Archive | Kea

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

Robin Schaffer’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.

Continue Reading

[GUEST POST] Hsu: AR must bet bigger on fewer analysts

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. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

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

https://twitter.com/Loom_Systems/status/905444551204233217

Gabby Menachem, the CEO of Israel-founded Loom Systems, holds its Cool Vendor plaque

Can other vendors copy Israeli firms’ exceptional success in earning Gartner, Inc.’s Cool Vendor designation? Maybe not. Their success reflects both Israel’s unique start-up ecosystem and those start-ups’ ability to leverage Gartner’s experienced account management in Israel.

The numbers of Cool Vendors in Israel continue to rise. At the recent Cool and Hot Vendor Forum, Suwen Chen’s presentation showed, using data from Gartner, Inc., that there were more Cool Vendors in Israel than, for example, in China and the UK added together. The gap is widening: It has grown from 15 Cool Vendors in 2012 to 33 last year and 35 in 2016. The count could be even higher if we account for the many Cool Vendors originally founded, funded and staffed in Israel which have moved headquarters to the USA, such as Loom Systems. Twenty firms founded in Israel have gained the designation so far this year. More will probably be added in the rounds of Cool Vendors later this month and in September. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

[GUEST POST] Moving AR into IR…..

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.

Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

[GUEST POST] Five timeless questions about analyst relations

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

Continue Reading

[GUEST POST] The importance of business ethics

Originally posted by Bram Weerts from KEA on BramWeerts.com: Non-Academic Views.

Business-EticsOn the 5th of March, the IIAR (The Institute of Industry Analyst Relations) will hold a panel that will discuss what the ethical standards should be across the analyst industry. Kind  as they are at the IIAR, they have invited me to take place at the table in London. I would like to take the opportunity to give a bit of my vision before the 5th. Since nobody reads  my words, it will not hurt the discussion.

Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

[GUEST POST] Six steps to get value for money from your analyst contracts

Duncan Chapple's method for optimizing spend with analyst firmsWhile the Northern hemisphere is getting chilly, this is the one month when salespeople at firms like Gartner and Forrester really start to sweat. Many vendors sign off their major contracts with analysts firms around now, and it’s a great opportunity for analyst firms and vendors to maximise the value from their contracts.

Despite the huge scale of vendor spending with analysts, many users don’t get the best value from their subscriptions. Gartner has a huge number of account managers and, while some clients don’t like being sold to, the advantage of working with Gartner is that it works harder than most other firms to make sure that seat-holders benefit from what they have bought.

Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

[Guest Post] Analysts are treated inhumanely

By: Duncan Chapple, Consultancy Director at Loudhouse 

This is an independent opinion piece submitted by an IIAR member and AR professional – it does not represent the official views of the IIAR.

Analyst relations (AR) programs have a substantial opportunity for improvement. This month I’ve been reviewing ten years’ worth of data from the Analyst Attitude Survey, which Loudhouse Research and Lighthouse AR co-produce. Around 700 analysts have taken part in the survey and, after around 180 analysts downloaded the summary last week, I’ve also been thinking over comments from them. What I’ve seen is that there’s a real opportunity to work smarter and more strategically. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

[GUEST POST] Despite it all, Ovum is still a tier one analyst firm in Europe

Ovum logo - IIAR websiteNice post on Ovum by the folks at Loudhouse Blog, reprinted here with their permission.  Of course, because it’s a Loudhouse post it’s not the official IIAR position, in case anyone thought otherwise.  See also the other Ovum posts on this blog, including the one on our recent IIAR London Forum featuring Ovum’s top management.

 

 

Ovum, which has been the leading European-headquartered analyst firm for around twenty years, has been going through a lot of change. That seems to be confusing both the vendor community and analyst relations professionals, who grilled the firm’s management recently. Vendors are questioning Ovum’s relevance now in way we have not seen before. The changes at Ovum are causing these confusions unintentionally but, despite that, the firm remains a key influencer in Europe.

The confusion is also a reflection of Ovum’s sales tactics. Many of our clients primarily experience Ovum through the way that its account managers approach them. In a pretty typical interaction this week, one of our wisest clients asked: does Ovum really matter? We meet them, and then they call back to sell us reprint rights on what we told them. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

Four ways analysts must respond to the crisis

The IIAR’s developing discussion on the crisis in AR (reflected by analysts’ declining comfort in recommending solutions) took interesting turn recently. In the the institute’s second conference call on the topic, I was asked to spell out suggestions for how analysts can reverse the falling quality of information sharing by vendors, which is the root cause of analysts’ lowering confidence. These are my four suggestions. Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

Are local analysts “untouched” and influential?

Following a long week at Oracle Open World, I attended the West Coast IIAR meeting organised by Peggy O’Neil from H&K and hosted by Evan Quinn from HP, with several of my colleagues and a room full of AR peers.

Carter from SageCircle interviewed me (and Annemiek Hamelink from Wagged) after that exhausting week:
Oracle’s Ludovic Leforestier with a quick update on the Euro IT analyst landscape « SageCircle Blog

What do you think?

Are independent European firms doing well?
Are they influential and “largely untouched”?

, , ,

Continue Reading