Around Peter O’Neill from Research in Action in 10 questions

Today’s IIAR> Around in 10 questions interview is with Peter O’Neill / Research Director, Research in Action GmbH (LinkedIn, @poneillxforr, blog) who is the Lead Analyst for B2B Marketing.

  1. What are your coverage areas?
    Marketing Process, Organisation, and Automation

2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
An analyst needs to be expert in the business area they are watching, just knowing about software/service providers and their products is not enough expertise to be relevant to buyers and practitioners. I would drop the term IT altogether. 

3. What’s your typical day like?
I start with checking through my alerts-systems to keep on top of news, publications  and trends. As I am usually in the middle of a couple of research projects, I then need to prepare for any briefing or interview appointments I have that day. Some days are dedicated to writing the reports themselves – then I often suffer from blank-page fright just like any other writer. 

4. Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
In 2019, I actually had a software vendor CEO call and write me with a threat to sue me because I had included his firm in my Top 20 (actually at #6) vendors in a market landscape. This was based on a survey of 1500 practioners. he told me that he had not given me permission to include them.  

5. How do you position your firm?
I myself work for both sides of the business. My business partner B2B Marketing licenses my reports to users while my other business partner Research in Action earns report reprint license revenues from vendors.  

6. What is your research methodology?
We survey marketing software decision makers on a regular basis. Then our vendor landscapes are completed by my primary research, talking to the vendors usually online. As with any analyst, I am always covering my research with diligent desk research for backgrounding too. For my B2B Marketing reports, we also do several surveys and conduct multiple deep-dive interviews for each report.  

7. Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve atttended.
The most useful program for my research is when AR shares their latest customer reference stories with me on a regular basis.  

8. What are your offerings and key deliverables? 
My surveys and conversations across the various marketing topics enable me to observe and document important trends and changes. I try to insert these insights into the blogs and reports that I write. I also have the advantage of working with several marketing executives on an ongoing basis where I hear and review their activities. 

9. Any hobbies you’d like to share?
I am an avid golfer. Back in my corporate research days, I was often booked for speeches at customer events that included rounds of golf. In fact, I had some marketing clients who would invite me to play at their golf club and were ruthless in taking advantage of 4-5 hours access to me during a round – but I didn’t mind at all.

10. Is there another analyst (a peer in your firm or with another firm) whose work  you rate highly?
My last recruitment when I was at Forrester was an analyst Jay McBain. I had actually moved on before he moved in, so I never got a chance to work with him. But I love his work – it is insightfully, business-oriented, highly-strategic, and inspiring. 

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