: Ability to Execute and Completeness of Vision.

In this case, Gartner identified NetScout as a Challenger, pointing out feature gaps in their product and negative customer feedback. NetScout, of course, thought it should be a Leader and sued Gartner. The case never went to trial and eventually the lawsuit was dismissed for the obvious reason that Gartner is protected by the first amendment and Netscout couldn’t prove any malicious intent. Gartner is paid very well by its customers for forming a strong opinion based on its methodology.

Gartner analysts could care less how much you spend with Gartner, and there are firewalls in place to make sure even the appearance of a conflict of interest are minimized. Could a Gartner salesperson have hinted at a connection between investment and MQ positioning? Of course. I’ve never experienced it, but even if it happened, an organization of NetScout size knows better.

Now, time to contradict myself. There is indeed one case where it does help to pay — you should really consider purchasing an subscription, sometimes called a seat.

Every analyst firm I’ve worked with will encourage you to provide regular briefings — whether or not you are a customer. These briefings are a monologue not a dialogue, but they are a free way for startups / category creators to get some mindshare without the cost of a subscription. The minute you have evidence of product-market fit you should be doing this at least once a quarter.

But if you are in a market with a Gartner Magic Quadrant and/or a Forrester Wave, or if there’s likely to be one, then you should consider purchasing a subscription. A subscription provides you with access to all the written research from the analysts, and more importantly it lets you schedule “inquries” with them to get direct 1–1 feedback.

The single best thing you can do to improve how analysts view your company is to help them map your company and products to their vision for a market. To do this, you first need to understand what’s important to each analyst you speak with — the language they use, trends they see, and specific product capabilities they deem important. Once you know this, you can frame your communication in a way that directly speaks to each analyst, using customer references as validation points (more on references later).

Any vendor in a big enough market to warrant a Magic Quadrant is likely able to afford a Gartner subscription. Yes, subscriptions are expensive, but so are many marketing investments, including paid acquisition and events. Doing well in an analyst report can be one of the best ROI investments you’ll make.

The TL;DR is this: there’s value in paying for an analyst subscription to gain more access to analysts. It’s not required, but probably a good idea for a lot of companies — just like investing in Adwords or events is probably a good idea for a lot of companies. But beyond a subscription, paying more to analyst firms doesn’t move the dot.

What does move the dot? Your customers. Which brings us to the next myth.

 

Myth #2: Your PowerPoint slides matter

Wrong, sorry. Analysts see right through hyperbole laden BS messaging, Nascar logo slides, and highly produced demos with more special effects than a Michael Bay movie.

Look, analysts are see thousands of PowerPoint slides a year and unless you are Steve Jobs, chances are your slides aren’t going to impress them. What analysts do care about is the strength of your customer references. This is basically all that matters.

Sure, regularly update analysts on your company, positioning, messaging, pricing with PowerPoint slides. All good foundational stuff. But analysts are forming their opinion on you through their interactions with customers, both the references you provide directly, and the daily interactions they have with their client base. Analysts are digging deeply in your company and product through the lens of the customer. How much value have they received? How difficult was the implementation? How’s your customer support?

If you really want to really improve your position in an analyst report, stop worrying about creating better slides and instead worry about creating better customers.

 

Myth #3: Gartner is the only analyst firm that matters

No way. There are lots of analyst great firms who offer tremendous value to both vendors and end-user customers.

Of course everyone knows the obvious names like Gartner, Forrester, and IDC. They cover lots of markets and buyer personas, and produce the popular vendor reports that get CEOs and boards exited ie. Magic Quadrants and Waves. Vendors spend most of their time analyst relations times with them, and I think that’s a mistake.

It’s often the more boutique analyst firms who offer more insight and value. These firms often have a narrower focus and are able to dig more deeply into a specific market. For example, there’s no one who knows digital experience better than Scott Liewehr from Digital Clarity Group (see related posts). Scott personally travels hundreds of thousands of miles a year to speak with the companies and agencies who implement digital experience technology. When a CEO or CMO in this market really need to get to the bottom of something, the first call they make is to Scott.

Another example is David Menninger, who covers data and analytics for Ventana Research (related posts). Dave’s background as both an analyst and (recovering) product marketer at bunch of successful tech companies gives him a unique perspective that many analysts don’t have. As a former vendor he speaks my language and provides good insight on messaging, positioning, competitive dynamics, etc.

There are lots of other firms like Digital Clarity Group and Ventana Research who serve more specialized audiences. My recommendation is start first by researching the specific analysts who are closest to the customer in your market, not the just the analyst firm they work for. Otherwise, you’ll be missing out.

 

Myth #4: You can move the “dot” in a Gartner Magic Quadrant

This is one of my favorites! Sorry, but this never happens. Let’s start with a quick overview of the Magic Quadrant process.

A new Magic Quadrant kicks off with an email to all of the vendors Gartner thinks are candidates for inclusion. Vendors are provided a specific set of criteria, and then asked if they think they meet it. Gartner vendor feedback combined with their own knowledge to come up with a final list of vendors to evaluate. Each of the vendors is provided with a long set of requirements and asked to provide reference customers. Each vendor is then given an opportunity to present to the analysts for 60 minutes or so. This process takes 2–3 months start to finish. Gartner then compiles all of the findings, going through an exhaustive process over an additional 2–3 months or so.

And then that moment when you get the email from Gartner with “FACT CHECK” in the subject. Sit down. Breathe. Open the email, and you’ll see where all the dots landed!

Careers can be made and destroyed by this one email. Exceed expectations and you are a forever a hero to your CEO + board. Do poorly, and well sadly I’ve seen people fired. True story: I once fell out of my chair and ran around the office screaming when I saw that Acquia had become Leader in a Magic Quadrant. Pro tip: you can’t tell anyone about it your dot position during the fact check stage, so make sure you have a good story already worked up 😉

Regardless, no matter where the dot lands, no amount of arguing, pleading, or begging is going to move it at this point. Gartner makes this crystal clear in the fact check process, but it doesn’t stop companies from trying. Take an any analyst out to dinner, and you’ll likely hear stories about all the irate phone calls they get from CEOs who are furious over the dot. I’ve been told it’s badge of honor when analysts get these calls from the likes of Larry Ellison and Marc Benioff.

Look, Gartner doesn’t care that you just crushed Q2, or that you never lose the the competitor who is ranked well ahead of you, or that you just raised a $100m Series C from every top-tier valley VC. They only care about their methodology. I’ve worked on a couple dozen Magic Quadrants over the years and I’ve seen a vendor dot move exactly once during the fact review process. Even then it was by such a miniscule amount that you’d barely notice it, unless you obsess over things like this like I do.

The time to move the dot is well before the Magic Quadrant process started. If the result isn’t what you hoped for, take the feedback, swallow your pride, and get started for next year. Whatever you do, don’t be that company whose CEO makes the angry Friday 5pm call. It’s not going to work. Send them this post.

 

Myth #5: Just becoming a Leader in an analyst report will double/triple/10x your growth

Hopefully, but usually not even close. Being a Leader helps revenue growth for sure, but maybe not as much as you think. Even then, it takes a lot of work to make the growth happen.

Jeff Mann of Gartner (LinkedIn, @jeffmann) once put this fake Magic Quadrant together as an April fools joke, but there’s indeed some truth to it.

Jeff Man's 2011 April fool on Gartner Magic Quadrant: the Real Quadrant for the IIAR website

Credit: Jeff Mann / Gartner

The implication is that buyers prefer Leaders, ignore Niche, and are wary of everyone else. To prevent this, Gartner and other analyst firms have standard disclaimer language that encourages buyers to look more closely.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Of course buyers should look beyond Leaders, and they usually do. It’s highly unlikely that your requirements directly map to the ranking methodology used by analyst firms. Often buying from a Leader is the worst possible decision you can make.

But being a Leader in an analyst report will absolutely get you on more short lists, which itself can be good or bad if you aren’t prepared. For example, when Ektron became a Magic Quadrant Leader in 2012, it got us into a whole bunch of new opportunities against much bigger competitors like Adobe. It completely changed the dynamics of our sales funnel. Deals were bigger, but took longer to close and were much more competitive. It was overall a huge net positive, but success didn’t happen overnight, and we still had to work hard at it.

It’s great to be a Leader in a Gartner Magic Quadrant or Forrester Wave, and companies who make it in for the first time should be very proud. It’s a huge PR moment. Your CEO, board, and investors will love you. It’s a good morale builder internally. But make sure you set realistic expectations about the growth impact it will have, and make sure you are prepared for the changes that will happen to your business as a result of it.

Myth #6: Your PR firm can manage analyst relations

Probably not, it’s a different skillset.

I’m sure there are some PR firms who are better at this than others, but in my experience, treating analysts as just another influencer channel is dangerous. I recommend two things if analyst relations is really important to your company.

  1. An executive should own it directly and consistently. Too many companies delegate AR far down into the organization, especially as they get larger. In my experience, having one executive own AR over a period of many years builds the sort of trust it takes to influence how an analyst thinks about a market.
  2. Always involve founders or whoever is the actual thought leader at your company in as many analyst interactions as possible. Analysts want to hear from the most credible sources, which isn’t your AR team or product marketers. At Acquia, that meant using Dries Buytaert as often as possible when speaking with analysts.

If you do need help scaling your program, look to agencies who specialize in analyst relations like Spotlight AR. They understand the nuances it takes to run a successful AR program at scale. (Disclosure, I was once a customer of Spotlight).

 

Want to learn more?

To demystify the black arts of analyst relations, here are the best analyst relations professionals + resources I’ve come across. Who/what am I missing?

  • Beth Torrie. I competed against Beth for many years, and she’s the best. I hope to never compete against her again.
  • Rick Nash and Andrew Hsu at SpotlightAR. They’ve helped dozens tech companies with their AR programs.
  • Joely Urton of Box. I’ve never met Joely, but a good friend of mine worked for her, and said she’s great. That’s enough for me.
  • Institute of Industry Analyst Relations is a not-for-profit organisation established to raise awareness of analyst relations and the value of industry analysts.

 

By Tom Wentworth (LinkedIn, @twentworth12) /Chief Marketing Officer at RapidMiner. Originally posted on tomwentworth.com.

Other AR best practices posts

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[GUEST POST] Does Israel have more cool vendors than China? http://analystrelations.org/2018/06/05/does-israel-have-more-cool-vendors-than-china/ http://analystrelations.org/2018/06/05/does-israel-have-more-cool-vendors-than-china/#respond Tue, 05 Jun 2018 08:09:04 +0000 http://analystrelations.org/?p=235344 https://twitter.com/Loom_Systems/status/905444551204233217

Gabby Menachem, the CEO of Israel-founded Loom Systems, holds its Cool Vendor plaque

Can other vendors copy Israeli firms’ exceptional success in earning Gartner, Inc.’s Cool Vendor designation? Maybe not. Their success reflects both Israel’s unique start-up ecosystem and those start-ups’ ability to leverage Gartner’s experienced account management in Israel.

The numbers of Cool Vendors in Israel continue to rise. At the recent Cool and Hot Vendor Forum, Suwen Chen’s presentation showed, using data from Gartner, Inc., that there were more Cool Vendors in Israel than, for example, in China and the UK added together. The gap is widening: It has grown from 15 Cool Vendors in 2012 to 33 last year and 35 in 2016. The count could be even higher if we account for the many Cool Vendors originally founded, funded and staffed in Israel which have moved headquarters to the USA, such as Loom Systems. Twenty firms founded in Israel have gained the designation so far this year. More will probably be added in the rounds of Cool Vendors later this month and in September.

Israel’s technology industry as an ecosystem

The tech talent in the country benefits from an astonishing degree of support: from the government; the military; and from a national understanding of the need to innovate and export. It’s like the early growth of Silicon Valley, where the pro-active West Coast spirit combined with support from the federal government gave many firms the initial boost they needed. Israel offers both initial and ongoing support.

Israeli vendors have a strong infrastructure from the IDF, Israel’s armed forces, and the government: both help tech firms to achieve innovation. The process is aided by a special provision within the army: people can develop a technology solution and take the IP out afterwards to the market. Cyber-experts also get invaluable, practical experience in the army (notably in areas like hacking and protection). The government’s innovation authority also funds R&D, while the government’s Export Promotion Fund subsidises tech firms’ marketing. Export guarantees are also available.

Partly because of this leavening, and also because of Israel’s deep capacity for innovative and out-of-the-box thinking, Israeli firms are often more ambitious for growth than, for example, European businesses. Unlike European firms, which can boot-strap their growth from the revenues of customers in the domestic markets, Israel must export. Israeli firms are born global, both in looking for funding and for looking for customers. As a result, many analysts track Israeli innovation: some even visiting.

This is amplified by the greater openness of many Israel vendors to analysts than, for example, is generally the case in Europe. Of course, some are more secretive. However, most Israeli vendors will try to get analysts to visit on site. In addition to promoting site visits, Israeli tech firms are often more candid, engaging and less formal with analysts. Their technology and product teams will pitch to analysts, rather than just the marketing team. Analysts appreciate the deeper dive into the technological solutions. In our experience, Israeli firms are less formal and have less use for hierarchies, channels and protocols of seniority. Many have found ways to challenge analysts’ assumptions in ways that don’t endanger their ability to grow a relationship with the analyst. Many vendors around the world are on the cutting edge of new technologies: Many Israeli firms also play a role in educating analysts.

Gartner, Inc. research as an ecosystem

That said, it also seems that Gartner has a talent for identifying Cool Vendors in Israel which benefits both the vendors and Gartner itself. Dozens of Gartner analysts travel to Israel throughout the year to study different industries: there can’t be many other countries, if any, where that is the case.

Many Israeli start-ups work very closely with Gartner’s account managers and analysts. Not only have Israeli vendors learnt how to work closely with the local Gartner team in Israel, but also whole ecosystems of vendors, end users and investors align. Vendors can find themselves with the best platform imaginable from which to make the case for their recognition as a Cool Vendor. Vendors actively encourage Gartner to bring the analysts to meet the vendors and, partly as a result, the local Gartner account team is also proactive: It has a better-than-average understanding of how firms meet the analysts’ criteria for the Cool Vendor designation.

According to my research at the University of Edinburgh, Cool Vendors get better recognition from investors. Cleary, they must use Cool Vendor lists. Many vendors actively looking for acquisitions in Israel, including Microsoft, Symantec and IBM. The paths are well-trodden, and many US venture capital and private equity investors invest more in Israeli and, for example, in Europe. The results are especially strong in cyber-security, Israel’s biggest group of Cool Vendors. There are reportedly over 400 cyber-security start-ups in Israel. For many, the goal is their acquisition. For example, in the last three years many, and perhaps most, of Microsoft, Symantec and Palo Alto’s cyber-security acquisitions were Israeli Cool Vendors.

The Cool Vendor endorsement is also, of course, reflected back on Gartner, Inc. by its winners. Cool Vendor holders send out Gartner’s model press releases, plaster the Gartner Cool Vendor over their online and offline materials, mention the awards in their press releases and email signatures, and in one case even incorporate it into their company’s name on LinkedIn. That all boosts Gartner’s credibility in emerging markets where it has lost some of its leadership.

What to learn?
  • Firstly, there’s clearly a public policy opportunity for vendors. In some countries (Australia comes to mind) the public sector represents most of many IT markets. In many more, like the UK, the biggest IT buyer is in the public sector. If these countries tried to develop alignment to help domestic talent grow then more non-US firms would be earning awards like the Cool Vendor designation. Ironically, Gartner, Inc., research constrains this process. Because some countries are more visible on Gartner’s radar (clearly the US and Israel, but there must be more), other countries are probably underrepresented. And in those countries, Gartner clients are more likely to be recommended US or Israeli software than domestic software. There’s no simple solution there, but there’s something to learn from the Frankfurt model of multi-vendor, multi-analyst, briefing days at a major airport.
  • Second, tech start-ups will only leverage their local Gartner teams under certain circumstances. Necessarily, they must first know that the Cool Vendor designation exists and that it is valuable. However, they also need to be able to develop the sort of push-pull relationships that will get account teams working hard and thinking about how to generate extra value for local start-ups.
  • Third, start-ups need to understand that Hot Vendor and Cool Vendor awards are the start of the relationship with the analyst firms. Israeli firms don’t only become Cool Vendors: they graduate into other Gartner coverage areas. In areas like cyber-security, CRM, digital workplace and telecommunications, Israeli vendors have been aided by analyst recommendations and continued to be covered as the markets grow.

In a UEBS Gartner Observatory webinar, former Gartner research director Perry Carpenter and long-time AR leader Donna Stein predicted that other analyst firms will produce similar signature research awards for newer vendors, as Aragon Research and HfS Research have done. They are almost certainly correct.

By Duncan Chapple (@duncanchapple, LinkedIn, blog), Managing Partner at Kea

Related posts

 

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Trio of analyst departures at Gartner underlines why backup strategy is so important http://analystrelations.org/2018/06/04/trio-of-analyst-departures-at-gartner-underlines-why-backup-strategy-is-so-important/ http://analystrelations.org/2018/06/04/trio-of-analyst-departures-at-gartner-underlines-why-backup-strategy-is-so-important/#respond Mon, 04 Jun 2018 15:16:48 +0000 http://analystrelations.org/?p=235376 Gartner icon logo for the IIAR websiteGartner has been forced to delay a Magic Quadrant report for at least six months due to the mass departure of pivotal analysts covering the enterprise data center space. 

The delay followed news that analysts Dave Russell and Pushan Rinnen were leaving to join vendors. The duo were the mainstays of the Gartner team covering data backup. Their counterpart in the EMEA region, Robert Rhame, is also moving on.

Their timing was remarkable: Gartner was due to kick off research for its 2018 Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery Solutions last week. With all three authors choosing to leave Gartner, the firm had no credible option but to delay the start of the report: this is now on ice until 2019.

What is notable is that vendors were informed of the slew of departures by no other than Mike Harris, SVP and head of the IT Leaders and Technical Professionals research business within Gartner. Usually, these notifications come from a team MVP.

Gartner’s roster of analysts covering the data center infrastructure space has been steadily weakening over the past year, with the remaining analysts covering enterprise hardware under pressure not to attend vendor events. Instead, they are instructed to optimize their time to help end-user technology buyer customers – which effectively means blocking up to four-hour chunks in their daily calendar to field the high volume of inquiry calls.

The retirement of veteran guru data center analysts Andy Butler (October 2017) and George Weiss (May 2018) was already a blow, and recently, former EMC marketing exec turned analyst JP Corriveau handed in his notice, to return to the vendor side. Gartner also lost storage MVP Errol Rasit at the start of the year.

It’s two vendors who have led to this disruption within Gartner: Veeam and Rubrik. Both are cloud data management firms, which hints at the future direction of the backup market. Corriveau and Russell have joined privately-held Veeam, while Rinnen, Rhame and another former Gartner analyst Ray Schafer have joined Rubrik.

Any behind-the-scenes insights that these vendors hoped to have gained in how to wrangle the backup MQ now seem to be lost, since Gartner has put the refresh on hold for at least six months. That’s still quite an aggressive timescale, since the team of analysts taking over this beat will also want to adjust the MQ in line with their perceptions of changing market and customer needs.

More than just a change of schedule

However, for vendors, the MQ delay is more than a change of schedule. It means starting over in building relationships with the analysts who will take over one of the few remaining MQs in the hardware space. (Quadrants for servers and client computing devices have long been furloughed in favor of infrequently-updated Market Guides.)

In his mail to affected vendors, Gartner SVP Harris only scratches the surface of the impact of this treble whammy, noting: “This has been a difficult decision, especially given the time and resources invested in the process of communicating the included vendors’ respective value propositions.” That’s an understatement, since right now, Gartner will struggle to field those valuable backup-related inquiries from its enterprise subscribers, let alone start the task of updating a Magic Quadrant and the associated Critical Capabilities report.

Frustrated vendors won’t have much luck either if they turn to Forrester: in this space, Rich Fichera was the firm’s last analyst still covering data center hardware until he retired this spring.

This is an unprecedented opportunity for the smaller analyst firms in this space to take a bite from Gartner’s enormous slide of the pie. We’re expecting the charge will be led by the ever-competent Enterprise Strategy Group.

It’s also a great opportunity for smaller backup vendors to punch above their weight, by focusing on Gartner Peer Reviews. As the backup MQ gets long in the tooth, so buyers will be more swayed by reviews from their peers – especially with a shortfall of experienced, knowledgeable analysts at Gartner to explain the possible pitfalls. As a top executive at Gartner recently put it, “Using peer reviews is like driving with the rear view mirror… you need the analysts to spot the bend around the corner”.

If you want a clue as to what’s ahead, note that Veeam and Rubrik both focus on cloud-based storage and data management.

But it looks like a twisty road to recovery for Gartner.

By Simon Jones (@simondestrierLinkedIn), co-lead for the IIAR German Chapter. This article first appeared on Destrier’s blog.

 

Other posts on Gartner

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Effective Measurement: ARe we there yet? http://analystrelations.org/2018/06/01/effective-measurement-are-we-there-yet/ http://analystrelations.org/2018/06/01/effective-measurement-are-we-there-yet/#respond Fri, 01 Jun 2018 15:16:16 +0000 http://analystrelations.org/?p=234866 IIAR laptop and post itsEffective measurement has become a bit of a challenge for AR practitioners, as stakeholders are demanding more tangible, immediate results that can easily be linked to business outcomes. With smaller teams and tighter budgets, AR professionals are under immense pressure to justify investment and prove overall value.

As such, the IIAR’s recent webinar on measurement and amplification, led by Oracle’s Gerry Van Zandt (LinkedIn@gerryvz), couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve included below my key takeaways from the webcast as well as Gerry’s advice for anyone looking for help or inspiration around efficient AR measurement.

A major hurdle that I keep seeing, especially in organisations that don’t yet have mature AR programmes, is the inability to set AR-relevant objectives. Too many organisations still try and measure AR in the same way as PR and get massively frustrated by the meatier up-front investment and absence of immediate results.

Mirroring Gerry’s thoughts and adding some of my own, the best ways to overcome AR measurement issues is to:

  • Ensure that stakeholders have a good understanding of AR, its role and what it can deliver to the business.
  • Challenge the misconception that PR and AR should be measured with the same yardstick and by using the same methods.
  • Be clear about your AR objectives from the start and think about what you want and can achieve in the set timeframe.

To give you an idea of how to start thinking about your AR objectives, Gerry flagged topics such as:

  • Improving external perceptions about your products or services.
  • Rekindling/fixing past dormant or broken analyst relationships.
  • Arming the PR team with analyst materials such as quotes and citations.
  • Ensuring that the Sales team is well-aware of, and armed with, analyst evaluations.
  • Positioning your firm ahead of the competition.

Once AR objectives are defined correctly, measurement can be aligned appropriately and in a manner that delivers value and increases AR advocacy internally. Of course this is not the first time that the IIAR has led the discussion about, and contributed to the pool of knowledge around effective measurement. The AR Compass, a framework that helps professionals set relevant business goals and align their AR programme to those goals has been a valuable resource to me along my career. It’s one of the fundamental pieces on AR measurement that has stood the test of time and tech – definitely a recommended read, especially for professionals at the beginning of their careers in analyst relations.

There are many ways in which AR can be effectively measured. During the webinar a few ideas (or indicators) were discussed by AR professionals which include:

  • Tonality: measuring analyst sentiment about your company in relation to competitors, and can be filtered by types of reports, segments etc.
  • Visibility: inclusion in relevant analyst reports, analyst level of knowledge about your company.
  • Sentiment: tracks and measures analysts’ opinions about your company and it’s where you can benchmark to track and demonstrate shifts in perception.

It’s also important to remember that achieving AR results is one thing but making them resonate more widely is quite another. There are a few ways to amplifying AR value:

  • By sharing your results, positive or negative, in a productive manner.
  • By packaging up reports/analyst insight in a simple way that resonates with relevant teams.
  • By making sure that the right people are receiving the analyst information and know how to gain access to these resources.
  • By tracking amplification, considering aspects such as the amount of information that was used, which prospects/customers received the information and how many sales conversations leveraged the information.

Undoubtedly, the biggest takeaway for me is the importance of defining and updating measurement tactics that enhance the value of AR. Creating an internal resource that can help teams achieve their own goals is another equally important element of AR success. Measuring and benchmarking your programme and amplifying AR results in a meaningful way, will help you to gain internal AR advocates.

Now more than ever, AR professionals should assess and update their measurement tactics and start with “why” (not the book, but the question), while also thinking about the “how”: Why does a result matter? and How can you amplify that result?

 

By Julia Pope (LinkedIn, @iulia_g_popa) / Analyst Relations manager and AR specialist /  CCgroup, based in London. 

Must reads for IIAR Members

 

Other posts from CC Group

 

Read also

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[JOB POSTING] Manager of Media & Analyst Relations / London, UK http://analystrelations.org/2018/05/31/job-post-manager-of-media-analyst-relations-london-uk/ http://analystrelations.org/2018/05/31/job-post-manager-of-media-analyst-relations-london-uk/#respond Thu, 31 May 2018 11:42:38 +0000 http://analystrelations.org/?p=235966 LexisNexis_logo

The Manager of Media & Analyst Relations, International, serves as a communications consultant for the international markets with the insurance division of LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

This is a highly visible role designed for someone who loves public relations and working with senior leaders and collaborative teams to build awareness for our business. On a daily basis, you will liaise with marketing colleagues and PR firms across the UK, India and Brazil to coordinate product launches, announcements and other PR thought leadership campaigns promoting our technology, expertise and people. In some instances, you may be executing an existing PR strategy, and in other instances, you will be developing the PR strategy from scratch and securing buy-in across a global matrixed organisation. You will also liaise with our social media experts on social conversations and timing for integrated marketing campaigns.

You will work regularly with business leaders and marketing colleagues who are subject matter experts to turn their unique points of view on trending topics into positive media coverage, help them comment on breaking news items and ensure they are trained and prepped to speak with media and analyst influencers.

Insurance practices vary across these international geographies. The ideal candidate is someone who can manage volumes of information and make recommendations to fit the business objectives and priorities while also aligning to global and local marketing objectives. We are seeking a professional self-starter, one who is willing to dig in and learn our business, driven by challenge and enthusiastic for success, in this important function within our innovative, growing company.

This position assists in the development and execution of public relations including media and analyst relations, in concert with the mission, business goals and core values of LexisNexis Risk Solutions and its insurance business to key stakeholders within the United Kingdom, India, Brazil, Spain and other emerging markets.

 

Accountabilities:
• In partnership with business leaders, understand key drivers of each geography (U.K., India, Brazil and Spain) as well as the vertical segments (e.g. motor, home, property, life, as well as claims and telematics) served by each region, reinforce the strengths of expertise for geography to targeted press and analyst audiences, to execute integrated communications plans and elevate the brand
• Oversee a media and analyst relations program, including proactive outreach and relationship development with key insurance industry analysts that cover our businesses as well as inbound inquiries from news media and other influencers
• Develop and execute thought leadership industry campaigns to position LexisNexis Risk Solutions and its insurance solutions competitively in the marketplace, including working with each geography’s local executives and company spokespersons, facilitating media training and identifying opportunities to participate in industry and newsmaker events
• Develop externals communications materials including news releases, media kit materials, briefs and other materials, such as key messaging/talking points in preparation for media interviews and analyst briefings
• Work with digital team to develop and implement social media strategies related to proactive outreach and monitoring, including blogs, social networks and other channels
• Work with external agencies, other vendors and communications and marketing team members to define and measure success that meet insurance business objectives
• Manage external agencies and other vendors in each geography developing and executing on each geography’s PR content plan in concert with marketing team members and in coordination with Global Director, Media & Analyst Relations
• Other business unit projects as requested
• Note: 30% Travel in UK and Internationally as required

 

Qualifications:
• Demonstrated experience working across geographies reporting to and collaborating with teams in multiple regions
• Strong business acumen and demonstrated success developing and managing programs and relationships with senior management and cross-functional teams within a corporate or agency function
• Results-focused approach, commitment to go the extra mile
• Demonstrated experience and success in B2B external communications working with media (TV, radio, print, Internet), industry analysts and social media. Some B2C experience is a plus
• Track-record of success in an environment where change is constant; fast paced and often with strict deadlines
• Ability to synthesise large amounts of information into consolidated, compelling messages
• Proven ability to manage multiple priorities and projects in a deadline driven environment
• Experience utilising a number of communication vehicles to deliver messages
• Excellent written and communication skills
• History of collaborative, collegial working relationships, preferably in a matrix model
• An undergraduate degree in journalism, communications, marketing or a related field, masters preferred
• Extensive and proven background and experience in corporate, marketing, communications or media relations

We’re a superb company to work for, with great people, great benefits (including 28.5 days annual holiday and 8 Bank/Hols, health cover, pension and share scheme), world class technology, market leading products, a culture of innovation and collaboration, and superb career prospects.

LexisNexis® has been managing sensitive data for more than 40 years, supporting 80 percent of the Fortune 500 companies and we currently do business with 8 of the world’s top 10 banks. We also have customers in more than 100 countries worldwide, providing them access to 45 billion total records from 10,000+ different sources, that are all processed through our unique HPCC Systems at over 90 million transactions per hour.

LexisNexis is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications regardless of sex, marital status, ethnic origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation or age.

To apply for this role click here

 

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[GUEST POST] How not to be an analyst? By Jon Collins http://analystrelations.org/2018/05/29/guest-post-how-not-to-be-an-analyst-by-jon-collins/ http://analystrelations.org/2018/05/29/guest-post-how-not-to-be-an-analyst-by-jon-collins/#respond Tue, 29 May 2018 14:38:15 +0000 http://analystrelations.org/?p=235906 Today’s guest post is a long(wish) read by Jon Collins from GigaOm (LinkedIn, @jonno) following our IIAR Webinar on “How not to be an industry analyst?

If you enjoy this, why not check his “How not to write an autobiography?

 

Jon Collins: How not to be an industry analyst (IIAR website)Introduction – a glass of wine…

For a start, a bit of background. I never meant to be an industry analyst, not as such: indeed, having done my time as a programmer, then IT manager and various forms of consultant, I hadn’t a clue what one was. Back in 1998, I was responsible for training and other informational services at a mid-sized consulting firm when a report from a company called “Butler Group” came across my desk. That was my first connection with the world of analysts.

A year or so later, I was looking for something new (a cyclic habit in my career); I was also drinking a rather fine glass or two of red, when I stumbled across an advert from Bloor Research. With my inhibitive defences down, I banged off an email straight away.  I barely had time to regret it, as the following Monday I went for an interview… and the rest is an 18-year career.

These were exciting times. At the turn of the millennium the dot-com was still bubbling up: we launched a couple of web sites and face to face forums at the time (IT-Director and IT-Analysis) and set to making the most of the complexity and uncertainty, charging for clarity and simplicity. I remain proud of my 2001 report about the inevitable move towards universal service provision. We call it the cloud these days.

I paraphrase history, but by and large, analyst firms emerged in the mid-1990’s, as attention moved from bespoke ‘turnkey’ solutions and towards custom-built software. From there, they made sure to cover the space like any good ecosystem. So, has anything changed, over the past two decades?

I have worked for a variety of smaller firms and I have done a short stint at a bigger one —IDC. I’ve spent an awful lot of time hanging out with analysts, AR professionals and the firms they represent. I’ve also spent some time not being analyst, working behind the scenes to help some of the largest vendors tell their stories. And this, to an extent, is mine.

I don’t know if you are familiar with the C.S.Lewis classic, The Screwtape Letters — written from an old devil to a little demon? In a similar vein, I thought I’d capture some of the things I might tell my younger self. As they say, getting it wrong is the best form of experience, and it is good to share.

Analyse, don’t preach (the clue is in the name)

Jon Collins: analyse, don't preach (IIAR website)What’s an analyst, anyway? While this is a very good question, you can vanish up your own rear trying to understand how or why you are trying to understand things. I didn’t have any such challenge: when I started, an empty vessel, I was just pointed in the right direction, wound up and sent off — with some excellent mentors to guide me.

Had I not had such guidance, I would advise myself, simply, to start analysing. Luckily enough, I’d always done that, both as a consultant and beforehand (as one client said, “Of course, I knew all of that, but it’s nice to see it all in one place.”). The job is to make sense of all this complexity — you can prioritise areas that are less well understood, or you can keep a count of what’s being sold, or any other area you fancy.

Simply doing research makes you an analyst, for better or worse. Back to my client’s glib remark, analysts are service providers first and foremost, outsourced intellectual services to help all kinds of powerdecision makers with over-stocked brains. Consulting firms, publications such as HBR, journalists and indeed vendors do pretty good analysis: I often think we stand on the shoulders of giants, but in doing so we can sometimes see that little bit further.

As a result, a certain kudos surrounds being an analyst: indeed, the more analysts are seen as high priests of insight, the more true it becomes. A few grey hairs can be an advantage, as these add to that all-important gravitas (a word I learned early on, hat-tip to James Cooper). But, I would advise my younger self against prima-donna-ish behaviour, or seeing this privileged position as a soap-box to preach from.

 

Don’t get distracted by influenceJon Collins: don't get distracted by influence (IIAR website)

Being an analyst also means you are not an artist. The latter group struggle with the dilemma of the purity of creative thought, versus the dingy world of commerciality (though everyone has to eat). As analysts an insight service, it is wise to make this what people are prepared to pay for. Which generally means ‘business and IT decision makers’ alongside other stakeholder groups — investors as well as the broader technology community.

This opens the door to a wide variety of business models, touching many points in a complex web of decision making cycles. No restrictions exist on analyst business models: vendors may be prepared to pay for certain things, as may end-user businesses, government institutions and so on. A pan-governmental grant to research the current thinking and practice of AI may result in the same outputs as a vendor-financed, or a subscription-based report.

Of course, some will look to put categories on all this. There’s a school of thought which says that analysts only matter if they influence the moment of hard-nosed purchasing, within the enterprise buying cycle. While it’s true that contract negotiations are very important (and those who can impact it will be pretty powerful), it makes for a pretty myopic view. Wherever people are looking for insight to help their decisions, if you can reduce costs and increase benefits, you are worth having around.

Debates around the nature of influence ultimately boil down to this, but the truth is that just as technology is becoming increasingly fragmented, dynamic and complex, so are the decisions and insights around it. Developers and engineers, outsourcing managers, and indeed lines of business are all players in the game; meanwhile, vendors want to be around for the longer term, even as they focus on shorter-term revenues.

Influence is a two-edged sword. It is thought analysts can have an opinion on anything, particularly by journalists approaching a deadline (“We need an analyst comment!” “Who’s available?”). This can be flattering (as well as offering the oxygen of publicity) but it is shallow. Equally, keynote speaking and writing branded marketing materials are fine if the research exists to back them up, but presenting opinion as fact or worse, endorsing a vendor’s position for money, creates a steep and slippery slope.

I would argue you should be insightful first, influential second. Celebrities can impact stock markets, but for all the wrong reasons. So, find a research-based model that works for a decision making audience you consider worth targeting.

 

Jon Collins: Beware of silo-ed thinking (IIAR website)Beware of silo-ed thinking

The above kind of assumes you have any say in business models, which the majority of analysts do not, as they work for bigger firms. The point still stands however, that the analyst’s job is to offer insight-driven guidance to decision makers. One challenge faced by bigger firms more than smaller firms is that of inertia, and therefore thinking, so models and practices can become out of date.

For example, ‘consumerisation’ is still sometimes seen as a bad thing, and for sure, if you are a vendor used to selling to the IT department, you won’t want to see their power undermined. But it’s equally important to understand how lines of business are increasingly empowered — the flip-side of consumerisation. You won’t find a quadrant for that; indeed, recent research I was involved in showed that technology-related information wasn’t really reaching business decision makers.

Examples are frequent, and indeed, undermine the credibility of the entire industry which is still largely oriented around product selection criteria and models, even if it makes role-based tweaks or puts out thought leadership papers. “Market sizing the cloud/GDPR/IoT/Hadoop etc” statements are reflections of multiple worlds colliding. Meanwhile, while scope is important, it can lead to silos of thought: cf “That’s a layer 7 problem,” “It’s all about management,” “Nobody cares about security,” and “that’s not an enterprise procurement decision.”

On the upside, as well as offering a better service to end-user-business-decision-maker and other clients, there can be career and commercial advantage in being able to change or broaden your thinking. As well as, simply, knowing that your views are congruent with what’s actually going on. I know, working for a big firm can feel like you are spending more time engaging in internal battles and getting views heard than actually doing the job, but it is still highly advisable to start from the perspective of what’s real

The trick is to be able to change your thinking. This is different from changing your mind: the latter assumes it was just an opinion anyway, whereas the former implies that you are working on the level of how the world is changing, rather than a more superficial view. This does come back to the power of research, as then an analyst is learning, and talking from a position of genuine, defensible authority. Research should guide both the current thinking and how it is framed.

 

Jon Collins: There's no "I" in analyst (IIAR website)There’s no ‘I’ in analyst

In being an Industry Analyst, you are analysing an industry. I know that’s obvious but the truth lies behind these two innocuous words. I’ve covered analysis above; meanwhile, the tech industry is an increasingly complex and distributed, dynamic and amorphous. It’s also, as I have learned over the past three decades, about people. People doing clever things; people brokering relationships; people making mistakes and adopting coping strategies. It’s an ecosystem of folks interacting with tech.

None of us are acting in isolation: when an analyst puts out unsubstantiated opinion which unfairly criticises a vendor, that reflects as much if not more on the analyst. Even more innocuously, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle comes into play: by measuring things, you can affect their behaviour. Whatever we think about quadrants or waves, they provide a great service in creating market spaces which then help technology decision makers understand what is going on.

As a result, it is incumbent on the analyst to recognise their own role in the ecosystem. An analyst can never be truly, 100% independent of the industry. The notion of an independent analyst is as flawed as it is misused: some see it to mean vendor-independent, while others see it as big-firm-independent; neither will be true if pushed to its logical conclusion, not only because there are no luddite analysts, but also because no analyst operates in isolation of the ecosystem he or she represents.

It’s a reason why the pay-per-play question — “If I spend money on Gartner, will I be more talked about?” will never fully go away. If vendors are not investing in analyst conversations, then they may not be heard so well. Of course there is room for abuse, but even without such a possibility, all stakeholders stand to gain from investing in the relationship.

These truths also play out in terms of the day to day. I remember long ago, seeing a post-it on an AR person’s computer. It listed seven analyst firms: The two ‘majors’, two mid-sized and three smaller firms (including my own at the time). The goal, as I saw it, was to get onto that post-it: we all have limited space in our heads, so we have to prioritise. This links to a whole seres of do’s and don’ts, above and beyond ‘simply’ doing world-class research analysis.

 

Jon Collins: Avoid the basic gotchas (IIAR website)Avoid the basic gotchas

Building on this, perhaps what I have learned most of all is that the industry analyst business is an ecosystem all of itself, built on people. This means that as well as understanding the table stakes — research and output, transparency of model and so on — analysts can also avoid some basic gotchas, and do their bit to deliver on the expectations of the role.

From an industry perspective, the most critical quality for an analyst is to be open and fair, or openly fair. This means being accessible before, during and post-research, for example to give a vendor the opportunity to contribute, to enable review of materials where applicable, or to offer a right to reply if not. If you don’t have a research agenda, it might be a good idea to have one for a slew of reasons, not least (for smaller firms) it minimises the risk of becoming the cart, not the horse.

Analyst briefings are an extremely useful tool: while analysts are right to be focused on the immutable stars, briefings help reset the theodolite on an ever-shifting sea. Or something. So, being open to briefings is a straightforward hygiene factor — note that it doesn’t mean you have to travel abroad, which can be very time consuming. Do your homework before briefings, and reflect the information in your outputs wherever possible.

Above all, look to add value — don’t assume that because you are an analyst you somehow deserve to be paid a premium for turning up. A briefing quid pro quo in my experience is to offer feedback, even if you will not be writing about the vendor in the short term. You have to earn the right to be seen as influential: this means being consistent, fair, rational and honest, respecting NDAs and delivering transparency and pragmatism.

In summary this is about no surprises — being clear about what you bring to the party, then bringing it as expected. In this complex world of no absolutes, analysts will continue to have a great deal to offer, as advisors, curators and guides. While nobody can second-guess what the industry will look like in 10 years time, we can say that analysts who align to their context will be in a better position to help. Perhaps the final advice I would offer is not to lose your sense of objectivity: in a changing world, clarity of thought is worth hanging on to.

 

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[GUEST POST] Tips to Ensure a Productive Analyst Briefing http://analystrelations.org/2018/05/28/guest-post-tips-to-ensure-a-productive-analyst-briefing/ http://analystrelations.org/2018/05/28/guest-post-tips-to-ensure-a-productive-analyst-briefing/#respond Mon, 28 May 2018 15:16:26 +0000 http://analystrelations.org/?p=234631 IIAR blog: illustration for post on briefing best practices by Cindy Zhou / ConstellationSince becoming an industry analyst almost two years ago, I’ve sat in on nearly 100 vendor briefings and have some tips and do’s/don’ts to share to help you prepare for your next analyst session. First, know that Constellation is a firm very accessible to technology companies of all sizes and no, you don’t have to be a client to brief us. Based on availability and relevance to my coverage areas, I’m happy to take the call and enjoy helping young start-ups.

Let’s ensure we both get the most out of our limited time together, so here are my tips for you :

Do:

  • Be respectful of the analyst’s time. Our free briefings are 30 minutes, and if I’m able to, I will often extend to 45 mins (at my discretion).
  • A little light research to understand who I am and my coverage areas (Marketing (B2B and B2C), Sales, and Customer Experience. I prepare by visiting your company website and learn about you on LinkedIn before the call, please extend that courtesy.

The best way to utilize the 30 minutes is to have a concise/tight deck to walk me through the following:

  • 1 slide on company background – Where’s your headquarters, who your investors are, revenue (or you can share a range), highlight any unique experience of your executive team, and the space/market you play in.
  • 1 slide on who your customers are – “Nascar-style” logo slides are fine, but please highlight 3-4 customers and tell me what you do for them. For example, I often see the same logo for multiple competing marketing companies. Tell me the group using your solution and the context. Also, Who is your target customer and their role?
  • 1-2 slides on your go-to-market strategy.
  • 1 Marchitecture slide to illustrate your product or market slide on your solution and where it fits.
  • Tell me about your pricing model, how do customers buy?
  • Share what’s new or coming soon. Whether it’s an upcoming product launch, you sign(ed) a new customer, secured new funding, etc. You would be surprised how many times the news gets buried and forgotten in a briefing.
  • Prepare a demo. Especially if I agree to extend to 45 minutes, I want to see your solution in-action.

Send me your slides the day before the briefing. This way I can save you time by not asking questions answered on a later slide.

Don’t:

  • Spend time to educate me on the market. If you looked at my background, you’ll know that I was a practicing marketing executive then an industry analyst. I do understand what the market challenge is for marketers/sellers and have the battle scars to prove it. So telling me the marketing technology landscape is more complicated than ever with 6000+ vendors or that the sales process is broken – is well, wasted time.
  • Come unprepared and attempt to do a “discovery” call in a briefing. Talking through your product architecture with no visual representation only adds confusion. Our time together is limited, preparation is key.
  • Ask me or emphasize every 5 minutes, “This is under NDA right?”. As an analyst, I respect our confidentiality and take it very seriously as a matter of integrity. If there is something I’m interested in tweeting about or sharing publicly, I will ask you if the information is public or ok to share. Otherwise, understand our briefing is confidential.
  • Say, “we don’t have any competitors” when I ask who your competitors are. I am not asking because I don’t know. I want to know who YOU think your competitors are.
  • Follow-up with me asking what kind of “article” I will write after the “interview.” Please understand the differences between industry analysts and the press/media.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with many of the best Analyst Relations (AR) teams in the business, people who understand how to best engage with us and if you work with one – take their advice!  If you use a PR firm to help with Analyst Relations, make sure they can demonstrate to you they understand the differences with AR.

If we haven’t spoken yet, I hope this was helpful and look forward to a productive briefing from you!

 

Cindy Zhou (@cindy_zhou, LinkedIn)covers digital marketing and sales effectiveness at Constellation Research. Originally posted on her LinkedIn and reproduced with permission. Opinions expressed in this guest post are not an IIAR position and may not reflect IIAR members individual opinions. 

 

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Le CXP Group moves to consulting – CEO Yannick Carriou interviewed http://analystrelations.org/2018/05/25/le-cxp-group-moves-to-consulting-ceo-yannick-carriou-interviewed/ http://analystrelations.org/2018/05/25/le-cxp-group-moves-to-consulting-ceo-yannick-carriou-interviewed/#respond Thu, 24 May 2018 23:53:50 +0000 http://analystrelations.org/?p=235517 CXP Group logo (IIAR website)Le CXP is one of the oldest IT analysis firms around. It was created in 1973, six years before Gartner, under the auspices of the French Ministry of Industry by some of the largest French companies at the time: Air France, Anotec, Bred, BSN (now Danone), EDF, RATP and the Société Générale. Its remit was to provide expertise on packaged software -hence the name in French, the deliciously quaint Centre d’Expertise des Progiciels. It’s been doing just this plus some consulting for IT users, gently and in French (Americans would call this in “local language”) until it bought PAC, a rival but vendor-focussed French firm, in 2014. At last I should say, and after PAC’s founder, Pierre Audoin, passed away.

Before this, Le CXP bought German BI specialist BARC in 2011 and PAC snapped German firm Berlecon on the same year. As a result, we’ve got a Paris based firm doing more business in Germany than France. They must like it there.

Are you still following me?

On May 15th, its new CEO, Yannick Carriou (ex. Ipsos and TNS) announced Le CXP was buying Ardour, a business consulting firm. Here’s his exclusive interview.

 

Ludovic Leforestier – I expected a move by Le CXP but expanding in consulting surprised me. 

Yannick Carriou @YCarriou, CEO CXP Group interviewed for the IIAR blog - Ludovic Leforestier @lludovic

Yannick Carriou @YCarriou, CEO CXP Group

Yannick Carriou – This acquisition is absolutely in line with our long-term plans.

In the future, all organisations will have to navigate the exponential complexity of technologies that drive digital transformation. They will need inspiration and confidence to make multiple, critical and interconnected choices to grow, perform and thrive. We have been there to that end for decades already and will keep our strategy to talk to both end-users and vendors.

We see a lot of vendors developing plans and strategies to get closer to clients’ businesses, as opposed to the sole discussions with IT departments. They develop specific verticals, or consutlting activities to fill the gap. We have always been at a sweet spot to gain that intimacy and no one could blame us for biaised views. Chinese walls are a reality to us, but we share to understand the market dynamics and get more contextualized views on markets. When working with us, vendors know we have an intimate knowledge of their clients. And that is a precious asset. Nothing new from that end. As a reminder, we are invited to both Analysts and Advisors events. So our clients seem to understand that.

The addition of Ardour was a good option for us. They bring a tremendous knowledge on user IT strategy formalization and IT governance organization. These are increasingly demanded topics as IT Users need not only the best choices but to up their game in our they orchestrate all their investment, short term and long term. And Ardour is also an IP company : they have developed an incredible amount of IP in the domain that will immediately benefit our clients.

LL – What do you envision your business model to be?

We are and will remain a IP/Content based company. We don’t want to go with any of our client just because we have (actually excellent) reputation. Our difference comes from data, models and assets. You’ll see even more of that in the future. I also think that being a content company is a permanent effort which allow us to be highly regarded for our second-to-none knowledge of many markets, in Europe, including Eastern Europe.

LL – What will be the revenues  share of research and advisory, events and consulting in your business?

Events are a small part of our business, at around 15%. The rest is balanced between consulting and content. Sometimes the line between both is a bit blurred. Working intensively with clients on market data and their integration in the 3 years strategic agenda for the Board, that’s both data and consulting at the same time.

LL – What share of revenues from end-users for the CXP Group and your different entities?

50/50 sounds like a diplomatic answer but that’s not far from what we are doing.

LL – What is your competitive positioning?

We are the largest independent company in Europe. Ardour reinforces us further.

LL – The press release states BARC and PAC, is Le CXP not planning to unify its brands?

All our brands have a strong legacy and heritage. We do not plan to drop them. But you’re right that an history of growth has created a fragmented brand portfolio. We’ll remedy to that.

LL – How should AR position your group and different brands with their stakeholders?

PAC has always been a long-standing partner of Vendors to understand and measure markets, and provide consulting services to optimize strategy and acquisition roadmap. We have outstanding capacities in Europe and know the markets from a thorough bottom-up approach which is also largely fueled by the intimate knowledge of end-users. We are recognized areas of expertise (see Kea Ranking : we are always in the Top tier for IT Services, Iot, analytics and big data, strategy,..). We also try to keep the inherent qualities of mid-size organizations : reactive, agile and engaged. For AR, this is the front desk of our group. Behind, BARC is a world-class leader in analyzing technologies and players in the booming field of  BI and analytics. Le CXP and Ardour provide also intimate knowledge of users in many other areas.

LL – This changes the power balance further to Germany, how will this impact Le CXP Group?

We are getting obviously stronger in Germany, with a prestigious list of heavy-weight clients there coming with Ardour. But as Ardour is also an IP company, this will also immediately benefit the enire company and our future developments.

LL – Any  comments on your observations on the industry? What surprised you coming from TNS?

I ran global businesses at TNS, then Ipsos. Thousands and employees and clients, lately in Marketing, Media and Tech areas. Comparatively , I was surprised by the siloes your questions are just illustrating. There is a non-written principle that some company are talking to end-users, others to Vendors. Most of the time, when companies say they do both, the ratio is totally skewed towards one activity against the other. In “general” market research, we work with all the chain links of an industry ecosystem, without any issue, to cumulate knowledge and info and help everybody do better. I joined and invested in CXP for that many reasons. Maybe it needs reassurance and explanations to some of our clients. But the changes ahead are so deep  and fast that we all need to really maximise our chance to succeed by providing the best intelligence this industry has probably ever delivered.

 

Bottom line

At a time where IIAR member worry about the growing dominance of the research firm, Gartner, Le CXP can’t be ignored for local knowledge and influence. Their coverage in Germany and France on software and services is excellent and they have a number of excellent analysts. Yet, they remain a fragmented brand and their move into consulting could prove unsettling for European services providers which are long-term PAC clients.

 

Update

Le CXP is organising a webinar for AR pros on Wednesday 13th June 2018 at 1000-1100 EDT / 1600-1700 BST 1700-1800 CEST > register here.

 

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IIAR Webinar with Jon Collins: how not to be an industry analyst? http://analystrelations.org/2018/05/21/iiar-webinar-with-jon-collins-how-not-to-be-an-industry-analyst/ http://analystrelations.org/2018/05/21/iiar-webinar-with-jon-collins-how-not-to-be-an-industry-analyst/#respond Mon, 21 May 2018 10:58:19 +0000 http://analystrelations.org/?p=234656 Jon Collins / Inter Orbis and GigaOM (IIAR website)Jon Collins from GigaOm (LinkedIn, @jonno) first picked up the analyst mantle in 1999, when he sent off a rather too hasty job application after a glass of wine. Since then he worked for, and with, a variety of larger and smaller firms — including picking up IIAR’s European Analyst of the Year award in 2012, a moment he sees as the pinnacle of his analyst career. Really.
More recently, alongside his analysis duties Jon has been working behind the scenes, helping a variety of vendors and other firms tell their stories, as well as helping the IIAR put together its best practice guide on “What’s an Analyst Anyway?

In this interactive session, weaving in a variety of experiences from across his career, Jon thinks about what he might have told his younger self — the whys and wherefores, the dos, and more particularly the don’ts of being an industry analyst. He covers:
  • Why it is more important to analyse, than preach – analysts are outsourced intellectual services for time-strapped decision makers
  • How to deliver insight-based value without distraction – the nature of analyst business models, and the two-edged sword of influence
  • When to adapt to changes in thinking and market dynamics – using research to avoid silo-ed thinking and keep up with change
  • Who to engage with across the industry, in what way – recognising that you are never working alone, and getting on the post-it
  • What to avoid in terms of basic ‘gotchas’ – delivering on expectations of the role, during briefings and beyond.
So, if you want to know what life is like from one analyst’s perspective, if you would like the opportunity to debate any of the above topics or you simply like good stories, please do come along:
  • Date: Thursday 24th May
  • Time: 16:00 pm BST
  • To Register: please register with the form below and Finn will send you an invitation containing dial in and videoconferencing details.
This call is open to members of the IIAR.  If you are not a member, but would like to join the call, please do let Finn know.
This webinar will be moderated by Ludovic Leforestier (@lludovic, LinkedIn) from the IIAR Board.

Read also

 

Register now!

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[GUEST POST] How to lose an industry analyst in 10 days (and ways) http://analystrelations.org/2018/05/21/how-to-lose-an-industry-analyst-in-10-days-and-ways/ http://analystrelations.org/2018/05/21/how-to-lose-an-industry-analyst-in-10-days-and-ways/#respond Mon, 21 May 2018 08:09:04 +0000 http://analystrelations.org/?p=231093 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).

Unsurprisingly, the data from this survey offers the type of insight that is invaluable for anyone working with industry analysts on a regular basis. It captures their perceptions, expectations from, frustrations with and other such “-ions” (reflections?) from analysts who work with Tech PR and Comms industry professionals . It’s easy to lose the interest of your target audience, even with very best intentions in place. So, a key question emerges: what do industry analysts expect from AR Pros, and what practices should stop?

  • Stop assuming, start researching. The lack of understanding of the analyst’s role and business model featured prominently in survey responses. This approach results in missteps such as a spokesperson referencing other analyst firms, trying to be too commercial during a briefing or the MarCom team treating every analyst interaction as a numbers game or a one-off engagement.
  • Tell me more, tell me more. Setting up briefings with analysts when a business can’t share relevant, timely or valuable news or PR-ing the narrative is a definite no-no in an analyst’s eyes.
  • The Timekeeper. The IIAR survey revealed that bad agenda management is annoying to analysts, as their diaries get booked up far in advance and last-minute requests are rarely feasible and seldom accommodated.
  • Hello, is it me you’re looking for? Connecting analysts with any available executive is not a strategic approach or one that can help strengthen relationships, something that analysts repeatedly mentioned in their feedback.
  • You shall not pass! Instead of nurturing relationships between analysts and executives, there is a tendency in the AR community to gate-keep, a practice that analysts discourage.
  • You’ve got mail. Although keeping analysts up to date on business/product news is important, sharing every press release, blog or marketing materials will be regarded as being excessive rather than informative.
  • I did it my way. Short and simple: when it comes to analyst authored materials, don’t try to spin outputs beyond factual corrections.
  • Houston, we have a problem. Unsurprisingly, analysts noted as an annoyance the low quality/preparation from a technical equipment perspective for phone briefings, webinars and events, especially when this can be avoided.
  • Tier me baby one more time. Blindly tiering analysts based on criteria such as “a big, recognisable firm name” instead of the influence that an analyst has for a company or area of the market, is bad practice; also mentioning preferences for analyst firms publicly is a major misstep.
  • Nothing in life is free. Whilst it’s all about building relationships and having a transparent and productive conversation, expecting detailed feedback or the type of information shared during a consulting session for free during a briefing is unrealistic and annoying.

There are many more ways in which relationships with industry analysts can be nurtured and just as many ways in which they can go sour.

Research into analyst perception of AR Pros helps give a far greater understanding of how the “other side of the profession thinks” and in shaping new best practices that are mutually beneficial. The key message to take away is the openness to accept that there is always room for improvement, especially in professions that have the word “relations” in their name.

By Julia Pope (LinkedIn, @iulia_g_popa) / Analyst Relations manager and AR specialist /  CCgroup, based in London. This blog first appeared on CCgroup’s website here.

 

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[JOB POSTING] Analyst Relations Manager / Dimension Data, London, UK http://analystrelations.org/2018/05/17/job-post-analyst-relations-manager-dimension-data-london-uk/ http://analystrelations.org/2018/05/17/job-post-analyst-relations-manager-dimension-data-london-uk/#respond Thu, 17 May 2018 13:30:58 +0000 http://analystrelations.org/?p=234847 dimension dataLooking for the next step in your career? Enjoy a challenge?  Do you have an ambition for innovation? Want to make a difference?

If you join our growing global team, you’ll be working for an industry leader with offices across five continents, in over 47 countries and more than 28 000 employees.  You will work with some of the leading world brands across the Fortune 100 and  Fortune 500 companies – who are all relying on Dimension Data to help them use the power of technology to achieve their ambition in this digital era.You’ll be part of a team who’s passionate about making a difference to the way technology shapes how we live and work – whether it’s protecting the rhino, connecting the G20 Summit, or revolutionising cycling, giving you the opportunity to do great things.

You’ll be joining a Global Top Employer, recognised for investing in talent because people are at the heart of our success. You provide the skills, passion and ideas, and we’ll provide the platform to realise your ambitions.Great talent. Great teams. Great work. Great opportunities.

Want to be part of our team?

The Analyst Relations Manager operates at a Group level with a focus on engaging global analyst communities across the Americas, Asia, Australia, Europe, Middle East and Africa and the UK. He/she reports to the Influencer Relations Manager. The primary responsibility of the Analyst Relations Manager is to manage Dimension Data’s corporate communication and marketing with the development and implementation of an effective analyst relations program that will ensure analyst specific positioning and managing that the result in positive analyst coverage and drives sales.

What you’ll be doing

Strategy Development

The Analyst Relations Manager contributes to the development of a strategic communication program to top tier Industry Analysts. In so doing, they work closely with the Propositions, Client Marketing and Media Relations team, as well as external Consultants (where applicable) to plan and implement the appropriate analyst programs. They contribute to the development of a strategy to support and align with all business units and marketing initiatives.

Data Management

The Analyst Relations Manager ensures that the Industry Analyst database is maintained, audited and updated to ensure that the content is kept up to date. They track all analyst interactions, ensuring that all measurement and tracking documents in the relevant database are updated regularly. These individuals manage the Analyst portal on the Wired and the Analyst Relations community.

Brief Management

The Analyst Relations Manager facilitates analyst briefings and interviews during specific events. They schedule and secure briefings, arrange meetings at events and other face-to-face opportunities, ensuring that senior executives are engaged for regular discussions with key influencers. The Analyst Relations Manager ensure that analyst briefings are correctly established and managed. They complete the briefing forms prior to briefings and share this with the relevant stakeholders. They maintain a briefing calendar and prepare analyst briefing tours, presentations and documents. These individuals monitor the travel of executives to leverage local briefing opportunities and are responsible for the management of analyst firm contract deliverables such as strategy days, web casts and key research deliverables.

Content Development

The Analyst Relations Manager develops pitches to be sent to the analysts based on internal outreach efforts such as proprietary reports, news, service offerings, etc. They develop all briefing documents with information obtained from databases, for all executive and spokesperson briefings. He/she will also develop debrief documents and assist with the build of presentation slide decks as and when required. He/she will take responsibility for the production and execution of the internal and external analyst newsletter, including any adhoc communication requirements for the program.

Outreach Initiatives

The Analyst Relations Manager is responsible for conducting outreach initiatives that build rapport between company spokespersons and selected analysts.  They also conduct personal outreach to identify current research projects where the successes of Dimension Data can be shared. He/she will be responsible for the identification of case studies and other information hooks that are appropriate to share with the analyst communities. They are responsible for business development outreach to identify new analysts and their interests.

Relationship Management

The Analyst Relations Manager develops and maintains good working relationships with key internal and external stakeholders. They work with Propositions Marketing to secure positive analyst reports and develop content to ensure that analysts’ requests for information are followed up in a timely manner. They maintain a presentation on vendor relationships in terms of the most current, the duration and the extent of the relationship.

Behavioural Skills

The Analyst Relations Manager demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills and is able to develop and maintain key relationships with key internal and external stakeholders. He/she will display excellent verbal and written communication skills and they are tactful and diplomatic in their approach. The Analyst Relations Manager displays high attention to detail and the ability to think strategically. They are able to multi-task between strategic and tactful functions and display the ability to consult with internal clients and the sales organisation ensuring that the needs of the analysts are understood and that the audience is utilised to achieve the desired results.

What would make you a good fit for this role?

Here’s what we are looking for in candidates for this role:

  • Degree in Communications / Public Relations / Analyst Relations / Marketing
  • 2 – 5 years’ work experience with at least 2 years’ Analyst Relations experience
  • Existing relationships with global industry, business and technology analysts preferable
  • Understanding of analyst communities and engagement models essential
  • Writing skills essential.
  • Possess solid knowledge and understanding of industry analysis and business strategies
  • Excellent persuading, negotiating and influencing skills
  • Demonstrate proactive management and leadership skills
  • Display consistent client focus and orientation
  • Demonstrate excellent document writing skills
  • Demonstrate strategic thinking skills and ability to multi-task between strategic and tactical functions
  • Display high level results orientation
  • Display high level attention to detail.
  • Display impeccable written and verbal communication ability
  • Possess the ability to impact and sway the attitudes, actions and decision making of individuals, groups and organisations
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to develop and maintain key relationships
  • Demonstrated ability to lead, coach and mentor others.

Join our growing global team and accelerate your career with Dimension Data. Apply today.

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[GUEST POST] How to Create a More Compelling Analyst Event http://analystrelations.org/2018/05/14/guest-post-how-to-create-a-more-compelling-analyst-event/ http://analystrelations.org/2018/05/14/guest-post-how-to-create-a-more-compelling-analyst-event/#respond Mon, 14 May 2018 13:14:42 +0000 http://analystrelations.org/?p=233576 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.

  1. Make the presentations as interactive as possible. Having to hold questions until the end of presentations is an unnatural act for analysts. It also signals that you are way more interested in talking to us rather than engaging with us. Two-way street, remember? At smaller venues, take questions along the way. At larger ones, try something new–maybe some interactive polling or live-streaming sentiment analysis. After all, you are a technology company,
  2. Give us the deck upfront so we don’t have to keep taking photos. A picture is often worth a thousand words. That’s why analysts are constantly snapping photos of presentations, whether to share on Twitter or use later. This is crazy! Just provide us with the deck and make it easy for us to share screen shots during the event.
  3. Remember that everything you do does not have to involve a talking head and a Powerpoint deck. Some of the best (and sadly very infrequent) sessions I’ve been to have focused having a dialogue with analysts! Imagine that. Schedule more break out sessions and roundtables–they can lead off with a few slides, but the goal should be dialogue.
  4. Ditch the canned panel presentations. So you’ve schedule an hour panel session, and use up 45 or 50 minutes having the moderator asked canned questions. What is up with that? Ask a couple of planned questions to warm things up, but get to the analyst questions after 15 minutes.
  5. Feature SMB and midmarket customer, not just your large enterprise clients. Everyone loves sharing their marquee names. But businesses with fewer than 500 employees account for 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms! Plus, the creation-destruction cycle in business is accelerating. Creative SMBs will disrupt and replace slower-moving large businesses. I want to hear how you’re helping them to do that.
  6. Schedule relevant 1-1 meetings for analysts. I shouldn’t have to even say this! But at many events, I end up in 1-1s with people who have no responsiblity for anything event remotely SMB related–and what I cover are SMB and midmarket. It’s a waste of time, both for the analyst and the executive.
  7. Inform executives and others at your company about the analysts they’re meeting with. The best AR teams not only schedule analyst 1-1s with the executives in your firm that most relevant to analyst coverage areas, but also supply the executive with analyst bios and some samples of their blog posts or reports.
  8. Make it easy for analysts to get to your event. As frequent business travelers, travel is not a novelty or adventure for us. So we appreciate anything you can do to ease travel to your event. Make it easy for us to book air and hotel. Provide a van, or car, or coupon for Lyft to get to the hotel from the airport. And don’t scrimp on the little things. In addition to picking up the major expenses, cover analyst expenses for parking, meals while they’re traveling, minor upgrades like the $15 Southwest fee to reserve Early Bird seating, etc. These little things add up–especially for independent analysts or analysts that work at boutique shops.
  9. Hold your event somewhere different. We get that you need to be in Orlando, Las Vegas, San Francisco, etc. to accommodate thousands or even tens of thousands at your customer-centric events. But analyst events are small, tens to maybe a couple of hundred of people. Go off the beaten track. Having your event somewhere else (still easy to get to though!) is a welcome change.
  10. Take us out to or bring in some local flavor. So now that you’re in a more interesting place, take us somewhere to experience just a bit of it…dinner at a museum, on a boat, whatever. Or at least bring some local flavor in.
  11. Schedule enough time for analysts to take a break between the end of day sessions and dinner. We’ve given up a couple of days to be at your event, but we need a little buffer to get other things done, whether it be business related or personal. 5 or 15 minutes isn’t enough. 60 minutes is okay, but 90 minutes works best.

Some vendors already do some of these things, and some do many of them. But many haven’t shaken things up in years.  While I understand that it takes more time and energy to do try new approaches, I’m at least one analyst that thinks your investment will pay off.

By Laurie McCabe (@lauriemccabe), Co-founder, SMB Group. Reproduced by permission © SMB Group 2018

 

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[GUEST POST] Why AR Managers Should Fret About Quote Policies by Peggy O’Neill http://analystrelations.org/2018/05/08/guest-post-why-ar-managers-should-fret-about-quote-policies-by-peggy-oneil/ http://analystrelations.org/2018/05/08/guest-post-why-ar-managers-should-fret-about-quote-policies-by-peggy-oneil/#respond Tue, 08 May 2018 15:16:06 +0000 http://analystrelations.org/?p=234153 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.

 

As an analyst relations manager, I like reading analyst research and working with analysts to improve my company. The role of compliance officer is not a natural one for me personally. However, every experienced AR manager will have a quote violation story to tell. To some extent it’s inevitable as you can spend a lot of time running around your company educating colleagues about the analyst quote policies and either people will still forget, or you will have new colleagues joining your company who aren’t sufficiently sensitive to this issue.

 

This is an often-overlooked issue for AR managers but savvy and experienced ones know how to put in controls and advocate best practices to keep quote violations to a minimum.

 

Why worry about this in the first place? The analysts do notice frequent violations and it’s not helpful to your company’s reputation. It goes under the heading of pick your battles wisely – there are plenty of items to argue over with analysts, a violation of the quote policy is a dumb one.

 

Remind your colleagues who push back that it’s part of the analyst contract, no one puts a gun to your head and makes you sign it. It makes sense because vendors can cause confusion if quotes are outdated or taken out of context, etc. You would be the first to scream if your competitor did it.

 

Be proactive in educating your colleagues. Set up meetings with public relations, marketing, the web team, people who create slides for execs, whoever is creating external marketing content on a regular basis. Go find those colleagues and insert yourself into their workflow. Don’t forget to remind them that it takes a few days for approvals and the basics of most analyst firms’ quote policies – i.e. current research, no competitive bashing, no blatant endorsement, etc.

 

Of course the day will come when some doofus colleague has managed, despite your best efforts, to misquote an analyst, and it’s called to your attention by the firm. Apologize and quickly fix the error; then circle back to show it’s been fixed; and apologize again.

 

Your company pays a lot for analyst research, and analysts create tons of useful content that your colleagues will want to use, so it’s natural to want to use it. Just make sure your company uses it properly as it’s one less source of stress for you. Also, if your company is a good citizen about frequently seeking permission, it can be a competitive differentiator if your arch rival is always violating the quote policy. You lose the moral high ground to tattle on your competitors if your company is always violating it too!

 

Peggy O’Neill (@PegONeill, LinkedIn) is Vice President, Industry Analyst Relations at Informatica. This blog post is dedicated to her Informatica colleagues who are good citizens about seeking analyst approval for citations.

 

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Common Misconceptions and 4 Key Areas Tech Start-ups Can Benefit from Industry Analyst Relations http://analystrelations.org/2018/04/30/common-misconceptions-and-4-key-areas-tech-start-ups-can-benefit-from-industry-analyst-relations/ http://analystrelations.org/2018/04/30/common-misconceptions-and-4-key-areas-tech-start-ups-can-benefit-from-industry-analyst-relations/#comments Mon, 30 Apr 2018 15:16:48 +0000 http://analystrelations.org/?p=232924  Photo: business man writing business strategy concept by Phenom Apps

Photo: business man writing business strategy concept by Phenom Apps

Industry Analyst Relations is often characterized as a “Pay to Play” endeavor with little opportunity for the bootstrapped tech venture; this is not the case. I would argue that there are opportunities for a dedicated Tech Startup to benefit from pursuing Industry Analyst Relations (IAR) even without a large budget to spend. Keep in mind Industry Analysts are knowledge focused experts and there can be equitable and beneficial exchanges of information for those who have put forth the effort to develop their Analyst Relations program and build the necessary relationships in the community. For those new to Industry Analyst Relations and who are considering the reasons to perform IAR, below are some common misconceptions, followed by four compelling reasons to develop an Industry Analyst Relations mission early in a Tech Startup.

Common Misconceptions about Industry Analyst Relations:

Need to wait for the Product Launch, Funding Round or Revenue Size:

  • After the fact can be more harmful to building analyst relations as being in the know is more valuable to an analyst than finding out with the press.
  • Analysts often see themselves as advisors and can be used as sounding boards for product development and investment groups, so including them before a product launch or funding round can benefit a Tech Startup.
  • It is not necessary to be a paid member or hit a milestone to be a compelling enough reason to engage with Industry Analysts.

Pay to Play:

  • Any analyst and analyst organization with worthwhile exposure and influence would not jeopardize their credibility. Pay to Play is an unrealistic assertion and would be race to the bottom.
  • Pay for access that can be leveraged to gain market insights and influence is possible, however this will not substitute for an inferior market offering.

Why Startup’s should do Industry Analyst Relations

The IIAR AR Compass is a good way to think about the impact of industry analyst relations. In my view, startups should aim for the following objectives.

#1 Grow Sales

All Startup’s need to grow revenues, scale, and demonstrate market validity, however; very often medium to large B2b enterprise sales can be challenging as start-ups must overcome the preconceived risk rating buyers give small young start-ups. Through an IAR strategy, greater sales can be achieved as well as procurement objections overcome through the influence analysts have on the buyers of vendor solutions, thus effecting sales cycles and win ratios, keep in mind Industry Analysts have customer insights that organizational sales functions do not because of the access their profession has with buyers.

#2 Strategic Business Intelligence

Actionable good Business Intelligence is expensive and often time consuming to digest. Industry analysts can provide insights beyond reports on prospects and the market in general. This is available as Industry Analysts have clients that are both vendors and buyers of tech providing an overall market view of different trends in tech markets and their verticals. Industry Analysts often have market knowledge beyond the reports and conferences they participate in, additional insights can be gained through the relationships built with analysts covering a given tech market.

#3 Market Exposure

Industry Analyst Relations can support the marketing function through greater effective exposure such as in Media Quotes, Speaker Events, Research Reports and White Papers. Industry Analysts have greater influence on medium to large enterprises than growth hacking and content marketing as they provide third party validation that can be used for demand generation as well as influence on different channels of stakeholders in the purchasing decision. Industry Analysts provide an opportunity for greater visibility and a feedback loop in the communication messaging to the marketed audiences. This provides for effective messaging through message testing as well as education from the Industry Analysts of the prospective buyers.

#4 Product Strategies

Industry Analysts can also be used to test and validate product strategies as they have an overall view of what key players are building in each market and what minimal requirements are needed to be considered a viable option in the market. They can also shed light on what is not being developed and why, which for innovators like Tech Startup’s is quite valuable for MVP development and product differentiation strategies.

This post has briefly outlined some misconceptions of Industry Analyst Relations and some key areas where IAR can be of value specifically to Start-ups. There are a plethora of areas IAR can be of value to companies and the use -cases will be company specific. The information in this article is intended to be informative and introductory for Startup’s and those new to Industry Analysts Relations.

 

Josh Seerattan (@JoshSeerattanLinkedIn) is the IIAR Canada Chapter Lead.

 

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Recruiting for the IIAR Board – Come and Join us! http://analystrelations.org/2018/04/27/recruiting-for-the-iiar-board-come-and-join-us/ http://analystrelations.org/2018/04/27/recruiting-for-the-iiar-board-come-and-join-us/#respond Fri, 27 Apr 2018 10:44:15 +0000 http://analystrelations.org/?p=232981 IIAR Logo

Looking to raise your profile in the AR world? / Want to help shape the IIAR worldwide? / Want to be a part of a globally recognised organisation?

The IIAR is looking for new Board members to stand at this year’s election.

To be an IIAR Board member is  a great way of raising your profile in the industry and giving you a little something extra to put on your CV or Resume.

What’s more, if you’ve ever felt you could do things better, or would like to see some changes within the IIAR, then now’s your chance. Take this opportunity to get involved in decision-making and put your great ideas into practice!

This year we are recruiting for three positions to join the Board, located anywhere. There are some eligibility criteria -contact me for the details. If you would like to be considered as a candidate please let me know asap as the deadline is approaching fast!

Submissions for candidacy has been extended to Friday 4th May. Election of Board Members will be by secret ballot and we’ll be announcing the results at the IIAR in May.

For those considering putting themselves forward for this role, Board members are expected to take an active role in enabling the IIAR to provide value to its membership.  If you would like to know more about what’s involved, please email me and I would be happy to put you in touch with a current Board Member.

[contact-form]

 

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[JOB POSTING] Head of Analyst Relations (AR) / BAE Systems, London or Guildford, UK http://analystrelations.org/2018/04/24/job-posting-head-of-analyst-relations-ar-bae-systems-london-or-guildford-uk/ http://analystrelations.org/2018/04/24/job-posting-head-of-analyst-relations-ar-bae-systems-london-or-guildford-uk/#respond Tue, 24 Apr 2018 15:00:22 +0000 http://analystrelations.org/?p=232662 The Applied Intelligence division of BAE Systems delivers solutions which protect and enhance the connected world. Everything we do creates a safer future. We want to solve problems for our customers and by bringing together great minds, we can work together to make the world a safer place.

Role summary

Reporting directly into the Chief Products Officer, the Head of Analyst Relations (AR) will be responsible for the overall strategy and success of the analyst relations programme across our cyber and data offerings, and manage some of the top relationships in the industry analyst community.

This position will help broaden visibility of the company, its strategy and core products and provide product management with strategic insight on products and services. It will also partner with the Sales Enablement organisation, assist in driving deals with analyst support, and collaborate with product and corporate marketing to ensure an ‘outside in’ approach to content.

The role can be based from our Guildford, Surrey or Southwark, London offices and will require periodic travel.

What you’ll be doing

  • Set strategic direction for the analyst relations programme, proactively give advice on positioning and tactics
  • Understand budgetary requirements across multiple firms, and assist in the direction and focus of spend
  • Develop and maintain trusted relationships with tier one analysts, driving placement in key reports (e.g. MQs and Waves)
  • Be a trusted internal partner with the ability to actively participate in analyst inquiries and briefings, provide feedback to spokespeople and stakeholders and share thoughtful notes with the wider team
  • Design and deliver strategy days with measurable impact on analyst perception, product messaging and product strategy
  • Work with product and content marketing to support campaigns and product launches, and understand the importance of ‘marketing back’
  • Understand and execute the fundamentals of a good analyst relations programme

What we’re looking for

Essential skills:

  • Demonstrable experience in analyst relations, or comparable experience in product marketing, product management etc. within a technology industry
  • Clearly understands technology and can abstract business / solution value
  • Experience in supporting sales, product, and / or marketing teams at a mid-to-large scale multi-geographical organisation
  • Able to prioritise in a complex, fast-paced environment
  • Confident in communicating with and counselling senior executives
  • Excellent analysis, communication and project management skills
  • Ability to multi-task and quickly prioritise projects, communicating these to stakeholders

Desirable skills:

  • Previous experience in cyber security via product or marketing programmes
  • Experience managing vendor evaluations (e.g. MQ or Wave)
  • Desire to grow with the team and take on additional responsibilities
  • Natural tendency to improve and take an innovative approach to AR
  • Bachelors’ degree or equivalent experience

Personal skills:

  • Organised, self-starter with a preference for action, high levels of attention to detail, desire to succeed
  • A strategic thinker, focused on ‘why’ and ‘so what’
  • Able to work in a dynamic environment, to short time scales within agreed budgets
  • Able to rapidly absorb knowledge of multiple verticals / domains and articulate company portfolio and differentiation to external audiences
  • Professional verbal and written English
  • Articulate and good presentation skills

Security Clearance is required for this vacancy. If you are not currently Security Cleared, you will need to be eligible for this and willing to go through the process. For more guidance on National Security Vetting please click here.

About BAE Systems Applied Intelligence

We help nations, governments and businesses around the world defend themselves against cyber crime, reduce their risk in the connected world, comply with regulation, and transform their operations.  We do this using our unique set of solutions, systems, experience and processes.

Our success is down to our people. The changing nature of our business means that we’re constantly looking for the brightest talent to help us fulfil our ambitions. As an experienced professional, we’ll entrust you with responsibility; this means that you’ll have client contact, variety and support from day one.

We’ll encourage and support you to develop your skills and reward you as you grow. Whatever your area of expertise, you’ll be much more than just a job title; you’ll be an integral part of the business where your individual contribution makes a difference every day. Great minds deserve great rewards, so we also offer a very competitive salary and benefits package.

Diversity and inclusion are integral to the success of BAE Systems Applied Intelligence. Staying competitive in today’s global marketplace requires an organisational culture where employees with varying perspectives, skills, life experiences and backgrounds – the best and brightest minds – can work together to achieve excellence and realise individual and organisational potential. We also welcome discussions about flexible working.

To apply for this role Click here

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[JOB POSTING] Analyst Relations (AR) Specialist, BAE Systems / London or Guildford, UK http://analystrelations.org/2018/04/24/job-posting-analyst-relations-ar-specialist-bae-systems-london-or-guildford-uk/ http://analystrelations.org/2018/04/24/job-posting-analyst-relations-ar-specialist-bae-systems-london-or-guildford-uk/#respond Tue, 24 Apr 2018 11:58:23 +0000 http://analystrelations.org/?p=232656 The Applied Intelligence division of BAE Systems delivers solutions which protect and enhance the connected world. Everything we do creates a safer future. We want to solve problems for our customers and by bringing together great minds, we can work together to make the world a safer place.

Role summary

Reporting directly into the Head of Analyst Relations (AR), the Analyst Relations (AR) Specialist will be responsible for supporting the execution of the analyst relations plan, owning specific tasks within the evolving data and digital capability programmes. We would like to find a high potential candidate who is keen to develop their skills and experience within Applied Intelligence, and can grow into and shape this role.

The AR function is designed to broaden market visibility of the company, its strategy and its core products, as well as providing product management and portfolio teams with strategic insight to support roadmap development. It partners with the sales enablement organisation, assisting in driving deals with analyst support, and collaborates with product and corporate marketing to ensure an ‘outside in’ approach to content. Achieving this results in access to senior management, and this a high level of insight into how the company is developing and the chance to help influence that.

This role can be based from our Guildford, Surrey or Southwark, London offices and will require periodic travel.

What you’ll be doing

  • Learning and executing AR best practice
  • Create, develop and maintain trusted relationships with tier one analysts, driving placement in key reports (e.g. MQs and Waves)
  • Coordinate and execute analyst engagement activities, including inquiries, briefings, strategy/advisory days, and in-person meetings at industry events
  • Become a trusted internal partner and share thoughtful, actionable notes from meetings with the wider team
  • Assist in the preparation of analyst briefing books and backgrounders, gathering pertinent research and social media activity
  • Work with product and content marketing to support campaigns and product launches, ensuring internal and external promotion of team successes
  • Feed into the development of the AR strategy for digital and data

What we’re looking for

Essential skills:

  • Excellent relationship management skills
  • Project management and organisational skills
  • Self-starter with a natural sense of ownership
  • Outstanding attention to detail
  • Clearly understands technology and can abstract business/solution value
  • Able to prioritise in a complex, fast-paced environment
  • Confident in communicating with senior executives
  • Desire to learn and grow with the role

Desirable skills:

  • Experience in managing multi-faceted projects, delivering on time and to plan
  • Desire to grow with the team and take on additional responsibilities
  • Natural tendency to improve and simplify processes where needed
  • Bachelors’ degree or equivalent experience

Personal skills:

  • Organised self-starter with a preference for action and a desire to succeed
  • Able to work in a dynamic environment, to short time scales within agreed budgets
  • Able to rapidly absorb knowledge of multiple verticals/domains and articulate company portfolio and differentiation to external audiences
  • Excellent  verbal and written English
  • Articulate and good presentation skills

Security Clearance is required for this vacancy. If you are not currently Security Cleared, you will need to be eligible for this and willing to go through the process. For more guidance on National Security Vetting please click here.

About BAE Systems Applied Intelligence

We help nations, governments and businesses around the world defend themselves against cyber crime, reduce their risk in the connected world, comply with regulation, and transform their operations.  We do this using our unique set of solutions, systems, experience and processes.

Our success is down to our people. The changing nature of our business means that we’re constantly looking for the brightest talent to help us fulfil our ambitions. As an experienced professional, we’ll entrust you with responsibility; this means that you’ll have client contact, variety and support from day one.

We’ll encourage and support you to develop your skills and reward you as you grow. Whatever your area of expertise, you’ll be much more than just a job title; you’ll be an integral part of the business where your individual contribution makes a difference every day. Great minds deserve great rewards, so we also offer a very competitive salary and benefits package.

Diversity and inclusion are integral to the success of BAE Systems Applied Intelligence. Staying competitive in today’s global marketplace requires an organisational culture where employees with varying perspectives, skills, life experiences and backgrounds – the best and brightest minds – can work together to achieve excellence and realise individual and organisational potential. We also welcome discussions about flexible working.

To apply for this position click here

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[JOB POSTING] Senior Manager, Analyst Relations / OpenText, US or EMEA http://analystrelations.org/2018/04/19/job-post-senior-manager-analyst-relations-opentext-us-or-emea/ http://analystrelations.org/2018/04/19/job-post-senior-manager-analyst-relations-opentext-us-or-emea/#respond Thu, 19 Apr 2018 18:10:41 +0000 http://analystrelations.org/?p=232082
As the Information Company, our mission at OpenText is to create software solutions and deliver services that redefine the future of digital. Be part of a winning team that leads the way in Enterprise Information Management.

The opportunity:

Reporting to Sr. Director, Analyst Relation, this role will be the day to day contact for all analyst relations activity relating to ECM /Content Services (exact coverage areas TBC). This role will deliver frequent proactive engagement with tier-one industry analysts in an effort to educate and positively influence them about OpenText’s vision, mission and portfolio across specific OpenText Business Units. This role will also provide Product Marketing, Product Management and other senior executives with deep insights/recommendations from key influential analysts about: our offerings/strategies/messages, competitive differentiation, customer wants & needs and industry trends across specific OpenText Business Units.

You are great at:

• Working with product marketing, product management and other relevant teams to ensure effective use of analyst seat licenses, consulting days and events. Lead strategic and tactical AR planning activity across specific OpenText Business Units.
• Working directly with other AR managers, Product Marketing, Product Management, Corporate Marketing to align and deliver on key objectives and goals.
• Building and delivering strategic, results-oriented AR programs for OpenText, ensuring alignment with overall business goals.
• Leading all AR communications relating to OpenText M&A activity – working closely with relevant “sector” AR managers to ensure a clear message is delivered to analysts across the entire M&A timeline (announcement to post-close).
• Developing and implementing tactics and strategies to ensure analysts are apprised of key OpenText news, product strategy and customer wins specifically for ECM/Content Services Business Units (exact coverage areas TBC).
• Engaging and counselling appropriate spokespeople, including ELT, in an effort to establish and nurture relationships between OT execs/spokespeople and key analysts.
• Developing content for quarterly AR/CEO meeting.
• Building relationships and working effectively with a wide range of internal teams, including leadership, sales, product marketing, product development and corporate communications.
• Driving OpenText’s AR Sales Enablement programs.

What it takes:

• 5-10 years analyst relations experience in a related area of technology.
• Must have a detailed understanding of the ECM/Content Services Market.
• Ability to work with people in different departments (sales, marketing, product management, etc.).
• Excellent organizational, presentation, writing, and interpersonal skills.
• Must be creative and self-motivated.
• Bachelor’s Degree required.

For more information and to apply for this role Click here

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IIAR Webinar: A Discussion on Effective AR Measurement and Amplification http://analystrelations.org/2018/04/18/iiar-webinar-a-discussion-on-effective-ar-measurement-and-amplification/ http://analystrelations.org/2018/04/18/iiar-webinar-a-discussion-on-effective-ar-measurement-and-amplification/#comments Wed, 18 Apr 2018 19:44:11 +0000 http://analystrelations.org/?p=231985
On Friday 11th May 0800 PDT / 1100 EDT / 1600 BST, IIAR member Gerry Van Zandt (LinkedIn@gerryvz) from the Oracle Analyst Relations team will host an interactive discussion about how AR can better measure results, and more importantly how AR can better utilize these results.
AR managers and leaders tend to be highly focused on maximizing their firm’s placement in key analyst competitive evaluations, and improving what analysts are saying about their firm to their end-user clients.
However, the process doesn’t stop there!  Often, AR misses the more important aspect:  How can we as AR practitioners and leaders get our hard-earned results into the hands of the right people?  The sales and marketing teams; customer prospects; and existing customers?  How can we leverage and multiply the benefit of key analyst research to support the teams out there winning sales deals?

During this call, Gerry will lead the discussion about the following topics:
  • The two parts to effective AR:  effectively measuring it, and effectively leveraging it
  • Being clear about your goals for AR measurement and amplification
  • Important AR measurement elements that you should consider
  • Strategies for multiplying effectiveness of and amplifying your AR results
Speaker background 
 Gerry is a long-time AR professional, with 28 years’ experience in the AR/PR/branding industry (nearly 20 years in AR roles). He has worked in analyst relations roles in the past for Intel, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, and Oracle among other companies. A past board member of IIAR and IIAR-accredited AR practitioner, Gerry joined Oracle in early 2015 as cloud analyst relations lead.  A longtime advocate and enthusiast of proper AR measurement, Gerry in 2012 hosted an IIAR “case study” teleconference on how to create and implement an effective AR measurement program.
This call will be moderated by Ludovic Leforestier (@lludovicLinkedIn), IIAR board member.
We hope you will be able to join us for this one-hour interactive discussion, which should be a full of useful tips and information for improving the success and effectiveness of your AR programs.
This call is free for all IIAR members, and non-members can pay £30.00 to attend. To reserve your place on the call and receive dial-in details and a link to download the presentation in advance of the call please click here.

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