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
Hot on the heels of yesterday’s IIAR Webinar with CXP Group (they’ve dropped “le” to my great chagrin), here’s a quick interview summing-up their coverage areas and why analyst relations (AR) professionals should give them a call. With Yannick Carriou (LinkedIn, @YCarriou), Chairman and CEO and Jean-Christophe Bodhuin (LinkedIn, @JCBodhuin), SVP & UK Managing Director, UK Operations from of CXP Group, interviewed by Ludovic Leforestier (@lludovic, LinkedIn), from the IIAR Board.
- Why should AR pros call CXP Group?
- IIAR Webinar: Le CXP Group, a European powerhouse?
- Le CXP Group moves to consulting – CEO Yannick Carriou interviewed
- German analyst firms: die große Konsolidierung
- CXP Group – A European analyst powerhouse in formation?
- IIAR Webinar: with Laurent Calot, CEO of CXP Group – April 23 @ 16:00 BST
- Gallic research firms get cosy: after taking on Germany, CXP and PAC merge
- Le CXP and BARC merge: ignore local firms at your perils
- [ANALYST FIRM NEWS] John Leigh joins PAC UK
- Smart move: PAC buys Berlecon
- September IIAR London Forum Featured European Analyst Panel
- Reminder to Register for IIAR London Forum – Thursday, Sept 16th
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 →
When I was a management consultant, I couldn’t describe what I did. Not to my parents, not to strangers. Not in a way that convinced them I had a real occupation, and maybe I didn’t.
Try describing what an “industry analyst” does: “Research, writing, 30-minute consulting engagements.”
“But you can’t solve any problem in 30 minutes.”
“Just watch me.”
“You don’t know anything about the company.”
“I know something.”
“But — but — but –”
The assumption most people make is that marketing problems are unique. Perfect knowledge of the context, the company, its tech stack is required to construct a solution. This assumption is false. Continue Reading →
Andrew Hsu‘s (LinkedIn) views on AR prioritization are handy. In a recent presentation, he stressed the role of prioritisation in helping us to think about AR, be more refined than our instincts can allow and to help us justify the choices we made when we allocated limited Analyst Relations resources.
Andrew’s starting point is the need to make smart, big bets. Rather than randomly allocating effort without focussing on influence, we want to focus our energy on a smaller number of analysts and, I think it’s implied, to boost the impact of the analysts we prioritize.
The common-sense of AR is problematic. We focus on the people we know, the ones who are cynical about our brand and the ones with whom we do the most business. Instead, Andrew says that we need to focus on both our business goals and the attributes of the analysts. He hits the nail on the head when he says that AR people are often ‘doing God’s work’ – merely serving the analysts. Instead, we need to focus on the timely needs of the business. Continue Reading →
The IIAR is pleased to present the addition of three new members to the IIAR Board as a result of this years’ elections held in June.
Please help us welcome Beth, Suzannah and Aniruddho to the IIAR Board, for terms that run from July 1, 2018 through to June 30, 2020. Continue Reading →
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. Continue Reading →
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?“
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.
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.
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?
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 →
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 →
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. 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 →
Analyst Relations Manager
Appian is seeking an analytical, technical and research oriented professional with great communication skills to join the marketing organization in the role of Analyst Relations Manager. This person will play a critical, cross-functional role by working with subject matter experts at many different levels of the organization: executives, product strategy, product management, engineering, finance, partner, legal, sales and marketing teams. You will interact with people in Appian to build and nurture strong internal relationships that will be leveraged to engage with leading analyst firms, participate in research evaluations/RFIs, brief analysts about Appian’s product offerings, go-to-market strategies and work with the influencers to elevate Appian’s story. Continue Reading →
Analysts are recognizing Microsoft for its remarkable transformation and at the same time there is an explosion of digital transformation research. As a result, we are looking for a technologically perceptive individual to craft and execute our analyst engagement strategy for Business Applications. Satya Nadella has identified business applications as one of Microsoft’s five customer-focused solution areas. Satya along with our cloud leaders understand how each business process can and is being digitized. Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn Business Solutions are core to our success. Analysts recognize the business disruption opportunity as well. As a result, many industry experts are crafting research to help customers choose the right strategy, the right technology and the implementation best practices. The ideal candidate will foster the right relationships and a strategic advisor to ensure Microsoft’s presence and positive perceptions in this research.
If you have a passion for driving thought-leadership initiatives and love the art and science of building industry relationships, we’d love to talk with you. You are known as a strategic advisor, and a knowledgeable business partner. You are optimistic, willing to try new approaches, have the desire to learn and the resilience to press on.
Analysts are recognizing Microsoft for its remarkable transformation. Beyond our tech innovations in cloud, data and AI, they appreciate our customer centricity, new culture and growth mindset. Data and AI are foundational to helping achieve the company’s mission of “empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more”. And the company is investing deeply in these areas to build solutions to help customers transform their businesses. As a result, we are expanding our analyst relations team to focus on data and AI.
We believe the core currency of any business is the ability to convert data into AI that drives a competitive advantage. Microsoft’s data products and services, which includes SQL Server, Azure SQL DB, and Azure Cosmos DB, are at the heart of this strategy. Microsoft has been recognized by industry analysts, in multiple reports, as a leader for our execution and vision for data & AI. Customers rely on these analyst reports, and on the guidance provided by industry analysts, to understand how Microsoft can empower their organization to achieve more. 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.
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