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[GUEST POST] Book Review: Schaffer’s guide to analyst relations transformation

Robin Schaffer (LinkedIn, @robinjs19)’s new book, Analysts on Analyst Relations: The SageCircle Guide, weaves the verbatim recommendations of dozens of veteran analysts into a powerful argument for AR teams to test out leading-edge AR activities, far beyond what passes for regular  AR best practice. Schaffer is a long-time AR leader: She and I are part of the Analyst Observatory at the University of Edinburgh, and Robin is US lead for Kea Company, whose SageCircle service published the book. The IIAR just nominated her agency, Schaffer AR, among the five best in the world: That award is an astonishing accomplishment because her firm is only months old.

Robin Schaffer’s new book, Analysts on Analyst Relations, from SageCircle

Given her experience and success, it’s no surprise that Schaffer has written a unique and educational book. It gives you a look into the world of analyst relations from the perspective of experienced analysts. Her book provides an insight into how companies can effectively use analysts to drive their business forward.

Duncan Chapple

Answering top analyst questions about your business can be a daunting task. This book shares insights not only from Schaffer, but also two successful AR book authors on how to shift analysts’ perceptions and use analysts to advance your business: AR grandfather Efrem Mallach, whose third edition of Win Them Over features an introduction by the IIAR’s Ludovic Leforrestier, and Kea Company CEO Sven Litke, my co-author of Influencer Relations: Insights on Analyst Value.

There are six ideas that I found especially engaging in the book. Whether you are new to AR or an experienced professional, you’ll learn:

  1. AR is not primarily about making analysts happy. Kevin Lucas, Forrester’s analyst serving AR professionals, notes how this point is strongly made in the introduction by Efrem Mallach.
  2. Influence differs between analysts. Schaffer shares a key secret: focus is needed in transforming a few top analysts into champions of your firm. This insight-packed guide shows how to create a clear alignment with your key analysts’ interests and biases, to end up with a loyal advocate. You may not be able to target all key analysts, so focus on credible analysts who are open-minded and ready to engage.
  3. Analysts are not the only influencers. Analysts are consumers and producers of thought leadership. However, Schaffer points out other B2B influencers such as academics, bloggers, customers and journalists. If you watch closely, you can see which influencers your analysts listen to and which influencers amplify your analysts. Aim at the thought leaders and you also shift their followers.
  4. Win-win relationships do not pay to play. Analysts have a complicated relationship with vendors, even though both should educate their shared customers to make the best choices. Since pay-to-play analyst firms quickly discredit themselves, Schaffer recommends a focus on analysts who want win-win relationships.
  5. Analysts want to be heard and seen. Vendors seem to be only after one thing: positive mentions. Analysts are frustrated by vendors who don’t want to understand or support their workflow. Influencing analysts involves helping meet their goals. That means putting yourself in their shoes and aligning your language and relationship to their mindset.
  6. Trust is the key to great relationships. At times, many analysts feel ignored, manipulated, or misled. Influential analysts want to serve multiple stakeholders: buyers, users, regulators, investors, etc. If you cannot be relied upon to provide trustworthy information, the analysts will distrust you. You will either burn your bridges immediately or after the analyst burns their relationship with a client who refutes what you told the analyst.

Analysts on Analyst Relations captures insights and sage advice shared by analysts, unusually providing an easy-to-read book that is informative and fun, with a genuine, supportive and encouraging tone. It is perfect for professionals who have just embarked on their careers in analyst relations, although everyone interested in analyst advocacy will benefit.

This short book aims to show how understanding analysts’ perspectives on AR can help both generate advocacy and gain insights. If you’re looking for an easy way to learn about why analysts say what they do about your company, then this book is for you.

The best way to help vendors meet analysts’ needs is to help them understand how analysts think about the analyst relations process. As a low-cost purchase, it has the potential to reach a much bigger audience than buying expensive AR advisory from Gartner and Forrester. Uniquely, this book is built from the insights of analysts with years of experience, curated by AR veterans who know what top analysts need from vendors.

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[GUEST POST] The New Normal for Analysts

Zoë Crichton / CCgroup

Our current working environment has been a challenge for everyone, sector to sector. Workers have been uprooted from usual routines and practices; some have flourished, finding inspiration from their sofas, while others have been stifled by children, pets, and noisy neighbours. Despite this upheaval, we have had to adjust and adapt in the best way possible. Whilst some “norms” have fallen by the wayside, others have been embraced and formulated into a more efficient and enhanced way of working from home.

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[GUEST POST] Informa adds IHS Markit tech analysts to equal Forrester

IHS Informa logos (IIAR website)Informa (INF.L) has acquired IHS Markit’s (INFO) TMT business. Informa Tech, which includes Ovum, will have revenues similar to Forrester’s $350m. It represents a dramatic shift in the analyst landscape.

Informa announced the transaction on 22 May as part of an exchange of Informa’s agribusiness service for IHS Markit’s TMT portfolio, including the OTT and media teams.

A sixty-year-old firm built through acquisitions, IHS its has absorbed numerous tech research firms, including Infonetics Research and IMS Research.

IHS Markit has clarified that it will retain RootMetrics and part of its market intelligence business. Because the exchange is subject to US regulatory approval, it can’t be completed until July at the earliest.

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The role of a good AR: does it change during a crisis?

Analyst relations nightmares (IIAR)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 →

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Effective Measurement: ARe we there yet?

IIAR laptop and post itsEffective measurement has become a bit of a challenge for AR practitioners, as stakeholders are demanding more tangible, immediate results that can easily be linked to business outcomes. With smaller teams and tighter budgets, AR professionals are under immense pressure to justify investment and prove overall value.

As such, the IIAR’s recent webinar on measurement and amplification, led by Oracle’s Gerry Van Zandt (LinkedIn@gerryvz), couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve included below my key takeaways from the webcast as well as Gerry’s advice for anyone looking for help or inspiration around efficient AR measurement.

A major hurdle that I keep seeing, especially in organisations that don’t yet have mature AR programmes, is the inability to set AR-relevant objectives. Too many organisations still try and measure AR in the same way as PR and get massively frustrated by the meatier up-front investment and absence of immediate results. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] How to lose an industry analyst in 10 days (and ways)

Julia Pope / CC Group on the IIAR websiteA 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 →

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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] IIAR Webinar: ‘Tis the season for Gartner Methodologies

Gartner IIAR logosOn 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 (@lludovicLinkedIn), 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 →

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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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