Tag Archives | Guest Post

[GUEST POST] Does Israel have more cool vendors than China?

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. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] How to Create a More Compelling Analyst Event

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. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Why Startups Need Analyst Relations More Than Growth Hacking

By Theo Pristley (@tprstly, LinkedIn), originally posted here on Forbes and republished with his express permission. Co-authored with Ian Gotts (@iangottsLinkedIn), tech advisor, investor, speaker and author.)

 

Industry and IT analyst firms collage (IIAR blog)

Analysts Or PR ?

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.

IIAR Blog: Box leader in the Magic Quadrant re-tweeted by Aaron Levie

Even the cool customer Levie knows the value of an analyst

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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[GUEST POST] Engaging with mobile analysts … now’s the time!

Mobile World Congress logo on IIAR Website - GSMA

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 →

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[GUEST POST] IDC EMEA provide the IIAR with their current State of the Union: What’s changing for this year and next?

By Suzannah Archibald (LinkedIn, @suzannah_a), Head of Analyst Relations at CCgroup.

IDC is usually one of the better analyst houses I encounter. They usually show tight co-ordination amongst their end-user practices, and reach out and access their client and subscriber database across over 10,000 IT decision-maker professionals (and counting). So, in mid-2017, what’s changed at IDC? And how are they handling organisational change since their change of ownership, earlier this year? These were just some of the questions posed by Industry Analyst Relations professionals at a recent IIAR webinar and networking session with…

Dan Timberlake (UK&I MD, VP Sales, EMEA), Tom Meyer (GVP Research EMEA, @tomtxt), and Mathew Heath (EMEA Marketing Director, himself the brains behind the always-entertaining @IDC_EMEA account).
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[GUEST POST] Three ‘Must-have’ Anchor Points for Your Analyst Relations Program

Rishi GhaiBy Rishi Ghai (LinkedIn@rishi_ghai) Head – Analyst Relations, Corporate Communications, and Digital Marketing / Cyient

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 →

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[GUEST POST] Analyst Relations Best Practices: Seven Tips to Make Your Company a Star at Industry Analyst Events

By Caroline Dennington / Dennington AR (@CDenningtonLinkedIn).

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 →

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[GUEST POST] Managing RFIs: 8 Best Practices for Analyst Relations Professionals

By Rishi Ghai (LinkedIn@rishi_ghai) Analyst Relations, Corporate Communications, and Digital Marketing / Cyient. 

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 →

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[GUEST POST] 7 Ways to Grow Analyst Firm Business: A How-to-Collaborate Guide for Industry Analysts and Account Managers

TW - 7 Ways to Grow Analyst Firm Business - Collaboration Between Industry Analysts & Account ManagersBy Rishi Ghai (LinkedIn@rishi_ghai)

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 →

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[GUEST POST] Analyst Briefings: The Delicate Business of Client References, by Vicki Jenkins / Nelson Hal

Vicki Jenkins / NelsonHallThis 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 →

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[GUEST POST] Analyst Briefings: Are you a Strategic Team Member or the Note-Taker? by Vicki Jenkins / NelsonHall

Vicki Jenkins / NelsonHallBy Vicki Jenkins / NelsonHall  (LinkedIn,  @VickiJ_NH).

This is the second 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 the role of AR in the briefing process.

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[Guest Post] AR Planning Doesn’t Have to be Like Nailing Jell-O to a Tree, by Vicki Jenkins / NelsonHall

By Vicki Jenkins / NelsonHall  (LinkedIn,  @VickiJ_NH).Vicki Jenkins / NelsonHall

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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[GUEST POST] Do You Have a Digital Devil’s Advocate? You need one.

By Phil Hassey, CEO CapioIT (@PHassey, LinkedIn)Phil Hassey / CEO, capioIT (IIAR guest post)

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 →

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[GUEST POST] The mysterious HfS business model… revealed

By Phil Fersht (@pfersht, LinkedIn) from HfS (@HfSResearch).

SuperHfSMan

So how do you build a business where not a lot of people understand how you make money and many assume you’re a not-for-profit that provides the industry with free research?

The answer is simple: flood the market with a daily dose of insight and have everyone feel part of what you are doing.  Make your information company open, social and collaborative; make everyone feel like they are a “client”, even when they are not. Make people want to spend time reading your stuff and also invite them to weigh in with their views and opinions. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Successful Analyst Relations Requires Grown Ups

By Peggy O’Neill  (@pegoneillLinkedIn) from Informatica. 

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 →

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[GUEST POST] The Truth About Freemium Research

By Paul Connolly (@Paul_NH, LinkedIn) from Nelson Hall (@NHInsight).

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 →

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[GUEST POST] Five timeless questions about analyst relations

Over the last 12 years, my colleagues and I have run dozens of webinars and telephone conferences to address the most frequently asked questions of analyst relations managers. This week I’ve been running the numbers, looking to see which topics got the most attention. Several of these topics were used more for than one event and, indeed, looking back even to 2003 I can see that some of the topics are timeless. Five thoughts come to mind. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Building credibility to boost sales with IT Analyst Relations

By Sven Litke (@SvenLitke, LinkedIn), Kea Company, first published on Influencer Relations and Marketing.
Many thanks for allowing the IIAR to re-publish.

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 →

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[GUEST POST] Gartner Updates: Notes from the AR regional briefing in the UK

By Henrietta Lacey-Gutsell / CGI (@henriettalacey, LinkedIn)

Gartner has its ‘listening hat’ on at the UK AR Regional BriefingNew methodologies introduced by Gartner

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 →

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[GUEST POST] Key Requirements for Vendors When Briefing Software Analysts, by Natalie Petouhoff / Constellation

Natalie Petouhoff / Constellation (IIAR)By Natalie Petouhoff (@drnatalie, LinkedIn) from Constellation Research.

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 →

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