With a background as both an analyst relations (AR) professional and an industry analyst, I have seen what happens on both sides of the fence, and communication between the two sides is not always straightforward. Hence, this is the first in a series of blogs for AR professionals containing tips and pointers on how to ensure that the AR/analyst relationship stays smooth. Topics will include briefing preparation and follow-up plans, promotion plans for report placement, and industry analyst days. As it’s that time of year, I’ll start by taking a look at AR planning. Continue Reading →
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Digital is truly transformational to an organizational ecosystem when it works, but it is increasingly runs the risk of significant corporate exposure and risk when it fails. Unfortunately the failure of digital will lead to the reduction in innovation and down we spiral. No-one wins with that environment. Just ask Westfield/SCentre who had to completely alter their strategy for ticketless parking after capioIT identified major security issues in Nov. 2015 (Reference – Westfield may have a “Smarter Way to Park”, but the risk to individual privacy and security is not sma… http://wp.me/p15cZf-dy). Westfield simply was not in the position, or resourced the right individual to identify the unknown unknowns, or unintended consequences of the otherwise positive innovation of ticketless parking. Continue Reading →
A fellow AR manager called recently to weep on my shoulder. She wanted a sanity check about setting internal expectations on what analyst relations could or could not do as her executives were making demands she considered outlandish. She sought my unvarnished opinion about the requests involved in case they were possible and she needed to step up her game.
I listened in disbelief to what her execs were asking for, probed for more details, and I’m sad to report that at the end of the conversation we concluded it was time for her to leave her company as she was working at an outfit where the culture and expectations were antithetical to a successful analyst relations program. Continue Reading →
For over a decade, freemium has been the ubiquitous business model for fledgling internet firms and the developers of smartphone apps. Users sign up for free to enable basic features, and are then drawn into subscribing to various levels of premium functionality. More recently, the freemium model has been the subject of considerable attention in the B2B market research space, with some rather extravagant claims and unsound thinking being used to herald it. Let’s have a closer look. Continue Reading →
When talking to IT vendors eager to grow their business I usually come across a number of common challenges they face. One of the biggest issues which lies outside the companies (as opposed to e. g. finance requirements to fund the growth or adding enough skilled people to their workforce) is that once they are moving out of their comfort zone they are facing prospects that are much more skeptical than those in their home markets. Continue Reading →
Gartner recently opened its doors to AR professionals with a day of presentations and interactive workshops targeted at the influencer relations community. The idea was to build on the AR forums given at the Gartner Symposium conferences and spend more time on topics that we, as AR professionals, have said we wanted to know more about.
Overall, it was an excellent event with a good balance of presentations and interactive discussions. The first panel slot was rather over staged and an over-run at the start of the day left little time for what must have been one of the most useful sessions of the day by David Black on Gartner reports and methodologies (“Gartner Update: Magic Quadrant Contextualization and Critical Capabilities”). See below for a summary of the updates. Continue Reading →
In any given week, analysts hear many pitches. What may not be apparent is “How engaged is the analyst?” So if you are a vendor, how do you engage an analyst? First, don’t be one of those people who is more interested in getting through all your slides in the short period of time you have with the analyst versus really having an engaging conversation with the analyst. Continue Reading →
I just survived Gartner Symposium in Orlando and as part of my regular post mortem, I analyze what went well and what I can do to improve the experience next year. A critical player for me this week is my Gartner salesperson, which got me thinking about how many AR managers neglect this key participant in their program.
Analyst firm salespeople are unsung heroes in the AR world because AR managers tend to overly focus on our analysts and overlook these useful resources. I remember one year when I was at Oracle OpenWorld, I took out my account execs for dinner one evening – no analysts, only my key salespeople from the major firms to a fun dinner as a thank you and hosted them, as usually it’s the salesperson hosting us. This was years ago so hopefully things have gotten better out there, but I was saddened when one of my account execs said it was the first time he saw an AR manager do something special for sales rather than for an analyst. Continue Reading →
It happens to the best of us. Your analyst relations program is humming along nicely – your analysts are behaving, your internal constituents under control – when one day, wham! You get a call from one of your SVPs sharing some exciting news! Joe Analyst, one of your company’s key advocates, has now joined your company.
AR managers will inevitably grapple with this scenario as analysts migrate to vendors often. Informatica took out two high profile analysts last year and I’ve experienced this at previous employers too. AR managers can expect certain behaviors when an analyst who used to cover your company comes inside, so your best bet is to prepare for when that day hits and take full advantage of the opportunity. Continue Reading →
Not all IT research is about numbers, but the IT analyst business definitely is. It’s a business after all, and if you don’t make the numbers, you don’t have a business. But what’s interesting is how many different ways there are to make the numbers stack up.
It’s somewhat ironic that while IT analyst firms often rely on public – and private – disclosure of information from both vendors and end-user organisations to make their prognostications, they often don’t like to reveal too much about their own businesses. The big public firms, Gartner & Forrester, disclose good detail about their revenues to meet their statutory requirements, and perhaps a little more, while the private firms tend to be fairly vague. Continue Reading →
By: Suzannah Archibald, Senior Marketing Executive, Loudhouse Marketing Consultancy
Suzannah Archibald works in the influencer marketing team at Loudhouse (www.loudhouse.co.uk), a B2B marketing services consultancy based in south London. Find her on Twitter @suzannah_a, LinkedIn or on [email protected]
It’s that time of year again. When all thoughts turn to the biggest global mobile technology and applications showcase in the world, Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress (MWC). Held each year by the GSMA, the show unveils some key yearly indicators that any attending exhibitor, press member, or aspiring Steve Jobs-acolyte should know about mobile.
According to a recent IIAR webcast I listened into with industry analysts Keith Humphreys of euroLAN and Catherine Haslam of Ovum, as well as members of the IIAR membership committee, estimates say that you’ll be one of nearly 1,500 exhibitors, and more than 67,000 attending members of the public. And if MWC 2012 estimates from the GSMA hold up this year, there could be many more who are interested in demonstrating or learning about your mobile wares.
How can you possibly hope to get maximum value out of Analysts who are attending MWC 2013? Continue Reading →
This guest post has been authored by Evan Quinn (LinkedIn, @evanquinn, blog) who is a Senior Principal Analyst at ESG (Enterprise Strategy Group) covering Data Management, Analytics, Big Data and Cloud Platform-as-a-Service. While at Axicom, Evan was also on the IIAR board .
Speech is free: Evan and ESG are not associated in any ways with the IIAR and the post below contains Evan’s opinions which might not reflect the views of IIAR’s members or ESG.
A couple of years ago I decided it was time to step away from the analyst/influencer relations function for at least awhile. The researcher/competitive analyst side of me was asking for an outlet, and so I left the AR ranks. But, ironically, in my current job as an industry analyst I have the opportunity to see how AR practitioners perform their jobs every business day. I am here to report that things have changed somewhat in AR, and in some cases not for the better. But first some background. Continue Reading →
By: Duncan Chapple, Consultancy Director at Loudhouse
This is an independent opinion piece submitted by an IIAR member and AR professional – it does not represent the official views of the IIAR.
Analyst relations (AR) programs have a substantial opportunity for improvement. This month I’ve been reviewing ten years’ worth of data from the Analyst Attitude Survey, which Loudhouse Research and Lighthouse AR co-produce. Around 700 analysts have taken part in the survey and, after around 180 analysts downloaded the summary last week, I’ve also been thinking over comments from them. What I’ve seen is that there’s a real opportunity to work smarter and more strategically. Continue Reading →
By: Ludovic Leforestier
After a fascinating presentation from Neil Pollock (see his blog post here [Guest Post] Why IT Vendors Should Take Industry Analysts (More) Seriously), Forrester came “en force” to give IIAR members an update on the company strategy. Tom Pohlmann (@tpohlmann, LinkedIn), Forrester’s CMSO patiently presented and answered IIAR members’ questions. My take on this is that the firm is on a journey to deliver strategic research advice up the food chain and deliver at a strategic level – they’ve started with IT managers, then moved on to CMO’s in the past and are trying to better penetrate the rest of the C-suite. Forrester disagrees with this statement. Continue Reading →
By: Dr Neil Pollock, University of Edinburgh Business School
After several years’ research on industry analysts and IT Research firms there are some interesting conclusions to be reached on how industry analyst firms are exerting influence on IT vendors and their product markets. This is just a snapshot of some of Dr. Pollock’s findings.
1. Industry Analysts Stifle Novelty
The first point shows how industry analysts are one of the new ‘institutions of information technology’ with the cognitive authority to shape technological fields. One common way they do this is through proposing names and definitions for emerging technological trends, an activity with positive and negative consequences. We saw, for instance, how this could stifle innovation. IT vendors offering new kinds of products were penalised if their technologies did not conform to standard product definitions. We observed how one seemingly novel solution belonging to a newcomer received a critical review, which led to its rejection from a major procurement contest, effectively calling into question the robustness of its solution. The suggestion here is that industry analysts can help but also hinder innovation. Continue Reading →
Nice post on Ovum by the folks at Loudhouse Blog, reprinted here with their permission. Of course, because it’s a Loudhouse post it’s not the official IIAR position, in case anyone thought otherwise. See also the other Ovum posts on this blog, including the one on our recent IIAR London Forum featuring Ovum’s top management.
Ovum, which has been the leading European-headquartered analyst firm for around twenty years, has been going through a lot of change. That seems to be confusing both the vendor community and analyst relations professionals, who grilled the firm’s management recently. Vendors are questioning Ovum’s relevance now in way we have not seen before. The changes at Ovum are causing these confusions unintentionally but, despite that, the firm remains a key influencer in Europe. Continue Reading →
It was at the London IIAR meeting in March, where R “Ray” Wang and his Constellation all-stars were agitating for radical change in the research industry. Ray was talking about new models, new delivery methods, and new value propositions, while some very respected AR practitioners were questioning the value of his approach. Did the world need this kind of shake-up? And, if so, was it really going to change the nature of AR’s dealings with analysts?
I was supposed to be keeping the peace and chairing the meeting. But I kept being distracted by thoughts about whether all this might be relevant to me.
I suspect our clients at The Skills Connection have a narrow view of AR, centered almost entirely on the analysts’ impact on buying decisions.
And this thought made me ponder how much that’s true for AR in general. Continue Reading →
Yankee’s Group’s summer repositioning and restructuring has, more or less, completed the firm’s evolution from a full-service analyst and consulting firm into a data-driven research and advisory firm focussed on mobility (which the firm defines as advancements that enable fluid access to any content, applications or services from any device, by anyone, from anywhere at anytime). Continue Reading →
[This interview was originally by Andrea Edwards (@SAJEIdeas) from SAJE on their blog. This post contains a few learnings that are applicable to other geographies, in particular that personal relationships matter more than in the USA.]
A chat with Dane Anderson, CEO and Executive Vice President, Springboard Research, Singapore
I had the pleasure of working with Dane Anderson when we were both at IDC. Dane is a terrific person and I have tremendous respect for him as an analyst, and his deep knowledge of the ITC industry, especially in Asia Pacific, is extremely impressive. But then he has been doing this for a long time. On another level, I have also found it extremely encouraging watching Springboard Research grow into one of the most influential analyst firms in Asia Pacific in a very short time – not just because they deliver great research, but because they are motivated by passion, integrity and honesty. It’s a great story in its own right.
Always supportive of my ventures, I asked Dane if I could interview him for my blog, focusing on how ITC vendors could achieve greater results working with the industry analyst community.
Here’s what Dane had to say:
1. How does Asia Pacific measure up with its analyst relations programs? Continue Reading →
I’m fast becoming a big believer in virtual events as an essential part of a comprehensive AR strategy. There are many reasons for my enthusiastic position on virtual events.
In today’s fast-paced world of analyst relations, we are under constant pressure from our clients and executives to interact with our analysts in many ways. These interactions include face-to-face meetings, phone briefings, and “virtual” interactions through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media sites. Continue Reading →