AR Agencies – Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR) The IIAR is a not-for-profit organisation established to raise awareness of analyst relations and the value of industry analysts, promote best practice amongst analyst relations professionals, enhance communication between analyst firms and vendors, and offer opportunities for AR practitioners to network with their industry peers. Fri, 11 Oct 2019 20:09:26 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 76177372 Around Caroline Dennington at Dennington AR, IIAR> AR Agency Of The Year 2019, in 10 questions Mon, 22 Jul 2019 18:21:42 +0000
Caroline Dennington / Dennington AR

Caroline Dennington is the Managing Director of Dennington AR (@CdenningtonLinkedIn) and the winner of the IIAR> AR Agency Of The Year 2019.  Like Ricarda, she doesn’t have any horror story and also has a liking for the French art de vivre…

  1. What’s been your career path to becoming an AR pro? 
    After an early career for several years in banking, I took a voluntary redundancy and joined a media production company owned by a TV presenter and ex EMI producer which allowed me to enjoy a slightly bonkers 18 months working with celebrities and pop stars, traveling and filming in places such as Arizona, Venice and Bali.  Sense eventually prevailed that I had to get a ‘real job’ so I joined a small PR agency, initially to work with the media but quickly realised the importance of the industry analysts, so I helped build and implement an Analyst Relations service for the various IT clients. I eventually went in-house and continued to develop my AR skills from there.
  2. What are your opinions of the IT Analyst Marketplace and where do you see it going? 
    The IT Analyst Marketplace has continuously changed over the last 20 years and in many ways, for the better.  The calibre of analysts is much stronger these days with many having real world experience. Organisations are also starting to see the value and influence analysts can have on the buyer and the role of the AR Professional, has become increasingly important. 
  3. What’s your typical day like? 
    My morning always starts with an hour’s walk, come rain or shine, with my faithful furry friend, Tilly.  I use this time to plan my day and map out the tasks ahead. Of course, in Analyst Relations there is no such thing as a typical day and when the phone is not ringing, I am usually on an inquiry, hosting a briefing or filling out an RFI.  The rest of my time is spent answering emails, chasing down information for analysts or reading some of the latest research. Networking is a huge part of the role and I like to maintain the relationships I have built over the last 20 years as well as engage in new conversations, be that via the phone or social media.
  4. Now, c’mon, tell me an Analyst horror story?
    I know this will sound like a cop-out but I have been very fortunate in my career with the analysts not to have any real horror stories.  Yes, there will always be interesting characters along the way and people can have bad days, but I very much believe that if you are kind to people, hopefully, they will be kind back to you.    
  5. How does your company structure its AR team?
    Being a boutique agency, I am very fortunate to have a wonderful set of associates who support me when I need a little extra help.  They know who they are and I am grateful to them (especially Lyn) every day!
  6. Tell us about one good experience you have had with an analyst or analyst firm?
    I could actually name numerous experiences but a very personal one that comes to mind was when I suffered a bereavement whilst running a major analyst summit.  I took a call telling me that my grandmother had sadly passed away about an hour before the event kicked off. A wonderful analyst was with me at the time and could not have been kinder.  OK, offering me a gin at 9am was maybe not the best idea (I did not drink it) but he was so kind and I will never forget that.  
  7. Which analyst firm do you miss that’s been acquired or analyst that’s left the industry?
    Oh gosh, this is a hard one as there are so many people I miss – some who are still with us and sadly, some who are not.  Thankfully, there are a few great analysts who are now independent so still very much in the industry such as Vernon Turner and Puni Rajah (both ex IDC) and then others like Gene Ruth (Gartner) who are now enjoying retirement.
  8. What’s your favorite niche analyst firm and why?
    Another hard question as there are a few who I work with and really admire.  To be honest, many firms have their strengths and weaknesses but for me, those that truly want to partner and forge a mutually beneficial relationship, are the ones that get my attention.
  9. Any hobbies or favourite restaurant / food that you’d like to share? 
    Spending time with my family and playing tennis is high on my list along with anything to do with France – food, wine, etc….   I am the secretary for my local PCC so actively involved in fund raising activities as well as flower arranging. As for sharing food, if it is chocolate, not a chance!
  10. What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 mn?
    Ensuring I meet my client’s objectives and addressing analysts research needs are my top priority.  Being able to juggle numerous activities is a daily challenge but with a good structure in place, colour coded spreadsheets and lists (lots of them), anything is possible.  As for the next 30 minutes, sleep……….

PS: don’t miss tomorrow’s webinar to find out the details of the survey (members only).

IIAR> Best Practice Papers by Caroline

Guest IIAR> posts by Caroline

IIAR> community involvement from Caroline

Related ARPOTY posts

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IIAR Webinar: Analyst Relations Professional and Analyst Relations Team of the Year 2019 Fri, 12 Jul 2019 08:38:03 +0000

Last week we hosted the IIAR Summer Networking Party 2019 in London kindly sponsored by Criteo and Spotlight Analyst Relations. On behalf of the IIAR, I wanted to say a big ‘Thank you!’ to all who could join us in celebrating the achievements of the Analyst Relations community and hope that you’ll join us again at future events. 

We also want to take a moment to ponder the event, the conversations had, the relationships that were nurtured and the new ones formed. During the evening, we welcomed over 70 industry analysts from firms including Gartner, IDC, Ovum, CONTEXT, Forrester, 451 Research, Aite Group, CCS Insight, IT Candor, IHS Markit, HfS Research and AR pros from companies including Oracle, BT, Symantec, Criteo, NTT, Atos, Wipro, HCL Technologies, and from agencies including Dennington AR, Hotwire, Loenberg AR, Spotlight AR, Chameleon, Destier AR, Magnolia AR and CC Group. 

It was a charming evening which sparked conversations around AR best practice, analyst priorities, as well as on informal topics, a testament to the great relationships in the community.

During the event, we announced the highly-anticipated IIAR Analyst Relations Professional and Analyst Relations team of the year: congratulations to Peggy O’Neill, Informatica (winner ‘IIAR AR Professional of the Year 2019′ – her second win of the title!), Oracle AR Team (winner of ‘IIAR AR Team of the Year 2019’) and Dennington AR (winner of ‘IIAR AR Agency of the Year 2019’).  

The IIAR is committed to recognising the achievements of AR professionals who go above and beyond in their career and to promoting best practice in the industry. This year, over 400 AR professionals, 84 agencies and 11 megavendors have been rated. We will be running a webinar for IIAR members for a deep-dive on methodology, key takeaways and analyst feedback, as well as their significance for the AR profession on Tuesday 23rd July at 1600 BST. 

As in previous years, we will highlight and discuss the main AR annoyances for analysts as well as best practice that sets AR pros apart. Additionally, during the webinar we will have a quick refresher on The Three Rs of Analyst Relations, which form the basis for the IIAR survey:

  • Responsiveness– analysts expect AR pros to revert back to them in a timely fashion with the information required for their research;
  • Relationships– analysts have many stakeholders; they rely on someone that’s easy to deal with and always goes that extra mile;
  • Results– can AR pros deliver results for their employers?

During the webinar there will also be an opportunity to address questions and discuss the future of the AR industry. We hope that you can join us!

IIAR Webinar: the IIAR AR Professional, Team & Agency Of The Year 2019

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“Celebrate good times, come on”! Announcing the IIAR Analyst Professional and Teams of the Year 2019 Thu, 04 Jul 2019 18:40:10 +0000 London, Thursday 04th July 2019 – The wait has an end…. Whilst the USA are celebrating their Independence Day, the IIAR members celebrated their annual IIAR Summer Party, kindly sponsored by Criteo and Spotlight AR this year. Highlight of the evening was the announcement of the IIAR AR Professional of the Year 2019, a highly coveted recognition among the AR professionals.

Needless to say that there were plenty of reasons to celebrate at this traditional event that brings together the AR professionals and agencies as well as the analysts who joined us from Gartner, Forrester, IDC, Ovum, 451 Research and many others for an evening full of great discussions and insights. The party is a great opportunity to engage with peers from the AR community and exchange best practices, get feedback from the key analysts in the industry and build or strengthens new and existing relationships. 

The IIAR recognises outstanding analyst relations professionals since 2014 through it’s yearly ARPOTY survey of all global industry analysts who can rate the capabilities and performance of AR pros. The analyst respondents can vote for the best AR professional, teams and agencies who they engage with throughout the year. Foundation of the survey are traditionally the 3 R’s of analyst relations:

  • Responsiveness– analysts expect AR pros to revert back to them in a timely fashion with the information required for their research
  • Relationships– analysts have many stakeholders; they rely on someone that’s easy to deal with and always goes that extra mile
  • Results– can AR pros deliver results for their employers?

This year, over 400 AR professionals, 84 agencies and 11 megavendors have been rated. The IIAR added Google and Amazon and Fujitsu to the megavendors section of this year’s survey.

“This year’s IIAR AR Professional, Team and Agency of the year survey indicate an interesting phase separation in the analyst relation professionals community, between the top 10% of top performers, the middle ground long-tailers and new this year, analysts have clearly indicated displeasure with the bottom 10%. This shows the need for continued education and best practices on the profession”

Ludovic Leforestier (@lludovicLinkedIn), IIAR Board Member.

A big Thank You! to all of the analysts who took the time out of their busy schedules to provide quality feedback on the service the AR pros deliver. The analysts input is of great value for the AR professions who can evaluate their own performance, plan analysts engagement according to analyst priories and , and for relationship building activities.

Whilst the IIAR awards the top 3 AR professionals, there are many others who are doing an excellent job and who stand out from the crowd. It is always a great pleasure to see so the many talented AR professionals who are acknowledged by the analysts we work with on a daily basis and the survey clearly shows the head to head race between our fellow AR peers. We’ll share more details and our key findings in the upcoming webinar for IIAR members where we will look beyond the top winners and discus why it is crucial for an AR professional  to be responsive, have the ability to help build strong analysts relationships with their stakeholders and deliver great results.

Enough talks –the winner of the IIAR AR Professional award 2019 goes to…

IIAR AR Professional of the Year

IIAR AR Professional of the Year 2019: Peggy O’Neill / Informatica

Peggy O'Neill, Senior Director Analyst Relations @ Informatica

Congrats to Peggy! Peggy O’Neill  (@pegoneillLinkedIn) was able to claim back her title from 2016 making her the AR Pro of the Year for the second time.

“I’m humbled by the recognition and feel grateful that even after doing analyst relations for 17 years I still look forward to work everyday.”

Peggy O’Neill / Vice President Industry Analyst Relations, Informatica (@pegoneillLinkedIn)

See Peggy’s interview here.

A big Wohooo also goes to  the two runner-ups tp Peggy who share the second place:

Joely Urton / Box (@JoelyUrton, LinkedIn) and Christine Randle / Oracle (@crandle, LinkedIn).

It seems like you need to have been to the Oracle School of AR those days -congratulations to Peggy for claiming the title back and fostering such a rooster of talented AR professionals.”

Ludovic Leforestier(@lludovicLinkedIn), IIAR Board Member.

Well Done! To learn about the top 10 AR professionals, please join us for the webinar on the 23rd July 2019 at 1600 BST (IIAR members only, join here).

IIAR AR Team of the Year 2019: Oracle

Analysts were also able to vote an AR Team of the Year – with Oracle being the winner for 2019 -all the way from the bottom of the league in 9th place back in 2014.

AR teams are being recognised in doing a great job in balancing the ever-increasing volumes of requests, continuously evolving their AR program to the changes in the market and the demands of the analysts whilst looking at building strong relationships with the analysts. Teams recognised from “Megavendors”, are defined as companies over USD 20 billion global annual revenues and providing a mix of three or more types the following: IT hardware; Networking equipment; Telecommunication services; Enterprise software; IT services and outsourcing; and Business consulting.

“It is an honor to be recognized for this award for the first time, especially given the strong competition. We very much appreciate the positive support from the Analyst community. This is above all a win for a very dedicated team of AR professionals driven by years of experience, strong relationship skills, and creative problem solving expertise. I’m grateful to the Oracle management for helping us build one of the best AR
 programs in the industry.”

Ricarda Rodatus / VP of Analyst Relations, Oracle (@rodatusr, LinkedIn)

See Ricarda’s interview here.

Oracle was followed by SAP (up from 6th last year), IBM (up from 8th), and HPE (up from 7th).

Last year’s winner IIAR AR Team of the Year 2018 Cisco dropped down to 5th place in the megavendors AR teams ranking.

It’s a great pleasure to see Oracle back on top of the AR teams after a few tough years, congratulations to Ricarda and the team for this spectacular turnaround.

Ludovic Leforestier / IIAR Board Member (@lludovicLinkedIn)

More details on the scores will be given in our webinar on the 23/7.

Logo IIAR AR Agency of the Year

IIAR AR Agency of the Year 2019: Dennington AR

In its second year is the category AR agencies that are providing analyst relations services. With a big head start Dennington AR was rated into the winner position of 2019. The second place is being shared by last year’s winner Signe Loenberg (@signeloenberg, LinkedIn) of Loenberg AR and Destrier AR which is managed by our newly appointed board member Simon Jones (@SimonDestrierLinkedIn). Also ex-aequo in 4th place, we have Magnolia Analyst Relations, founded by Pam Crain (@pamcrain2002, LinkedIn) and Merritt Group.

It is the best feeling to receive an award for a job that I am passionate about and enjoy doing.  Being recognised by the analyst community makes me feel extremely proud of Dennington AR and its associates.  Delivering value to clients and ensuring analysts needs are met is absolutely fundamental along with maintaining trustworthy and credible relationships.  I would like to extend my thanks to the IIAR and all of the analysts who participated in the survey as well as congratulating Peggy, Oracle and all the other winners.”

Caroline Dennington / Managing Director, Dennington AR (@CdenningtonLinkedIn)

The IIAR survey analyses a deep field with 84 AR agencies identified by analysts, with a good balance between smaller, boutique AR specialised agencies, the top 30 agencies as well as large unspecialised agencies. .

“On behalf of the IIAR Board, it is a pleasure to award Caroline for her magnificent AR work and to Signe and Simon for being once again in the top three of excellent analyst relations services.” 

Ludovic Leforestier / IIAR Board Member (@lludovicLinkedIn)

See our IIAR list of AR agencies here.

Well done everyone who snatched an award and thank you for your ongoing commitment to best practice in analyst relations. We also appreciate the efforts of the analyst community to keep us informed and sharing their insights. 

Thanks in particular to Anja Steinman (@AnjaSteinmann, LinkedIn) for her precious help with this project.

See also the IIAR> press release: The IIAR Announces the 2019 Analyst Relations Professional, Team and Agency of the Year 2019.

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The IIAR Summer Networking Party celebrating the IIAR AR Professional and Team of 2019 Mon, 17 Jun 2019 21:37:51 +0000 We are excited to announce the date of our famous IIAR Summer Party, sponsored by Criteo and Spotlight AR.

We will celebrate the achievements of the analyst relations community, where we will announce the IIAR analyst relations professional and analyst relations team of the year. 

Join us in Central London, for an after-work evening of drinks, canapés, and networking with AR professionals and industry leading analyst peers. 

Date: 4thJuly 2019
Time: 1830 – 2130 BST
Where: Central London

This event is free for IIAR Members and Industry Analysts.We have a limited capacity as this event is increasingly popular, yet we want to keep it intimate.

IIAR members should register using the link sent by email and apply their code. Check your spam folder and use the form below if you haven’t got this email.

Analysts can get a priority ticket from IIAR Members or register for the wait list here.

If you are not an IIAR Member but are a bona fide AR professional and would like to attend, you may purchase a ticket or join as a member on the EventBrite page. Tickets may be purchased but are subject to approval by the IIAR.

Invitations with the exact address will be sent after approval of each attendee by the IIAR board.

Register now! We have limited capacity and for security reasons we will only be able to accept guests registered 24h before the events with a personal confirmation.

For any questions, fill in the form below.

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[GUEST POST] Informa adds IHS Markit tech analysts to equal Forrester Wed, 22 May 2019 16:20:58 +0000 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.


Informa and IHS Markit are similar firms and know each other well. Many colleagues at one have worked at the other, including the head of Informa agribusiness. Given the broad scope of their information services, ‘co-opetition’ is unavoidable in many areas. For example, IHS Fairplay was previously part of Informa’s Lloyds List business. As a result, we expect the transition to complete smoothly.

As well as a substantial base of business, Informa gains senior market analysts like Abel Nevarez, Clifford Leimback, Devan Adams, Diane Myers, Heidi Adams, Laura Aguilera, Michael Howard, Ruomeng Wang and Stéphane Téral.

Informa’s current TMT business, Ovum, will be dwarfed by IHS Markit colleagues.  For example, the ARchitect analyst database lists 354 colleagues at IHS Markit in categories including IT, telecom, media, industrial, automotive, electronics, and solar: Ovum has 147. LinkedIn lists 1,000 colleagues in total at IHS Markit Technology, compared to 309 at Ovum. The heartland for IHS Markit is the USA, while Ovum is headquartered in London.


Our take

The exchange of assets is partly a defensive move. Both IHS and Informa have acquired extensively, and in doing so have complemented their long-standing roles as providers of industry data that spans multiple markets. In doing so, the businesses have developed profitability that Forrester can only dream of: Informa just reported operating profit of £732m on revenues of £2,369m. That’s double the firm’s revenue in 2015. Unlike Gartner, the firm is able to pay a regular dividend to shareholders.

From an analyst relations point of view, these purchases have been hard to understand. The integration of these businesses into the methods and content delivery platforms of IHS Markit and Informa has produced a degree of commodification and homogeneity, which has certainly led to a clash of cultures. Most importantly, AR professionals need to understand that the Informa business model is not Gartner’s. Measuring Informa Tech by how much it will resemble Gartner is a waste of time. Informa’s reach into the enterprise will be broader than ever.

As a result, Informa Tech will have a different value proposition to Gartner and Forrester. We expect its emphasis will be more on market data, events, lead generation and access to buyers than on inquiry calls and procurement support.


By Duncan Chapple (LinkedIn, @Duncan Chapple), Head of Analyst Relations, CCgroup PR.

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The role of a good AR: does it change during a crisis? Fri, 31 Aug 2018 11:12:41 +0000 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.

3. Communicate wisely

This is a personal view, but I think many other members of the IIAR (and the wider Analyst & Influencer Relations) community would agree with me, but largely our role is increasingly about “relationship management”. But often, and this may not be all of the time, but you are duty-bound to wait to externally relay details on a crisis until your team has all of the facts.

Don’t be premature and send out a statement to the analysts that track your company that is premature, hasty or that may give out damaging or misleading information.

Agree in advance with your team what you can, and cannot, say. And make sure that you have approval for what you do say.

Ensure that you don’t operate a ‘walled garden’ strategy to PR, AR, and Comms. Know what you can communicate, and ensure the rest of your wider Comms and strategic comms teams are all in unison about what it is you are disclosing externally.

2. Work closely with your IR team

If you work as an AR for a large, publicly traded company, a Mega-IT Vendor or a nimbler one that’s about to IPO, it doesn’t really matter really: but you should be transparent with your colleagues that you are preparing to issue an announcement publicly.

Work with your Investor Relations (IR) team closely in times of crisis. Ensure they are completely ‘au fait’ with what is at stake, and what the company proposes to tell analysts, management consultants and wider industry influencers.

It’s critical to ensure you have complete unity, but at the same time, only reveal what you are prepared to say. And especially wait until you have all the facts.

A typical holding response might be…

“This is a developing situation, and we will come back to you in the next 2-3 days when we have more information”

Our developers are working on the issue and expect to have live services up-and-running in as soon as…”

We are aware of this performance related issue, and are taking steps to address it”

By all means, say what your IR team is willing for you to disclose but do not feel under duress to reveal more than you are prepared to.

1. Ensure you have Board-level commitment to communicate

This is true of any time when you are engaging with the industry analyst community, but it goes without saying: ensure you know, and that the Board is fully aware, that you are preparing to say something to the analyst community.

It’s of no use after the fact to go back after the fact to analysts, consultants and partners, to note that you were not authorised to give that information in writing, the same way you can’t stop a journalist from writing something potentially damaging about your brand.

As a member of the MarComms organisation, you are often charged with being the “mouthpiece” of your organisation.

But do ensure you are permitted to communicate a message: one that conveys understanding, calm, and transparency. By all means, make your CxO team available for urgent requests, but analysts should understand that they may be very busy during times of crisis, so have a company FAQ prepared on what you have agreed you can communicate externally.

It’s interesting, but often the best analyst and media “relations” develops out of a crisis. Responsiveness is a key tenet of our profession, and we would do well to remember it.

If an analyst has requested a briefing or interaction and you know this thorny issue may rear its head, agree with your C-suite and spokesperson well in advance what you agree to cover off, during a preparation call.

That way you avoid doing damage to your ongoing AR and influencer relationships, and that you continue to enjoy a good camaraderie and sense of fair-play with your key analysts!


Suzannah Archibald (LinkedIn, @suzannah_a) is Head of Analyst Relations at CCgroup and is based in London and part-time in beautiful Porthleven, Cornwall UK. She is also a new-Board Elect responsible for Operations & Membership with the IIAR as of 2018/2019. 


Other posts on analyst briefings best practices

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[GUEST POST] Hsu: AR must bet bigger on fewer analysts Thu, 19 Jul 2018 13:14:21 +0000 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.
AR programs often have a handful of different goals, from lead generation and sales support through to shaping opinion and helping the firm to improve its offer. The IIAR has integrated these very powerfully with the IIAR AR Compass, which are outlined in this blog post and a useful SlideShare presentation.

Analysts, similarly, have different attributes and goals: they might focus on our audience, they might we well-ranked, be famous, be at an appropriate point in their career cycle, vary significantly in their in-depth knowledge of the market, or very unusual amplification for their views in the market, especially since each firm’s organic distribution is so different. It seems to be that using the AR Compass will greatly help firms to structure their goals in a way that makes them easier to evaluate.

Like-mindedness matters. It makes it enjoyable for speakers, especially for new representatives: that is is important.

Often, in Hsu’s opinion, the top wish of firms is to differentiate itself in the market. Sometimes there are specific challenges where the market is sceptical about your firm. In that case, firms might be looking for prominent opinion-shapers who are highly ranked and whose ideas are well distributed: they might not need to be hugely knowledgeable.
That sort of consideration has to be the starting point: we discover the analysts and our goals, we tier them using our key priorities; then we allocate them to action plans.

The outcome is a strong advocacy of service-level approaches. Top tier analysts have to be the most impactful on our business objective: Hsu suggests that around half of the AR team’s time should go on those people, and both client access and budget can be heavily-weighted. On the other hand, as close to nothing as possible should be spent on the lowest tier. This heavy weighting is, as Hsu admits, a big bet.
Hsu’s application strategy is deeply entwined with its advantages: it forces AR people to elicit goals; it allows people to check their current work; it will enable you to sell the focussed approach.
The advantages of this approach are clear: it gives AR people more job security and produces more business value if we are using analyst insight better, and we are ensuring that buyers are getting the best insight from the crucial analysts we have prioritized.

Of course, there are real challenges: if a tier two analyst has an unreasonably large request, then we have to say no. That is especially tricky, I would say, for those AR people who are ‘going God’s work’. And, of course, this still requires using intelligence from our salespeople and the account director at the analyst firm.

What does money buy? AR has a discretionary budget that is often used too much to purchase services that allow short inquiry calls, however often we need to spend differently to get deep, time. That means not only budgeting for strategic advisory sessions, but planning to make the most of them as a way to shape the analysts’ approaches to markets. Similarly, market intelligence budgets have to be valuable both ways: let’s get the insight, but let’s also allocate that on the insightful analysts who influence our business goals.


By Duncan Chapple (@duncanchapple, LinkedIn, blog), Managing Partner at Kea



IIAR Best Practice Paper on tiering


Other AR Best Practice posts

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[GUEST POST] Does Israel have more cool vendors than China? Tue, 05 Jun 2018 08:09:04 +0000

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.

Israel’s technology industry as an ecosystem

The tech talent in the country benefits from an astonishing degree of support: from the government; the military; and from a national understanding of the need to innovate and export. It’s like the early growth of Silicon Valley, where the pro-active West Coast spirit combined with support from the federal government gave many firms the initial boost they needed. Israel offers both initial and ongoing support.

Israeli vendors have a strong infrastructure from the IDF, Israel’s armed forces, and the government: both help tech firms to achieve innovation. The process is aided by a special provision within the army: people can develop a technology solution and take the IP out afterwards to the market. Cyber-experts also get invaluable, practical experience in the army (notably in areas like hacking and protection). The government’s innovation authority also funds R&D, while the government’s Export Promotion Fund subsidises tech firms’ marketing. Export guarantees are also available.

Partly because of this leavening, and also because of Israel’s deep capacity for innovative and out-of-the-box thinking, Israeli firms are often more ambitious for growth than, for example, European businesses. Unlike European firms, which can boot-strap their growth from the revenues of customers in the domestic markets, Israel must export. Israeli firms are born global, both in looking for funding and for looking for customers. As a result, many analysts track Israeli innovation: some even visiting.

This is amplified by the greater openness of many Israel vendors to analysts than, for example, is generally the case in Europe. Of course, some are more secretive. However, most Israeli vendors will try to get analysts to visit on site. In addition to promoting site visits, Israeli tech firms are often more candid, engaging and less formal with analysts. Their technology and product teams will pitch to analysts, rather than just the marketing team. Analysts appreciate the deeper dive into the technological solutions. In our experience, Israeli firms are less formal and have less use for hierarchies, channels and protocols of seniority. Many have found ways to challenge analysts’ assumptions in ways that don’t endanger their ability to grow a relationship with the analyst. Many vendors around the world are on the cutting edge of new technologies: Many Israeli firms also play a role in educating analysts.

Gartner, Inc. research as an ecosystem

That said, it also seems that Gartner has a talent for identifying Cool Vendors in Israel which benefits both the vendors and Gartner itself. Dozens of Gartner analysts travel to Israel throughout the year to study different industries: there can’t be many other countries, if any, where that is the case.

Many Israeli start-ups work very closely with Gartner’s account managers and analysts. Not only have Israeli vendors learnt how to work closely with the local Gartner team in Israel, but also whole ecosystems of vendors, end users and investors align. Vendors can find themselves with the best platform imaginable from which to make the case for their recognition as a Cool Vendor. Vendors actively encourage Gartner to bring the analysts to meet the vendors and, partly as a result, the local Gartner account team is also proactive: It has a better-than-average understanding of how firms meet the analysts’ criteria for the Cool Vendor designation.

According to my research at the University of Edinburgh, Cool Vendors get better recognition from investors. Cleary, they must use Cool Vendor lists. Many vendors actively looking for acquisitions in Israel, including Microsoft, Symantec and IBM. The paths are well-trodden, and many US venture capital and private equity investors invest more in Israeli and, for example, in Europe. The results are especially strong in cyber-security, Israel’s biggest group of Cool Vendors. There are reportedly over 400 cyber-security start-ups in Israel. For many, the goal is their acquisition. For example, in the last three years many, and perhaps most, of Microsoft, Symantec and Palo Alto’s cyber-security acquisitions were Israeli Cool Vendors.

The Cool Vendor endorsement is also, of course, reflected back on Gartner, Inc. by its winners. Cool Vendor holders send out Gartner’s model press releases, plaster the Gartner Cool Vendor over their online and offline materials, mention the awards in their press releases and email signatures, and in one case even incorporate it into their company’s name on LinkedIn. That all boosts Gartner’s credibility in emerging markets where it has lost some of its leadership.

What to learn?
  • Firstly, there’s clearly a public policy opportunity for vendors. In some countries (Australia comes to mind) the public sector represents most of many IT markets. In many more, like the UK, the biggest IT buyer is in the public sector. If these countries tried to develop alignment to help domestic talent grow then more non-US firms would be earning awards like the Cool Vendor designation. Ironically, Gartner, Inc., research constrains this process. Because some countries are more visible on Gartner’s radar (clearly the US and Israel, but there must be more), other countries are probably underrepresented. And in those countries, Gartner clients are more likely to be recommended US or Israeli software than domestic software. There’s no simple solution there, but there’s something to learn from the Frankfurt model of multi-vendor, multi-analyst, briefing days at a major airport.
  • Second, tech start-ups will only leverage their local Gartner teams under certain circumstances. Necessarily, they must first know that the Cool Vendor designation exists and that it is valuable. However, they also need to be able to develop the sort of push-pull relationships that will get account teams working hard and thinking about how to generate extra value for local start-ups.
  • Third, start-ups need to understand that Hot Vendor and Cool Vendor awards are the start of the relationship with the analyst firms. Israeli firms don’t only become Cool Vendors: they graduate into other Gartner coverage areas. In areas like cyber-security, CRM, digital workplace and telecommunications, Israeli vendors have been aided by analyst recommendations and continued to be covered as the markets grow.

In a UEBS Gartner Observatory webinar, former Gartner research director Perry Carpenter and long-time AR leader Donna Stein predicted that other analyst firms will produce similar signature research awards for newer vendors, as Aragon Research and HfS Research have done. They are almost certainly correct.


By Duncan Chapple (@duncanchapple, LinkedIn, blog), Managing Partner at Kea

Other posts on Gartner


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Trio of analyst departures at Gartner underlines why backup strategy is so important Mon, 04 Jun 2018 15:16:48 +0000 Gartner icon logo for the IIAR websiteGartner has been forced to delay a Magic Quadrant report for at least six months due to the mass departure of pivotal analysts covering the enterprise data center space. 

The delay followed news that analysts Dave Russell and Pushan Rinnen were leaving to join vendors. The duo were the mainstays of the Gartner team covering data backup. Their counterpart in the EMEA region, Robert Rhame, is also moving on.

Their timing was remarkable: Gartner was due to kick off research for its 2018 Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery Solutions last week. With all three authors choosing to leave Gartner, the firm had no credible option but to delay the start of the report: this is now on ice until 2019.

What is notable is that vendors were informed of the slew of departures by no other than Mike Harris, SVP and head of the IT Leaders and Technical Professionals research business within Gartner. Usually, these notifications come from a team MVP.

Gartner’s roster of analysts covering the data center infrastructure space has been steadily weakening over the past year, with the remaining analysts covering enterprise hardware under pressure not to attend vendor events. Instead, they are instructed to optimize their time to help end-user technology buyer customers – which effectively means blocking up to four-hour chunks in their daily calendar to field the high volume of inquiry calls.

The retirement of veteran guru data center analysts Andy Butler (October 2017) and George Weiss (May 2018) was already a blow, and recently, former EMC marketing exec turned analyst JP Corriveau handed in his notice, to return to the vendor side. Gartner also lost storage MVP Errol Rasit at the start of the year.

It’s two vendors who have led to this disruption within Gartner: Veeam and Rubrik. Both are cloud data management firms, which hints at the future direction of the backup market. Corriveau and Russell have joined privately-held Veeam, while Rinnen, Rhame and another former Gartner analyst Ray Schafer have joined Rubrik.

Any behind-the-scenes insights that these vendors hoped to have gained in how to wrangle the backup MQ now seem to be lost, since Gartner has put the refresh on hold for at least six months. That’s still quite an aggressive timescale, since the team of analysts taking over this beat will also want to adjust the MQ in line with their perceptions of changing market and customer needs.

More than just a change of schedule

However, for vendors, the MQ delay is more than a change of schedule. It means starting over in building relationships with the analysts who will take over one of the few remaining MQs in the hardware space. (Quadrants for servers and client computing devices have long been furloughed in favor of infrequently-updated Market Guides.)

In his mail to affected vendors, Gartner SVP Harris only scratches the surface of the impact of this treble whammy, noting: “This has been a difficult decision, especially given the time and resources invested in the process of communicating the included vendors’ respective value propositions.” That’s an understatement, since right now, Gartner will struggle to field those valuable backup-related inquiries from its enterprise subscribers, let alone start the task of updating a Magic Quadrant and the associated Critical Capabilities report.

Frustrated vendors won’t have much luck either if they turn to Forrester: in this space, Rich Fichera was the firm’s last analyst still covering data center hardware until he retired this spring.

This is an unprecedented opportunity for the smaller analyst firms in this space to take a bite from Gartner’s enormous slide of the pie. We’re expecting the charge will be led by the ever-competent Enterprise Strategy Group.

It’s also a great opportunity for smaller backup vendors to punch above their weight, by focusing on Gartner Peer Reviews. As the backup MQ gets long in the tooth, so buyers will be more swayed by reviews from their peers – especially with a shortfall of experienced, knowledgeable analysts at Gartner to explain the possible pitfalls. As a top executive at Gartner recently put it, “Using peer reviews is like driving with the rear view mirror… you need the analysts to spot the bend around the corner”.

If you want a clue as to what’s ahead, note that Veeam and Rubrik both focus on cloud-based storage and data management.

But it looks like a twisty road to recovery for Gartner.

By Simon Jones (@simondestrierLinkedIn), co-lead for the IIAR German Chapter. This article first appeared on Destrier’s blog.


Other posts on Gartner

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Effective Measurement: ARe we there yet? Fri, 01 Jun 2018 15:16:16 +0000 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.

Mirroring Gerry’s thoughts and adding some of my own, the best ways to overcome AR measurement issues is to:

  • Ensure that stakeholders have a good understanding of AR, its role and what it can deliver to the business.
  • Challenge the misconception that PR and AR should be measured with the same yardstick and by using the same methods.
  • Be clear about your AR objectives from the start and think about what you want and can achieve in the set timeframe.

To give you an idea of how to start thinking about your AR objectives, Gerry flagged topics such as:

  • Improving external perceptions about your products or services.
  • Rekindling/fixing past dormant or broken analyst relationships.
  • Arming the PR team with analyst materials such as quotes and citations.
  • Ensuring that the Sales team is well-aware of, and armed with, analyst evaluations.
  • Positioning your firm ahead of the competition.

Once AR objectives are defined correctly, measurement can be aligned appropriately and in a manner that delivers value and increases AR advocacy internally. Of course this is not the first time that the IIAR has led the discussion about, and contributed to the pool of knowledge around effective measurement. The AR Compass, a framework that helps professionals set relevant business goals and align their AR programme to those goals has been a valuable resource to me along my career. It’s one of the fundamental pieces on AR measurement that has stood the test of time and tech – definitely a recommended read, especially for professionals at the beginning of their careers in analyst relations.

There are many ways in which AR can be effectively measured. During the webinar a few ideas (or indicators) were discussed by AR professionals which include:

  • Tonality: measuring analyst sentiment about your company in relation to competitors, and can be filtered by types of reports, segments etc.
  • Visibility: inclusion in relevant analyst reports, analyst level of knowledge about your company.
  • Sentiment: tracks and measures analysts’ opinions about your company and it’s where you can benchmark to track and demonstrate shifts in perception.

It’s also important to remember that achieving AR results is one thing but making them resonate more widely is quite another. There are a few ways to amplifying AR value:

  • By sharing your results, positive or negative, in a productive manner.
  • By packaging up reports/analyst insight in a simple way that resonates with relevant teams.
  • By making sure that the right people are receiving the analyst information and know how to gain access to these resources.
  • By tracking amplification, considering aspects such as the amount of information that was used, which prospects/customers received the information and how many sales conversations leveraged the information.

Undoubtedly, the biggest takeaway for me is the importance of defining and updating measurement tactics that enhance the value of AR. Creating an internal resource that can help teams achieve their own goals is another equally important element of AR success. Measuring and benchmarking your programme and amplifying AR results in a meaningful way, will help you to gain internal AR advocates.

Now more than ever, AR professionals should assess and update their measurement tactics and start with “why” (not the book, but the question), while also thinking about the “how”: Why does a result matter? and How can you amplify that result?


By Julia Pope (LinkedIn, @iulia_g_popa) / Analyst Relations manager and AR specialist /  CCgroup, based in London. 

Must reads for IIAR Members


Other posts from CC Group


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[GUEST POST] How to lose an industry analyst in 10 days (and ways) Mon, 21 May 2018 08:09:04 +0000 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).

Unsurprisingly, the data from this survey offers the type of insight that is invaluable for anyone working with industry analysts on a regular basis. It captures their perceptions, expectations from, frustrations with and other such “-ions” (reflections?) from analysts who work with Tech PR and Comms industry professionals . It’s easy to lose the interest of your target audience, even with very best intentions in place. So, a key question emerges: what do industry analysts expect from AR Pros, and what practices should stop?

  • Stop assuming, start researching. The lack of understanding of the analyst’s role and business model featured prominently in survey responses. This approach results in missteps such as a spokesperson referencing other analyst firms, trying to be too commercial during a briefing or the MarCom team treating every analyst interaction as a numbers game or a one-off engagement.
  • Tell me more, tell me more. Setting up briefings with analysts when a business can’t share relevant, timely or valuable news or PR-ing the narrative is a definite no-no in an analyst’s eyes.
  • The Timekeeper. The IIAR survey revealed that bad agenda management is annoying to analysts, as their diaries get booked up far in advance and last-minute requests are rarely feasible and seldom accommodated.
  • Hello, is it me you’re looking for? Connecting analysts with any available executive is not a strategic approach or one that can help strengthen relationships, something that analysts repeatedly mentioned in their feedback.
  • You shall not pass! Instead of nurturing relationships between analysts and executives, there is a tendency in the AR community to gate-keep, a practice that analysts discourage.
  • You’ve got mail. Although keeping analysts up to date on business/product news is important, sharing every press release, blog or marketing materials will be regarded as being excessive rather than informative.
  • I did it my way. Short and simple: when it comes to analyst authored materials, don’t try to spin outputs beyond factual corrections.
  • Houston, we have a problem. Unsurprisingly, analysts noted as an annoyance the low quality/preparation from a technical equipment perspective for phone briefings, webinars and events, especially when this can be avoided.
  • Tier me baby one more time. Blindly tiering analysts based on criteria such as “a big, recognisable firm name” instead of the influence that an analyst has for a company or area of the market, is bad practice; also mentioning preferences for analyst firms publicly is a major misstep.
  • Nothing in life is free. Whilst it’s all about building relationships and having a transparent and productive conversation, expecting detailed feedback or the type of information shared during a consulting session for free during a briefing is unrealistic and annoying.

There are many more ways in which relationships with industry analysts can be nurtured and just as many ways in which they can go sour.

Research into analyst perception of AR Pros helps give a far greater understanding of how the “other side of the profession thinks” and in shaping new best practices that are mutually beneficial. The key message to take away is the openness to accept that there is always room for improvement, especially in professions that have the word “relations” in their name.

By Julia Pope (LinkedIn, @iulia_g_popa) / Analyst Relations manager and AR specialist /  CCgroup, based in London. This blog first appeared on CCgroup’s website here.


Other posts from CC Group

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Around Gartner’s Fabio Di Capua in 10 questions Fri, 23 Mar 2018 11:00:46 +0000 This week, Gartner analyst Fabio Di Capua (Twitter / LinkedIn) has bravely volunteered to tackle the IIAR’s legendary 10 questions, renowned worldwide for their incisiveness. Research Director Fabio is based in Munich, Germany.

Fabio Di Capua

  1. What are your coverage areas?
    I cover a very broad area in Sourcing and Vendor Management Application Services. From SAP service provider selection to contract revision, Agile application development, MS Dynamics, Workday system integrator, Application Labor rates, Nearshore/Offshore, Outsourcing, and so on…
  2. What are your opinions of the IT Analysis Marketplace and where do you see it going?
    In this flood of Digital Initiatives from vendors, IT innovation and new services emerging every day, IT analysis is a critical element for vendors and clients.
  3. What’s your typical day like?
    No single day is like another one… I basically try to balance between client inquiries (and take questions from Gartner clients on a wide range of topics), writing research (like Magic Quadrants, Market Guides and Best practices notes) and preparing presentations for our events. Sometime I also attend vendor events.
  4. Now, c’mon, tell me an AR horror story?
    No horror stories… just that twice I’ve arrived at an event and discovered that the hotel didn’t have reservation for me. All went well in the end and I didn’t need to sleep under a bridge – but it was the same vendor both times! Then there was the time I was on a call with a vendor, and after the AR had kicked off the call, I spent a good two minutes introducing myself, before handing over to the vendor’s subject matter expert – whose opening line was: “Is that Susan from Gartner?”
  5. How do you position your firm? What is your business model?
    I believe you all know Gartner business model, don’t you? 😉
  6. What is your research methodology?
    At Gartner, we have very detailed methodologies to follow in all our research. This goes through rigorous process with customer interactions, vendor briefings and multiple surveys.
  7. Tell us about one good AR practice you’ve experienced or one good AR event you’ve attended.
    Best AR practice is where the meetings / presentations are spot on in terms of my research agenda, provide a good overview of company strategy and provide the possibility to meet with company executives to exchange views on their vision, their challenges and areas where they are working to improve.
  8. Any hobbies or favorite restaurant / food that you’d like to share?
    I am Italian so you’d expect me to say I love football… but this is not the case. I like basketball, Formula 1, photography and red wine (at least this last one can be related to Italy, can’t it?). I like all kind of food, from sushi to steaks…
  9. What is your biggest challenges for the upcoming 6 months? And for the next 30 minutes?
    During the next 30 minutes, catching a flight back to Munich (yes, it’s delayed), and in the next 6 months to put everything in line for the 2019 MQ and prepare my presentation for our Sourcing and Vendor Management summit, while engaging with probably 200 clients in different topics.
  10. Is there another analyst whose work you rate highly?
    There are so many excellent analysts at Gartner it’s very hard to choose!! So I’ll pass on this one! 🙂
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Wrap-up: IIAR Germany 2018 kick-off Mon, 12 Feb 2018 09:09:32 +0000 IIAR German Chapter meeting at Restaurant Ella, MunichA few inches of snow in the deep midwinter in Munich didn’t stop the 2018 IIAR German chapter kick-off from going ahead, with six intrepid AR professionals getting together to exchange news, views and the occasional snippet of gossip – under Chatham House rules, of course.

Hosted by IIAR Germany chapter leads Yvonne Kaupp (@YveKauppLinkedIn) and Simon Jones (@simondestrierLinkedIn), the networking event was focused on the topic of “how to run an effective inquiry”, with IIAR members and guests (our “prospective members”) sharing best practice and experiences. One point which came through loud and clear is that everyone is nervous about running their first analyst inquiry calls – usually related to having enough questions to ask in a 30-minute call.

Expert opinion from the other side of the table was on hand, with Munich-based Gartner analyst Fabio Di Capua (@fabiodik, LinkedIn) joining the networking evening. The simple answer is: Don’t worry – you don’t necessarily need to use the whole 30 minutes – and if you run out of time, you can always book another one. One key tip for AR professionals: Always be generous in providing stars for your analyst inquiries, because your analyst contacts will appreciate it!

The get-together kicked off a busy year ahead for the IIAR in Germany – watch this space for details of a networking event in Berlin, and save the date for the IIAR Germany beer garden get-together in Munich on June 7, from 1700 CET.

New sign-ups for the growing IIAR Germany membership are welcome – or contact us for details using the form below. You can even join the IIAR via credit card.


Related posts


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[GUEST POST] Moving AR into IR….. Thu, 08 Feb 2018 15:06:49 +0000 Duncan Chapple / Kea - For the IIAR blogInvestor relations just took over Analyst Relations at Tata Consultancy Services, an IT Services giant. Is IR about to eat AR for lunch? TCS has decided on the reorganisation after a year that included significant leadership changes in the firm’s analyst relations team.
In most tech organizations, AR sits within corporate marketing. This has been a natural home for AR though, as we know, not always appreciated but seen as a necessary function that is needed as part of a wider marketing organization. Most sensible senior executives know how important the analysts are in the overall ecosystem.


Holmes Report has announced it as part of a substantial reorganisation of TCS’ marketing communications. The investor relations leadership will manage both AR and IR functions. The teams remain separate, with AR being part of the CMO’s organization and IR remaining part of the CFO’s organization. The head of investor relations will thus report to the CFO for IR and to the CMO for AR.
AR and IR have differences and similarities. Analyst relations uses candor to build rapport with crucial influencers. Investor relations is regulated to provide fair disclosure to the whole market. There is certainly a substantial overlap: candor (while staying in the confines of fair disclosure) works just as well with investors and equity analysts. However, Fair Disclosure rules are about making all material information available equally so that no investors suffer from information asymmetry.


Our take

Many companies tell themselves a comforting lie: as long as AR does not disclose financial metrics that are not already in the public domain, then Fair Disclosure rules do not apply to AR since the information given to industry analysts has no impact on investment outcomes. If that were the case, services like Gartner Invest and the Analyst Value Survey would not be purchased by investment professionals.
In reality, the information asymmetry that industry analysts thrive on, is both qualitative (relative capabilities, customer references, case studies, strategy) and quantitative (off-the-record guidance on market shares, customer numbers, deal values and pricing). As clients of analyst firms, AR spokespeople and managers disclose revenue breakdowns, pricing data and many other operating metrics that are not a part of the company’s public disclosures. Because they are under the non-disclosure terms of contracts, they are less likely to violate the rules against selective disclosure. However, not every US court would accept the prior existence of an NDA as a defense against charges of selective disclosure: almost every organisation has an NDA with every other. When the AR team plays the game of ‘hotter’ and ‘colder’ with analysts wondering if their market estimates are too low or too high, few judges will feel that this is not selective disclosure of financial performance. That is not even the biggest danger of selective disclosure.
The only experience many AR people have of investor relations is dealing with executives who want to brief both investor analysts and industry analysts at the same Analyst Day.  Generally, these two groups have completely different areas of interest. Communications professionals have often found there’s little information that they can both share with both communities and also really meet the information needs of these different analysts.

Bottom Line

This is not necessarily a bad move as long as the two constituents are addressed by people with different skill sets who understand how they work. The AR team also needs to be aligned with the other functions in corporate marketing so they understand what the overall strategy is for the company and the key messages that are coming out of corporate marketing. The proof in the pudding will be how the analysts react to this and whether they see any change in the overall relationship.
By Duncan Chapple (@duncanchapple, LinkedIn, blog), Managing Partner at KeaThanks to Robert De Souza (@robert_desouza, LinkedIn) for his contribution.

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[GUEST POST] Engaging with mobile analysts … now’s the time! Tue, 23 Jan 2018 23:49:15 +0000 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.

Analysts view MWC and other events as golden opportunities to solidify relationships; build out and update knowledge of a sector; or gather further industry intel on the major themes in the telecoms & media sector. Their focus is less on producing ‘quick hit’ pieces of content, as they tend to ingest mass amounts of information for digesting at a later date. This is then written-up into myriad content like blogs and reports that make their way to commercial buyers of that intelligence.

Analysts also tend to plan their Congress schedules early. Unlike their journalist counterparts, they are not tied in the same way to a breaking news agenda. It’s therefore critical that you have a separate analyst relations outreach strategy for MWC, and get securing those face-to-face meetings now.

Here are some quick tips to help ensure your strategy and activity has the right bandwidth to engage with analysts:

Target away

The mobile industry is made up of an increasingly diverse pool of players, and leading analyst firms need to ensure that they speak to both established players, as well as up and coming providers. If you are new to the MWC game, make sure you are aware of the analysts who are closest to you.

In the run-up to the show, carry out regular analyst audits, review target lists and ensure you are speaking to those analysts most crucial to your buying channels. Analysts don’t often jump ship, but it can be a very fluid community where remits change depending on client demand.

Be prepared

If targeting analysts at MWC is a major focus, be aware that diaries fill up quickly. Scheduling should ideally start before Christmas, or January at the latest.

Be clear on what you can offer an analyst in terms of spokesperson time or material before reaching out. Develop proof points as early as you can. Prepare tailored presentations for them at the show to ensure you stay relevant and structured. Don’t rely on a bog-standard sales deck, or a high-level marketing presentation. Analysts will remember something that gives them a deeper level of understanding of business challenges and successes.

Flexibility is also crucial. Analysts often have to prioritise multiple, competing requests during their time in Barcelona and on-the-show-floor meetings may only be skin-deep. So, for true company deep dives, a pre- or post-event briefing is still a good way to show return on AR investment.

Be relevant but ask burning questions

This comes back to the importance of initial targeting. Be certain you are briefing the right analysts who specialise in your sector and know in advance what research they do.

Don’t be afraid to ask analysts questions pertinent to your focus for 2018: they are experts after all, and in most cases, will be happy to share their thoughts and opinion. This applies as much to the market as it does your own strategy.

But accept that analysts work for commercial organisations. They can deliver enormous value to your organisation if leveraged in the right way. Keep their views in mind for future research studies, content marketing or white papers.

Their insightful feedback can be extremely valuable to drive broader thought leadership and conversation.

It’s not all about MWC

Too many companies place too great an emphasis on the event itself as the only time to proactively court analyst attention. But the truth is analyst research calendars and consultancy projects carry on throughout the year.

Remember analysts themselves treat MWC briefings more as an opportunity to build and update their knowledge of a sector, not to write quick bits of content. Their views are developed over a long-time period, and though it may disappoint your senior leadership you should consider whether a briefing is best saved for another time or place.

Use introductory meetings at MWC to establish that initial relationship. Then use the follow up period after Barcelona to cement it. Ensure the relationship thrives with a regular cadence of scheduled updates and meetings over the course of a calendar year.


Suz Archibald (@suzannah_a,  LinkedIn), is head of analyst relations at CCgroup, a full-service Tech PR Agency in London. This post originally appeared as part of CCgroup’s Congress Crunch series of blogs in the lead-up to MWC 2018. See other blog posts by the CC Group team.


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Calling all AR professionals in Germany Thu, 11 Jan 2018 12:08:03 +0000 IIAR German Chapter leads: Yvonne Kaupp / Retarus ; Simon Jones / Destrier CommunicationsWe are kicking off a busy year of events for the German chapter of the IIAR (Institute of Industry Analyst Relations) with our first networking meeting and get-together – taking place in Munich on the evening of Wednesday February 7, 2018.

We’re returning to Restaurant Ella at the centrally-located Lenbachhaus, where we have a private room – providing the perfect ambience for an evening of networking and exchanging news, know-how and best practice related to the analyst and AR scene in Germany, and beyond.

Join us from 7pm on Wednesday February 7 for drinks and food on a pay-as-you-go basis – with a welcome cocktail kindly sponsored by the IIAR.

As ever, we’ve picked a red thread to help frame conversations. This time, we’re focusing on “what makes a good analyst inquiry”. We’ll be hearing perspectives from both sides – not only from seasoned AR professionals, but also the analysts’ view on how to get the best results from inquiry calls.

Attending AR professionals are encouraged to join the IIAR. We are opening this new year’s kick-off event to all AR professionals – regardless of whether or not they are an IIAR member – but future events will be for members only. In Germany, the IIAR also welcomes industry analysts to selected get-togethers.

When: Wednesday February 7, 2018
Time: 1900 CET onwards

Register now:

For more information on the IIAR German Chapter you may contact the Chapter leads using the form below


Past IIAR German Chapter meetings

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What’s really going on with Ovum? Meet the MD, Aneil Rakity Mon, 18 Sep 2017 15:16:10 +0000 Aneil Rakity / Ovum - IIAR website - Photo©John Cassidy The Headshot Guy® 07768 401009Ovum (related blog posts, website) the UK-based analyst firm which enjoys a soft spot in the hearts of many AR pros, has gone through tough times in recent years.

Multiple changes of ownership accompanied by several different MDs have led to inconsistent and regularly changing strategies for the business, and a considerable turnover of staff.

Is this period in Ovum’s history now at an end, following the appointment of Aneil Rakity (LinkedIn) as the MD in 2016?

David Rossiter (LinkedIn, @davidrossiter), IIAR UK Chapter and director of analyst relations at Harvard, had the opportunity recently to sit down with Aneil and chief research officer Tim Jennings (@tjennings, LinkedIn) to find out what’s going on.

Read on for this and don’t miss the IIAR Webinar with Ovum on Wednesday 25th October > REGISTER NOW.

Since joining 18 months ago, Aneil has worked with his team on developing the vision and strategy for Ovum, securing parent company Informa’s support for his plans, and getting the business in shape to deliver them.

One of the first questions I put to Aneil was whether the Ovum brand would continue to be used. He was quick to dismiss any suggestion of rebranding to Informa and confirmed that Informa agreed with this decision and saw substantial value in the Ovum name.

In discussing where Ovum plays in the TMT (technology, media and telecoms) ecosystem, Aneil confirmed that Ovum has a focused strategy and isn’t trying to offer a comprehensive range of research and advisory services across all areas of the TMT space.

Instead, he is focusing Ovum not only on traditional areas of expertise (e.g. consumer/enterprise telco services, media & entertainment, service provider technology) but also increasingly targeting specific high-growth or disruptive subsets of the TMT market where he believes the company has market-leading capabilities. These include IoT, Cloud, 5G, Big Data, Security, Payments, Devices and AI.

Data and forecasts, which Aneil described as “a historic Ovum strength”, remain critically important to the business, and a key part of the strategy is to ensure that Ovum’s insights are built on a robust fact base.

Aneil also confirmed that Informa investment is going into an upgrade to the Ovum Knowledge Center platform and the creation of a new Forecaster product that will give clients what is thought to be “a unique ‘whole of market’ view.”

Overall, Aneil wants Ovum to be able to make a difference to its customers, enabling digital service providers and their technology partners to profit from the connected digital economy.   At its core, Ovum says it is helping its customers to answer three questions: where to play, what to deliver, and what to sell.

To accomplish this, Aneil is looking to expand Ovum’s international presence (there’s a new office in San Francisco and further hires in Asia) and approach its target areas in a more joined-up, coherent and practical way, concentrating on how technologies can be applied to specific use-cases and industries.

Driven by customer interest, this has led to a research agenda covering topics such as “The Augmented Customer”, “Digital First Strategies” and “The Hyper-Connected World”.  Aneil and Tim discussed the importance of vertical understanding, highlighting strengths in areas ranging from communications to financial services, the public sector, education and retail.

Given active support by Informa at board level, there seems to be a good chance of Aneil’s strategy for Ovum succeeding.  He is clear about the challenges that Ovum has faced in the past and wants to avoid the company making the same mistakes again.

The goals he has set look ambitious but reasonable and achievable, and capable of delivering value to customers.

He has also been able to secure the support of some well-known and highly-regarded research leaders to sit on his research leadership team, including Tim Jennings as Chief Research Officer.

On top of this, Brad Hecht joined Ovum earlier this month as Global Research Director. If his name isn’t familiar to you, Brad’s worked for over 20 years in leadership positions at the Reputation Institute, CEB, and the Yankee Group. He was also the vice president and general manager at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was responsible for expanding MIT’s content strategy, including working with MIT’s Technology Review magazine and the creation of its Internet media property.

Despite all this, there do remain some questions over what Ovum’s future will look like.

One difficulty in targeting fast-growing, disruptive markets is that other firms also see the opportunities these present. At least two other global analyst firms we’ve spoken to recently have identified the same segments as a key focus. Ovum will only be successful in these sectors if it is able to deliver a unique approach for customers, something that has already been given some thought and attention.

Then there’s the question about how much emphasis Ovum will continue to place on selling research and advisory services to the end-user enterprise market.

Aneil says this continues to be an important market segment for Ovum but that services will be increasingly delivered by analysts outside of the traditional “technology buyer” team.

The rationale is that these end-user clients (including both line-of business and technology executives) are looking for a trusted advisor on so-called “digital hotspots”. They want the answer to the question “how do I transform my IT in a digital way?”  Aneil sees their needs being best met by bringing together sector specialists and horizontal technology analysts, which seems a sensible approach.

When asked about some of Ovum’s differentiators, Aneil called out its comprehensive data and forecasts, depth of analyst and consulting expertise in key digital services and markets, and the benefits of being part of Informa.

On the latter point, Aneil highlighted not only the enterprise reach and influence that Ovum gains through Informa’s series of conferences (that its analysts regularly chair), but also the benefits of Informa’s acquisition last year of Penton Information Services, a US exhibitions and professional information services group.

Penton has brought Informa a new set of marketing services capabilities and the ability to reach over 20 million professionals in North America, across a range of industry sectors.  Aneil, who is regularly out talking to Ovum’s clients, said that they had responded very positively to this development and new services “are in the works.”

However, probably the biggest question is whether Aneil will be given enough time to fully implement his strategy and show it is working.

In the past, Informa has sometimes left the impression that it’s overly impatient to see results; if Ovum didn’t deliver quickly on a new strategy, it was time for a change.

Aneil’s vision and strategy for Ovum come across as credible and realistic. It also seems that early results are promising and customers are buying into the new-look company.

Let’s hope so. In a market dominated by one global player, it’s good to have as many credible alternatives out there as possible. A successful Ovum has an opportunity to firmly cement itself as one of these.

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens.

Upcoming Webinar

We will be holding a webinar with Aneil and some of his Ovum colleagues on Wednesday 25th October, including Q&A. If you’re interested, please REGISTER NOW.

IIAR Webinars are free to attend for all IIAR Members, a good reason for joining the IIAR. For non-members there is a fee of $25 / £25 (pay here) that is redeemable against IIAR Membership over the next 12 months. Join the IIAR via the form on this page, new members are always welcome !


Previous posts on Ovum

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[GUEST POST] IIAR Webinar: ‘Tis the season for Gartner Methodologies Fri, 15 Sep 2017 09:19:06 +0000 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.

Whilst emphasising Gartner’s move towards more openness, he was happy to answer more in-depth questions which have unsurprisingly focused on the Magic Quadrant and Gartner’s perception of itself amongst other firms.David also offered valuable insight on Gartner’s research validation process. Our main takeaways were:

  • The Gartner Methodologies team now covers IT procurement.
  • Vendors included in a Gartner MQ are at the pinnacle of their market and inclusion criteria is now heavily weighted how vendors market themselves, so the more SEO the better!
  • Critical Capabilities reports offer a deep dive into a particular vertical market or technology.
  • Trends for Magic Quadrants include more Peer Insights relevant for each Magic Quadrant report (currently stands at over 45,000 reviews).
  • The number of vendors included in the Magic Quadrants is determined by analysts – for BI it has now gone up to 37.
  • Gartner’s remit continues to expand due to constant M&A and organic growth.
  • Gartner will ask for specific customer references for each type of report, as criteria will vary. E.g. the customer references shared for a Magic Quadrant will not extend to vendor-specific or Vendor Profiles reports.
  • NB: Gartner’s ‘magic’ benchmark for customer references for Magic Quadrants is between 5-7. Getting requests for additional references? Query why with the analyst team.
  • Gartner encourages users to raise any questions or voice concerns on the research process for different reports directly with them at

In summary?

I was pleasantly surprised by the progress made by Gartner to increase its clearness and transparency. The firm has evolved into a more approachable and open organisation which aims to help AR professionals throughout the Magic Quadrant season – and beyond.

Want to hear more?

The slides and recordings are available on Huddle for IIAR Members > 1709_Gartner_methodologies


Suzannah Archibald (LinkedIn, @suzannah_a) is the Head of AR at CCgroup, a full-service marketing and communications agency based in Central London. See other blog posts by the CC Group team.

Other posts on Gartner

Other posts on the Magic Quadrant

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German IIAR Summer Stammtisch 2017: scope of AR, ISG/Experton and Paulaner Mon, 31 Jul 2017 07:48:34 +0000 One of the most picturesque beer gardens in Munich was the setting for this year’s IIAR German Chapter Summer Event, gathering AR professionals and industry analysts. Our topic of the night was what it takes to make an analyst relations (AR) program mature and strong.

As we discussed, what success looks like actually depends on your business objectives and expectations of the individual companies and stakeholders. We all recognised that “AR” has a very wide scope, since it also covers many complementary disciplines and – depending on your job – may include Market Intelligence, Go-to-Market, PR, Sales Enablement, Strategy, or all of these. Reporting lines also influence the weighting of AR components. 

Holding an event at a beer garden during the “long, hot summer” in Munich means offering a prayer to the weather gods, since hours of sunshine can be followed by sudden storms and rain. Our prayers were heard, and after several days of non-stop rain, the skies cleared in time for our first beers. After a long day in the office, it was enjoyable to get together with like-minded friends to enjoy the first beer of the evening. As ever for the IIAR in Germany, the ensuing discussions followed beer garden rules: informal, open and of course enjoyable.

From left to right: Thomas Zink, IDC; Ralph Phillips, Atos; Anja Steinmann, HPE; Danielle Hernandez, IDC; Sören Haubold, Giesecke & Devrient; Yvonne Kaupp, Retarus; Simon Jones, Destrier Communications

And so our topic of AR maturity was just one among many discussion items on the table. We discussed ISG (which includes the research firm formerly known as Experton) and how its questionnaires to collect information for vendor benchmarks are considered by many to be more and more demanding. We talked about the collaboration models within analyst firms, and within different regions. We debated the challenges of the need to constantly innovate or re-invent a business to create new revenue streams – and we spent some time talking about how it’s hard to explain to a friend or relative what AR – or being an analyst – is all about (see also the great article from Ludovic Leforestier about what analysts are and what they do). We talked about blockchain and new purchasing models. We spoke about research and citation policies of well-known analyst firms. And of course we spent a considerable amount of time discussing the quality of beer produced by Munich brewer Paulaner following its relocation to a new site.

It was a fun networking event with great people and I look forward to see you all again. Next time, we plan to pick up again the discussion around the level of AR maturity, in a private room at a local restaurant. I’m sure we’ll also spend more time discussing our favorite local beers, too.

AR colleagues: If you have not yet done so, don’t forget to sign up for an IIAR membership. See also more information about the value of the Membership here.

To the analyst community, please share the news on the IIAR German Chapter meetings with your colleagues. Our IIAR German Chapter Leads Simon Jones (LinkedIn, @simondestrier) at communications strategy consultancy Destrier and Yvonne Kaupp (LinkedIn@yvekaupp), IIAR Board Member and Head of Analyst Relations and Market Strategy at Retarus, look forwards to seeing you next time.



Related posts

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IIAR Webinar: Crisp Research outlines European expansion Wed, 21 Jun 2017 09:07:41 +0000 This spring, Crisp Research announced the appointment of well-known industry analyst Stefan Ried to head up a new practice area focused on the Internet of Things. For @Crisp_Research, his arrival was a big step – signaling aspirations beyond its core DACH market (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) to grow and cover all of Europe. And for @StefanRied, it was a return to the analyst industry after spending the last two years with a vendor.

To learn more about Crisp Research – which now boasts 20 analysts and consultants, and offers a hybrid mix of research and consulting – join us for an IIAR webinar on July 10 with Crisp co-founder Dr. Carlo Velten and Dr. Stefan Ried.

Carlo and Stefan will outline where Crisp is going, and how it plans to get there. This session will be moderated by IIAR German Chapter leads Simon Jones (LinkedIn, @SimonDestrier) at communications strategy consultancy Destrier and Yvonne Kaupp (LinkedIn@YveKaupp), IIAR Board Member and Head of Analyst Relations and Market Strategy at Retarus. Attendees will also have the chance to put their questions to Carlo and Stefan.

We’re grateful to Retarus for hosting this get-to-know-you session with Crisp. Participation is free to IIAR members and potential members: If you plan to attend in person, venue details will be provided after registration. Please note this webinar is for Analyst Relations professionals only.

When: Monday July 10, 2017
Time: 1500 GMT/ 1600 CET/ 1000 EDT/ 0700 PDT
Duration: One hour

Eventbrite - IIAR webinar: Crisp Research outlines European expansion plans

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