If you’re an analyst relations professional in the know, you keep on eye on one of the most popular online gathering places for our tribe – the Institute of Industry Analyst Relations website and LinkedIn Group.
If so, then you’re probably like me, raising an eyebrow these days at the sheer volume of analyst relations job postings that have come through in 2020 so far. Nearly 60 jobs have been posted at IIAR’s job section on the its website (they appear earlier on the IIAR< Member365 extranet) when in previous years it’s normally a fraction of that.Continue Reading →
The IIAR> is committed to recognizing the achievements of AR professionals who go above and beyond in their careers and to promote industry best practices. The IIAR> Analyst Relations Awards 2020: AR Professional, AR Teams, and AR Agencies are one of the longest-running awards run by an independent industry body for AR professionals.
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The IIAR> surveys analysts to identify the best professionals in the industry. This year, we are also asking AR professionals to submit case studies to showcase the best practices and impact they drove in the industry. This survey uses the IIAR> 3R’s methodology of how AR should work with analysts to deliver results to their stakeholders.
The Covid_19 and economic impact of lockdown is making 2020 truly unique, squeezing budgets for all companies. Most technology vendors hold contracts with the likes of Gartner, Forrester, IDC, Omdia, 451 and others ; and renewals for 2021 are predictably going to be tense.Continue Reading →
Although technology buyers are traditionally twice as likely to rely on analyst reports as on reviews from their peers, today’s buyers want the whole truth. And this is how enterprise peer reviews are disrupting the Analyst Relations business.
- Whether Gartner and the legacy analyst firms can still hold the key to the CIO – and the enterprise buyer – and the implications for AR professionals
- What information and sources buyers trust – and what they don’t – and why
- How industry analysts are increasingly relying on end user reviews
- How the secret structure of the buying committee for enterprise technology and services can marginalize analyst influence
- How it’s actually easier to manage hundreds of reviewers than a handful of analysts
How to become an industry analyst?
Until now, there was no path, no guild, no training -and no books about the subject.Continue Reading →
Gartner Peer Insights has recently made changes. Hear from Shannon Wedding (LinkedIn, @shannon_wedding) and Anatoli Olkhovets (LinkedIn, @anatoli_o) on what AR pros need to know about what’s new with Peer Insights.
Join us Wednesday 5th August at 0800 PDT / 1000 CDT / 1100 EDT 1600 BST / 1700 CEST for this IIAR> Webinar.
Our current working environment has been a challenge for everyone, sector to sector. Workers have been uprooted from usual routines and practices; some have flourished, finding inspiration from their sofas, while others have been stifled by children, pets, and noisy neighbours. Despite this upheaval, we have had to adjust and adapt in the best way possible. Whilst some “norms” have fallen by the wayside, others have been embraced and formulated into a more efficient and enhanced way of working from home.Continue Reading →
The next Best Practice paper in the IIAR>’s new series on best practice will focus on a topic that should be close to the heart of every AR professional: AR Measurement.
Often thought to be the Holy Grail of AR, how can a vendor (cost-) effectively track the true RoI of engagement with industry analysts? Is it about recommendations and proving influence over deals? Perhaps you are tracking touchpoints, endorsements, the number of Magic Quadrants in which a vendor is included, or even the number of times your favorite analyst tweets about your brand. Or perhaps you focus on softer factors such as analyst sentiment?
We’ll take a deep dive into this evergreen topic in an interactive IIAR> session co-hosted by Nadia Nizar (@nadianizar, LinkedIn), at Resonance and IIAR> Board member Simon Jones (@SimonDestrier, LinkedIn). This is the first step in the production of a new IIAR> white paper on successful measurement strategies.
We invite you to join us and share your views: We are gathering opinions on effective AR measurement from IIAR> members, so make sure your views are heard! We want to listen to different voices and encourage a healthy debate. Also – join us and chime in if you’re interested in learning more about AR measurement – we’d like to understand your priorities.Continue Reading →
I’ve been leading B2B tech product marketing teams for more than 20 years and I’ve seen how easy it is to fall into what I call the “content trap”. We’re constantly creating new content to fuel our campaigns, to keep things fresh and interesting for our audiences. We try new messaging, new content types, new offers. It can be fun and exciting.
But it’s a trap because in our haste to create new content, we do the easy thing – start writing about how our product or service is newer, better, different. That kind of content might help generate awareness amongst buyers, but it fails at generating something much more important: Credibility.Continue Reading →
I’ve been in AR for a long long time, so long that when I started (working at Text 100 representing Microsoft in Europe – yup I am showing my age!) reaching out to industry analysts while at a PR agency most of the analysts I spoke to thought I had called the wrong department. Almost 20 years later (yikes!) and AR is cool again, especially if it is part of your influencer relations strategy.
You missed that trend? Let me explain, today everyone is an influencer (wasn’t that always the case?) and if you work in marketing you need to reach out to them to ensure you can influence their thinking and in turn they will influence your customer, or if you are an agency practioner your clients’ customer.Continue Reading →
If you read part 1 of my blog post ’20 mistakes analyst relations teams are making’ you will hopefully have learnt a few things. Including the fact that I am not shy when it comes to sharing my thoughts! So here we go with part 2 of my list of don’ts, pitfalls, and worst practices when it comes to working with industry analysts.
- Following on from my tip not to focus on just one or two analyst firms, don’t treat the analyst community as a homogeneous ecosystem. Our differences abound. Some firms tend to employ very dry, almost academically analytical people. Others are less analytical, more engaging. So, don’t ignore the importance of defining what you want from a particular analyst interaction. For example, are you looking for an objective, outside critic to give you unvarnished, ugly truth? Are you looking for a reassuring partner? Lots of analysts can play both roles, but you have to help them understand what you need. Once in a while, your most curmudgeonly and cynical critic can also be your most inspiring partner.
- On a related note, don’t assume we all do the same things the same way (in terms of either free advice or paid projects). Even within one firm, each analyst will have his or her own style when collaborating with you.
- Don’t forget to double check whom from the analyst side and whom from your side will be on a given call. Calls that take place with the wrong people are a waste of everyone’s time. If you plan to have a very technical product-development engineer representing your end, then you’ll probably want a more technical person on the analyst’s end (at ESG, our lab analysts are known for keeping pace with even the nerdiest infrastructure architects and technology evangelists.) But if your goal is to figure out how to translate extremely technical value statements into compelling, plain-English marketing messages, then request an analyst that’s focused in that manner.
- It is a really bad idea for you to conduct briefings with us at the last minute. Your lack of prep work sends a poor message to us. But more importantly, if you wait until three weeks before a product launch to get in touch with us, then there will be no time left for us to help you make your launch better! Every message will already be baked on your side, warts and all. That’s not a situation conducive to making us feel engaged with your company and its goals. I recall many occasions when it’s happened to me, and afterward, I found it harder to feel invested in helping those clients craft their launch strategies the next time around—because I knew, yet again, there’d be no time left for them to act on any of my suggestions. Basically, if you don’t want to consider the analyst’s feedback, you might as well just send a deck.
- Don’t assume we have set opinions on everything, even on matters involving a single company. We are always morphing and expanding our knowledge of the markets we cover and the clients we serve. Don’t assume influencers cannot be influenced! You have more power of persuasion over us than you might know. We’ll have no issues becoming avid fans of you and your company if it’s warranted.
- Which brings me to this point: don’t ignore us. You aren’t the only ones having calls with us. Members of the IT press call us for commentary, too. When journalists are asking us for a quote, your ongoing efforts to ensure your company remains “front-of-mind” in our consciousness will pay off. Basically, just keep in mind that we talk to a lot more people affiliated with your industry than you do—reporters, end-users, channel partners, your direct competitors, major investors, other analysts, and beyond.
- On a day-to-day basis in your own role, don’t be just a gatekeeper. In other words, don’t limit yourself to being the forwarder of emails between outside analysts and your company’s in-house subject matter experts. Over the years, I’ve seen AR people overly indulge in “bottlenecking” behavior, presumably because it gave them a feeling of control over the company’s analyst relationships. If you do that, you are not adding value you are actually reducing value for all parties. We are a catalyst for your company’s success. Keeping the relevant analysts “locked in an AR drawer”, away from your marketing and engineering colleagues, isn’t helpful.
- Don’t let your company’s marketing-campaign people pitch anyone (i.e., juicy prospects and lucrative customers whose continued business is important) without doing a dry run with an analyst first. We are your brutally honest friend who will tell you about your halitosis and thus save you from embarrassment when it really counts!
- It works the other way, too. Don’t forget that people across your industry, not to mention your biggest customers, are regularly telling us far more then they’d ever dare reveal to you directly.
- Here we could have something about not using a slide deck with you that features market stats from competing analyst houses… Is that an issue? I’d have thought so but I’m not an analyst…
- We have entered a time in which the classic “annual big launch” is fading away. More often, IT vendors—including the company you may represent—are releasing steady drip-drips of enhanced product features and functions throughout the year. This IT industry-wide shift is making it harder for product marketing teams to garner traction and attention for their new and improved solutions.In such a climate, if you treat your analyst community as a check-box item, then you’ll do nothing more than check a box. You can do better than that. We are not all the same—learn that, and work optimally within that reality.These days, it’s more important than ever for you to refine and optimize your analyst interactions. As with any relationship, honesty is the best policy. Candor leads to trust, and trust leads ultimately to success — for you and us.
Mark Peters (LinkedIn, @englishmdp) is a Practice Director & Senior Analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), with three decades of IT industry experience – the first two spent in myriad commercial management roles for vendors on each side of the Atlantic the last decade looking in on the vendors and at the market for ESG. ESG is an IT analyst, research, validation, and strategy firm that provides market intelligence and actionable insight to the global IT community. ESG helps clients achieve business results through a comprehensive portfolio of research and advisory services, consulting, and custom content solutions.
Good news: With improvements, everyone will see better results
I’m going to make an assertion that will seem unnecessarily provocative. After working for a decade as an IT industry analyst—including interacting regularly with analysts from other firms — I am confident in saying that many, indeed perhaps most, analyst relations teams are sub-optimizing their relationships and, by extension, their companies’ relationships with the analysts covering them.
I mainly work with teams that manage industry analyst relations specifically—that is, AR teams. But good chunks of the advice I’m about to share could apply (with some tweaking) to anyone managing relationships between their company and outside influencers such as journalists, investment analysts, or other third-party pundits who need information about features, roadmaps, or strategies.Big companies have full-time AR, PR, and IR teams, but even small startups usually have someone on staff doing similar work, even if it’s just one part of their role. There are a lot of you out there. So here we go.
This year’s Gartner Symposium in Barcelona had a couple of updates for AR professionals in store. And the analysts on stage shared new ideas and new perspectives to the already known tech story.Continue Reading →
at our IIAR get-together at this year’s Gartner Symposium 2019 in Barcelona, hosted by Yvonne Kaupp (@YveKaupp, LinkedIn), IIAR Board Member (Chapter Liaison) and Senior Manager Global Analyst Relations and Market Strategy at Retarus and Anja Steinmann (@AnjaSteinmann, LinkedIn), IIAR UK Chapter Co-lead and Global Analyst and Consultant Relations Manager at BT.Continue Reading →
The IIAR> has released a new IIAR> Best Practice Paper on The Future of AR (link to PDF for IIAR> members) by Gerry Van Zandt (LinkedIn, @gerryvz) / Oracle AR Director and Ludovic Leforestier (@lludovic, LinkedIn) / Criteo Global Influencer Relations Director.
This new and long-awaited white paper that provides fresh insights and information into how the field of Analyst Relations will evolve and change over the coming 5-10 years. To mark the debut of this white paper, IIAR will host a webinar on the 5th December2019 at 0800 PST / 1000 EST / 1600 GMT to outline some of its key findings, and to discuss important considerations that will be relevant to everyone working in the Analyst Relations field.Continue Reading →
As the largest analyst firm, everyone in analyst relations is impacted by their relationship with Gartner. From contract negotiations to account management to research coverage, our AR programs are greatly impacted by Gartner’s offerings, communications.Continue Reading →
Fashionably late but always on point and by popular request here’s the IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2018, a representation of how Analyst Relations Professionals (AR Pros) have rated analyst firms in the 2018 survey we ran for the Analyst and Firm of the Year 2018.
For new readers here, the Tragic Quadrant is of course a pun on the infamous Gartner ‘Magic Quadrant’. We do not pretend this as an exhaustive analysis -nor is it a completely serious piece of research (the “Tragic” moniker is there as a reminiscence it should be taken with a pinch of salt). Nonetheless it is based on data and, as opposed to the Gartner Magic Quadrant, there are no magical and secretive weightings. As such, it is a good indication going back several years of the changes afoot in the industry analyst landscape and the judgement analyst relations professionals cast on industry research firms. And it provides actionable insights AR pros can use, something other surveys in this field often lack.Continue Reading →
Having just been through an onslaught of work related to the Forrester Wave™ evaluation on Zero Trust eXtended ecosystem platform providers, I think that it’s worthwhile to put some guidance out there that might help folks as they interact with analysts (well, me, mainly, but maybe it will help with others, as well). And a disclaimer: I don’t actively work with folks at other analyst firms, so take my humble advice here with a grain of salt; every analyst is a bit different, and each firm has its own way of doing things.Continue Reading →
Here are the top ten best practices we un-earthed during the IIAR> AR Professional Of The Year 2019 survey.
- Regular briefings
- Targeted coverage
- Open discussion about company strengths and weaknesses
- Sending the deck ahead of the briefing so there’s time to come up with in depth questions
- Well organised AR events that encourage conversation not mere presentations
- Support for research interviews, being pragmatic during Evaluative Research.
- When AR helps to get the right people on the table for f2f meetings and when AR gives feedback about what kind of information is the most valuable for its organization
- Pro-actively flagging developments in coverage areas
- Knowing the kind of material/projects my company works on.
- Sharing data under NDA