Tag Archives | AR Best practices
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.
In past 2 years, Forrester has invested in its Consulting Practice and has been advising many end users on sourcing and business strategy. As per the IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year 2017 survey, AR professionals mentioned a lack of transparency with vendor firms on the ways of working between Forrester analysts and Forrester Consulting.
Building on our previous conversations (see links below), the IIAR will host an in-depth discussion with IIAR members, looking at Forrester’s commercial practices and explore potential solutions.
Date: 26th April 2018
Location: Webinar > REGISTER here
London based member can attend in person > pls fill in form below (Holborn).
Time: 1600pm GMT / 1700pm CET / 0700 PDT / 1000 EDT
Held under Chatham House Rule the discussion will be chaired by Aniruddho Mukherjee (@aniruddho, LinkedIn), IIAR UK Co-Lead and Head of AR and Branding, Europe for HCL Technologies) and Ludovic Leforestier (@lludovic, LinkedIn, IIAR co-founder and Director Influencer Relations at Criteo).
Of course, by attending you will not only have the opportunity to give your knowledge and opinions but also gain from that of others and have the advantage to submit questions directly. Let us have a lively discussion, the more of you that join in the better, so please don’t forget to REGISTER. Attending IIAR Events is free and restricted to AR professionals active members of the IIAR. So if you work at an analyst firm, we request you save yourself some time, have a beer and chill.
IIAR will act as channel for anonymised and aggregated IIAR Member feedback to Industry Analyst firms. This is to provide an opportunity for Industry Analyst firms to present their responses to ensure balanced view of the topic being discussed and help the industry effectively address the issues raised.
IIAR Discussion Group: negotiating with IDC – 27th March 2018
IIAR Discussion Group: Negotiating with Gartner – 15th Feb 2018
IIAR Discussion – Negotiating with Gartner – 3rd Nov 2016
IIAR Discussion – Negotiating with Gartner – 22nd Jan 15
IIAR Discussion – Negotiating your Analyst Firm Contract – 31st Oct 14
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 →
Recently, I have been taking an interest in the Gartner Magic Quadrant, trying to understand how helpful the model is and what role it plays. I looked at a bunch of these industry super models and one thing in particular caught my eye, or rather something that didn’t appear to be there. That something was a little dot in the far bottom right hand corner of the bottom right hand quadrant, the one Gartner calls ‘Visionaries’.
If you want a quick verification without doing all the hard work, just Google Gartner magic quadrant and take look at the image tag. Low and behold, you should get something like this and the pattern will become clear … 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] Analyst value does not equal word count
- [GUEST POST] #Visionaries, #Disruptors and Complete Lunatics
- [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] 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
- [Guest Post] AR Planning Doesn’t Have to be Like Nailing Jell-O to a Tree, by Vicki Jenkins / NelsonHall
- [GUEST POST] Do You Have a Digital Devil’s Advocate? You need one.
- [GUEST POST] The mysterious HfS business model… revealed
- [GUEST POST] Successful Analyst Relations Requires Grown Ups
- [GUEST POST] The Truth About Freemium Research
- [GUEST POST] Five timeless questions about analyst relations
- [GUEST POST] Building credibility to boost sales with IT Analyst Relations
- [GUEST POST] Gartner Updates: Notes from the AR regional briefing in the UK
- [GUEST POST] Key Requirements for Vendors When Briefing Software Analysts, by Natalie Petouhoff / Constellation
- [GUEST POST] Can you build a meaningful relationship with analysts, even if you don’t pay them?
- [GUEST POST] This Thursday, learn what the new Ovum is up to: webinar with CEO Steve Hotham
- [GUEST POST] The importance of business ethics
- [GUEST POST] So what to social media?
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 →
Successfully negotiating your contract with analyst firms to get the best business value from commercial relationships with industry analysis firms is a key activity for many analyst relations (AR) teams.
A follow-on from our first IIAR Discussion Group will review the outcomes document from the first meeting (IIAR members can download it <<here>>) and continue the conversation. As Gartner is the largest of the analyst firms we expect the discussion will no doubt focus here; this will not be to the exclusion of all (or any) of the other analyst companies.
Continue Reading →
This new IIAR Best Practices Paper will be resented by Susan Galer (@smgaler, LinkedIn) in an IIAR Webinar moderated by Ludovic Leforestier ( LinkedIn @lludovic), Bearing Point and IIAR Board, this how-to webinar is designed to go beyond textbook best practices, providing step-by- step techniques you can put in place immediately to:
- cut through the noise and determine which analysts really matter to your company
- forge ahead even when you don’t have a business plan from internal stakeholders
- match your organization’s objectives to the analyst’s true scope of influence
- answer hard questions to bridge the gap between expectations and reality
You’re an innovative and growing software vendor, I get that. You’ve got a fab new product that’s going drive dramatic benefits for enterprise customers, I get that.You’ve even got a blog to push out great customer stories now and then, I get that too.
But how do you accelerate growth without piling on expensive sales guys? And how do you make it easier for the large corporates to find you and get comfortable placing big orders with you?
ANSWER: You create relationships with the analyst community. And here’s why. Continue Reading →
Launching an industry analyst relations (AR) program takes elaborate research and planning. Unlike simpler functions that a technology or service provider can delegate or outsource with minimal involvement, AR requires the continuous participation of stakeholders from a broad cross-section of the business––from corporate strategy to business-unit marketing, through to delivery and finance. Simplifying the creation of a new AR program requires defining its anchor points––the guiding forces necessary to give a direction to it and keep it on track.
Let’s take a look at three essential anchor points, which can serve as the compass of your organization’s AR program: Continue Reading →
Summer is upon us and though that means wet weather for Caroline Dennington in the UK and heatwaves and wildfires for Caroline’s writing partner Phil Nash, analyst relations (AR) professionals around the globe are getting ready for another busy event season with the industry influencers.
InfoSec and Forrester Forum have already taken place in London and once again, Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit in Washington, exceeded all expectations attracting a huge delegate audience and of course, hundreds of analysts!
With Symposium, IDC Directions, Catalyst, BlabkHat and numerous other major events such as Sibos and ACAMS on the calendar, how can AR Managers ensure they secure relevant analyst time at these events and importantly, engage their executives and sales personnel in meaningful conversations? Continue Reading →
Receiving a request for information (RFI) from an analyst firm often triggers two reactions among analyst relations (AR) professionals––first, the thrill and gratification of having the business on the radar of a relevant analyst; and second, the anxiety of responding to the RFI with comprehensive and accurate information.
Analyst-firm RFIs are complex beasts. Managed well, they can be a technology/service provider’s (TSPs) gateway to the much-coveted “star” ratings, rankings, and mentions in analyst firms’ research. On the contrary, poorly managed RFIs can end up misinforming analysts, leading them to build an inaccurate analysis of your company.
Responding to RFIs takes a lot of diligence, but the process can be simplified and made more manageable. Here are eight things you can do to ace RFIs and minimise the overwhelm. Continue Reading →
This is the fifth in a series of blogs for AR professionals containing tips and pointers on how to optimize the relationship between AR and industry analysts. Here I take a look at promoting your organization’s inclusion in an analyst report.
Often times, before committing to participating in an industry analyst report, subject matter experts will say to their AR colleagues, ‘What happened with the last report we participated in? What did we get out of it?’ In many organizations, it’s not realistic to send the report to the marketing team simply asking them to leverage it, as they have many other commitments and deliverables and might not understand the value of the report and how to make best use of it internally or externally. Continue Reading →
It’s universal––the bittersweet relationship between sales and delivery functions. Industry analyst firms are no exception. The subject of bringing in more business for analyst firms is perhaps the biggest cause of friction between account managers and industry analysts, especially where senior analysts have P&L responsibility.
A typical scenario plays out something like this: analysts, in their capacity as advisors, tend to enjoy greater proximity to technology/service providers and buyers––and assert to know more about business leads for the firm than account managers do. Account managers, on the other hand, tend to disagree and think that analysts aren’t willing to stretch beyond their comfort zones to bring in more dollars…and on the argument continues. Yet, once this friction is transmuted into collaboration, engagements with clients and prospects become richer and more consistent, and untapped business opportunities start to open up. Continue Reading →
This is the fourth in a series of blogs for AR professionals containing tips and pointers on how to optimize the relationship between AR and industry analysts. Here I take a look at using client references and case studies in the briefing process.
Quite often, participating in an analyst report requires providing client references as part of the briefing process, and in the area of outsourcing these can be rather difficult to secure. It is important to develop relationships with your sales and client services teams and to let them know about upcoming analyst reports that will require references so they can assist you without it being a fire drill. Knowing that references are required well in advance also enables your colleagues to select references appropriately, and avoid overusing certain clients where they are handling multiple requests for the client’s time. Continue Reading →