Analyst relations seems straightforward enough – as a tech vendor, you relate key milestones and elements of strategy to those industry analysts who you think will have the greatest reach to your target market. Right? In my opinion though, the best analyst relations professionals also flip that model. With just as much vigour and interest, they ensure that the leaders in the company are not only aware of overall market trends and emerging technologies that could impact short term AND long term revenues, but they also consider how best to respond to market indicators. How do you do THAT? It’s like inserting yourself into the C-Suite, or as part of the Office of the CEO or Strategy team. How do you get senior executive leaders to listen? And more importantly, to take action based on the market trends you bring them? Continue Reading →
Tag Archives | AR Best practices
Although crisis situations can at times feel out-of-the-blue, AR nightmares can usually be solved by adhering to a simple to follow maxim: it’s all about communicating what you can, when you can.
However, in an escalating crisis of epic proportions, it’s important to ensure that you, as an Analyst & Influencer Relations specialist, tend to your priority analyst relationships first and foremost.
Here are three simple tips for how to survive your first crisis as an AR professional working within an escalating crisis, or in a PR nightmare scenario where you’re asked to give advice on how to inform the analyst community. It can be anything from a briefing which has gone off the rails to an issue in a local market that mushrooms into a global performance or critical security flaw.
No matter the issue, there are ways as guardians of the relationships our Vendors have with Industry Analysts, that can be replicated across most B2B technology and marketing companies. Continue Reading →
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! Continue Reading →
Effective 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. Continue Reading →
Since 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 :
- 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.
A few months ago, I joined IIAR’s webinar focused on the IIAR Analyst Relations Professional and Team of the Year 2017. Every year, the IIAR awards analyst relations (AR) professionals and teams based on the results of an annual survey shared with the global industry analyst community. The survey gathers the analysts’ collective insight on AR professionals and their performance, and then the IIAR contrasts it with results from the previous year, based on level of responsiveness, relationship and results (also known as the IIAR’s Three R’s of AR). Continue Reading →
I thoroughly enjoyed and could very much relate to Jon Reed’s recent post, How to screw up a vendor analyst day – in 12 simple steps. So much so that I’m inspired to write my own take on how to create a more compelling analyst event that’s more rewarding for all involved.
Vendors spend a lot of time and money on these events. Presumably, they want to deepen their relationships with analysts and influencers, and give them the insights they need to offer constructive feedback and provide perspectives to the broader market. However, like Jon, I’m constantly amazed at how often they seem to miss these marks–as evidenced by analysts that have tuned out to look at news, email or sports on their laptops or phones. So here are my suggestions for how to create an analyst day that will help you better engage with analysts. Continue Reading →
I’m the most hated person at my company today.
Informatica is holding its customer conference in a few weeks and we’re running around like chickens with our heads cut off to prepare for it. I just blasted out the most obnoxious email to colleagues who are preparing speeches for Informatica World, forcefully reminding them that any references to analyst research requires permission. I got a lot of eye rolling in response, but luckily no serious push back. Continue Reading →
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. Continue Reading →
Feeling the pinch in your negotiation with Forrester on your subscription contract?Do you feel comfortable in buying the multiple seats being pushed your way? Is Forrester covering the technology and business areas that are important for you? You’re not alone – many of your peers and IIAR members have commented (see the IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2017)
Forrester seems to force sell multiple seats, TEIs etc during renewals. Forrester analysts may be amongst the top IIAR Analyst of the Year 2017 but is Forrester seeing an exodus of top talent? As per the IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year 2017 survey, AR professionals mentioned that they felt a flip flop in Forrester’s focus on various key topics and verticals. Also the research subscription costs seem to be increasing at 10-20% yoy. They also felt that while Forrester had some great visualisation of data BUT insights were focused on niche topics like Customer Experience, Business Technology, Software and Marketing. Many Wave’s have not been renewed while others are renewed in an irregular cycle. Continue Reading →
Feeling the pinch in your negotiation with IDC on your subscription contract? Do you feel comfortable in buying the various Customer Segment (CS) options being pushed your way? Are you confident that you are getting value from your contracts? You’re not alone – many of your peers and IIAR members have commented (see the IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2017)
IDC may be amongst the top IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year 2017 but are you getting the best value from your relationship? As per the IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year 2017 survey, AR professionals mentioned that they felt a push by IDC for running joint events, buying new CS which themselves are granular subset of the larger IDC CS access. As the analysts manage the P&L, they too seem to want to push buying multiple granular CS. Continue Reading →
By Theo Pristley (@tprstly, LinkedIn), originally posted here on Forbes and republished with his express permission. Co-authored with Ian Gotts (@iangotts, LinkedIn), tech advisor, investor, speaker and author.)
You’re an innovative and growing startup, I get that. You’ve got a fab new product or service that’s going drive dramatic benefits for enterprise customers, I get that. You’ve even got a blog to push out great customer stories now and then, I get that too.
But how do you accelerate growth without piling on expensive sales guys? Or employing ninja growth hackers? And how do you make it easier for the large corporates to find you and get comfortable placing big orders with you?
ANSWER: You create relationships with the analyst community. And here’s why.
Analysts are important
Analysts have the ear of people with the purse strings. When they speak, the C-Suite listens. When a company goes out to tender for a third party product invariably an analyst will be involved in the decision making process, whether directly as a result of a consultation or indirectly through a research paper. They are able to influence not only potential customers, but they also coach and advise your potential acquirer on their product strategy including which vendors to buy.
Being included in an analyst research note is worth more than 100 blog posts, column inches in the FT/ WSJ or exhibiting at the next xyz conference. You need the analysts, whether you like it or not, to survive in both the short-term and thrive in the long term because their word carries weight. If a customer refers to an analyst for a product shortlist and you’ve never engaged with the analyst you can guarantee you’ll never make that list no matter how mind-blowingly awesome your product is.
Analyst Relations (AR) can deliver far greater short term and long term tangible benefits than any PR campaigns. Yet many startups start engaging PR before they even consider AR.
It’s never too early
It takes time to build a relationship with the right analysts that cover your product’s area. Let’s not confuse a relationship with meeting the analyst once or twice and fire-hosing them with your product pitch. You are aiming for a relationship of mutual respect, and that takes time to develop which is why engaging as early as possible is critical for survival for a startup. Done well it can position a vendor ahead of the short list in product selections and gain the attention of the leaders of industry, the media, and the competition. Poor (or no) analyst relations can result in your product being ignored by potential clients and it may limit your penetration in your existing clients
Being spotted by an analyst early on is major kudos for a small company but also for the analyst because they love to be the one who discovered a cool new vendors and write about them. And it’s also their opportunity to help you out and form part of your success. Analysts are no different from anyone else, they love being part of the action and have an ego to fuel. And again, it can’t be stressed enough, if they don’t know you neither will their clients when they ask about the market.
But they are expensive and we don’t have the time!
Certainly, there are costs with engaging with analysts. Most charge an annual fee to be a client and have access to the analysts and research. But don’t think that you can buy your way to the top of a Magic Quadrant or Wave, or into the minds of the analysts. Or that paying for one or two consulting engagements with the analysts will do it. Think relationship, not prostitution.
Often it is the amount of money that vendors perceive they have to spend which stops them building a relationship with the analysts. The issue is most vendors spend too much money in the wrong places. It doesn’t have to be that way.
And apart from the hefty fees they ask you to sign up for there’s also the potential overhead of someone in an Analyst Relations role. Traditionally this is a new, fairly junior hire or it is outsourced to a PR/AR agency. Both of these lead to the wrong relationship being developed with the analysts, but it is a very common mistake.
Analysts need to be briefed on product functionality, but they are far more interested in customer stories. However, meeting or calls with analysts, understanding their needs and providing the information they need in the format that they want can be time consuming. They often feel like they are more difficult to deal with than clients. But they can afford to be as their influence and value is so much greater than even your best client.
What is required is a carefully crafted strategy and deep understanding of what drives analysts and how they operate. It also needs someone who has the ability and gravitas to engage them as peers and forge that professional relationship your company and product deserves. It’s not about booking appointments or groveling for time. It is the role of a senior exec or founder who inevitably has other priorities – company operation, client sales or product strategy.
So how do I make this work?
Few senior executives have engaged with analysts or developed an effective analyst strategy. And with conflicting priorities, they do not have the time or luxury to learn. But companies readily hire a Non-Exec Director to add an external perspective, exercising their ancient Rolodex and to sit on a board. Their brief is often financial or governance and theyoffer pithy advice like “if you sell more and spend less”.
A more cost effective approach is to hire a Non-Exec Director or Advisor who understands Analyst Relations and can help shape the analyst strategy, coach the senior team on the best way to engage with analysts, and act as a sounding board for decisions. They will add more value to the business as your go to market plans are meaningless without the visibility in the market that strong analyst relationships will bring.
For the price of a junior in a PR or AR firm, or hiring an intern growth hacker, you can bag a NED or Advisor who knows how to tango with the analysts.
And that’s when you can hook bigger fish.
- [GUEST POST] How Analyst Relations Impacts Strategy
- Around Giorgio Nebuloni from IDC in 10 questions
- [GUEST POST] What I Learned from 5 Years at Gartner
- [GUEST POST] Hsu: AR must bet bigger on fewer analysts
- [GUEST POST] Debunking Five Analyst Relations Myths
- [GUEST POST] Does Israel have more cool vendors than China?
- Trio of analyst departures at Gartner underlines why backup strategy is so important
- Effective Measurement: ARe we there yet?
- [GUEST POST] How not to be an analyst? By Jon Collins
- [GUEST POST] Tips to Ensure a Productive Analyst Briefing
- [GUEST POST] How to lose an industry analyst in 10 days (and ways)
- [GUEST POST] How to Create a More Compelling Analyst Event
- [GUEST POST] Why AR Managers Should Fret About Quote Policies by Peggy O’Neill
- [GUEST POST] Why Startups Need Analyst Relations More Than Growth Hacking
- [GUEST POST] Moving AR into IR…..
- [GUEST POST] What is your product and what does it do? by Adrian Sanabria / Threatcare
- [GUEST POST] Engaging with mobile analysts … now’s the time!
- [GUEST POST] IIAR Webinar: ‘Tis the season for Gartner Methodologies
- [GUEST POST] IDC EMEA provide the IIAR with their current State of the Union: What’s changing for this year and next?
- [GUEST POST] Webinar Fatigue and How to Overcome it
- [GUEST POST] The secret trick to working with sales
- [GUEST POST] Why AR comes before PR. Just look in the dictionary.
- [GUEST POST] Three ‘Must-have’ Anchor Points for Your Analyst Relations Program
- [GUEST POST] Analyst Relations Best Practices: Seven Tips to Make Your Company a Star at Industry Analyst Events
- [GUEST POST] Managing RFIs: 8 Best Practices for Analyst Relations Professionals
- [GUEST POST] So, You Did Well in an Industry Analyst Report… How Do You Get the Word Out? by Vicki Jenkins / Nelson Hall
- [GUEST POST] 7 Ways to Grow Analyst Firm Business: A How-to-Collaborate Guide for Industry Analysts and Account Managers
- [GUEST POST] Analyst Briefings: The Delicate Business of Client References, by Vicki Jenkins / Nelson Hal
- [GUEST POST] Analyst Briefings: Preparing for Success, by Vicki Jenkins / Nelson Hall
- [GUEST POST] Analyst Briefings: Are you a Strategic Team Member or the Note-Taker? by Vicki Jenkins / NelsonHall
A few inches of snow in the deep midwinter in Munich didn’t stop the 2018 IIAR German chapter kick-off from going ahead, with six intrepid AR professionals getting together to exchange news, views and the occasional snippet of gossip – under Chatham House rules, of course.
Hosted by IIAR Germany chapter leads Yvonne Kaupp (@YveKaupp, LinkedIn) and Simon Jones (@simondestrier, LinkedIn), the networking event was focused on the topic of “how to run an effective inquiry”, with IIAR members and guests (our “prospective members”) sharing best practice and experiences. One point which came through loud and clear is that everyone is nervous about running their first analyst inquiry calls – usually related to having enough questions to ask in a 30-minute call. Continue Reading →
Feeling the pinch in your negotiation with Gartner on your subscription contract? Do you feel comfortable in buying the various seats options being pushed your way? Are you confident that you are getting value from your contracts?
You’re not alone -many of your peers and IIAR members have commented (see the IIAR Tragic Quadrant) on Gartner’s hard stance and cowboy attitude during negotiations: it maybe the IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year 2017 but also the hardest to work with.
Continue Reading →
The final speaker agenda is being nailed down, and the Global Mobile Awards judges have now announced their shortlist. However, there’s no resting on your laurels when it comes to Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona outreach. Next on the action list is the extremely important task of your analyst outreach strategy.
Industry analysts play a crucial role in the marketing sales cycle and supplier selection.
Findings from CCgroup’s own Catalyst Insights reveal that when it comes to shortlisting vendors for an RFP, B2B tech buyers place analyst due diligence and reports in their top three most valued sources of content. Continue Reading →
On September 7th, the CCgroup AR team joined IIAR’s latest webinar on Gartner methodologies with by David Black (LinkedIn), MVP Methodologies & Content Engagement at Gartner and moderated by Ludovic Leforestier (@lludovic, LinkedIn), from the IIAR Board.
David spoke about the firm’s research methodology behind reports such as Magic Quadrants and Critical Capabilities.
The AR community has always been tuned in to Gartner’s research calendars, with “Every season is Magic Quadrant season” being the mantra shared by many. As such, many AR professionals were keen to learn more from David. Continue Reading →
One of the most picturesque beer gardens in Munich was the setting for this year’s IIAR German Chapter Summer Event, gathering AR professionals and industry analysts. Our topic of the night was what it takes to make an analyst relations (AR) program mature and strong.
As we discussed, what success looks like actually depends on your business objectives and expectations of the individual companies and stakeholders. We all recognised that “AR” has a very wide scope, since it also covers many complementary disciplines and – depending on your job – may include Market Intelligence, Go-to-Market, PR, Sales Enablement, Strategy, or all of these. Reporting lines also influence the weighting of AR components. Continue Reading →
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN! The IIAR German Chapter invites to the next IIAR Munich Summer Event. This year, we will be settling in to a centrally located beer garden in Munich. We’re looking forwards to a great summer night of networking while enjoying a Maß beer together and exchanging news and insights into the world of AR and analysts, in a relaxed Environment.
Join us for the next IIAR German Chapter Summer Event on
Tuesday, July 27, 2017, from 7pm CET Continue Reading →
Webinar fatigue is now as common as the cold
Let’s face it, to say the webinar scene is overcrowded would be a monumental understatement. Webinar fatigue should come as no surprise. After all, I seem to receive a new webinar invitation every other day. While many of them sound super interesting, who has time to sit on webinars all day? I often find myself signing up for many more than I actually attend. Webinars, if done right, are a lot of work (the ultimate webinar project plan here). Is it worth the time and effort? I must admit that I am still a believer. I consider webinars to be a great platform to interact with customers, prospects and the wider audience. So how can you make sure they’re successful? Continue Reading →