Archive | AR Best practices

[IIAR Teleconference] Phones hot up over a crisis in the industry

Last week the IIAR hosted a discussion group in which members directly tackled issues relating to the industry affecting both analysts and analyst relations professionals.

Led by Ed Gyurko, IIAR Board member, the conversation addressed how AR professionals can better communicate with analysts and get stronger internal buy-in. Duncan Chapple, MD  (Lighthouse AR) told members, “Most analysts now receive far less information from vendors and as a result are much less likely to recommend vendors than they were a year or two ago. That slows down the sale cycle.”  Continue Reading →

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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 →

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[GUEST POST] An Analyst’s Take on the Crisis in AR by Saverio Romeo / Frost & Sullivan

A New Approach to Market Analysis for the Evolving Mobile Communications Industry 

An argument in favour of multi-disciplinary analysts

By: Saverio Romeo, Frost 

The mobile communications industry has been infrastructure-centric for a long time. The core has been the network. The value added has been the services offered on this network. For many years, voice communications was the only service available. Then the launch of SMS brought enormous success to the mobile industry. But it also spread the fever for a “killer application”: When the success of SMS started to diminish and voice and messaging began to be transformed into commodities, the industry made parabolic journeys in order to find the next “killer application”. But the new Holy Grail was far from arriving. Continue Reading →

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IIAR discussion group – So Where AR You Going?

Recently, the IIAR held a discussion group on AR careers following a series of blog posts by Marc Duke (@marcduke) on this topic.

AR still suffers from being in the shadow of PR and like Marc, most of those taking part in the call had fallen into AR careers by accident. What can we do, as an industry, to spread the word?

Fionnula Fitzsimons (@fionnula) from Bite Communications and Stephen England (@sfengland) from KCG emphasised that we need to do more PR to differentiate ourselves from PR. KCG estimates that there are about 1,500 full-time AR professionals globally – tiny in comparison to those engaged in PR. Even the investor relations community, perhaps the closest in terms of job function to AR, boasts around 100,000 members.
It’s difficult for such a small group to make much noise, and AR is a difficult story to tell. How many of our families really understand what it is that we do? The responsibility rests with us as AR managers to keep educating those around us on the value of analysts and AR to our organisations. As Stephen England put it, “if we each teach one PR person, one marketing person, and one sales person a quarter of what we do, our ecosystem would increase dramatically.” Marc Duke also felt that the IIAR could help raise the profile of AR by getting more content into the mainstream technology and marketing/PR trade press. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] 7 Insights to Great Analyst Relations

[This interview was originally by Andrea Edwards (@SAJEIdeas) from SAJE on their blog. This post contains a few learnings that are applicable to other geographies, in particular that personal relationships matter more than in the USA.]

A chat with Dane Anderson, CEO and Executive Vice President, Springboard Research, Singapore 

I had the pleasure of working with Dane Anderson when we were both at IDC. Dane is a terrific person and I have tremendous respect for him as an analyst, and his deep knowledge of the ITC industry, especially in Asia Pacific, is extremely impressive. But then he has been doing this for a long time. On another level, I have also found it extremely encouraging  watching Springboard Research grow into one of the most influential analyst firms in Asia Pacific in a very short time – not just because they deliver great research, but because they are motivated by passion, integrity and honesty. It’s a great story in its own right.

Always supportive of my ventures, I asked Dane if I could interview him for my blog, focusing on how ITC vendors could achieve greater results working with the industry analyst community.

Here’s what Dane had to say:

1.   How does Asia Pacific measure up with its analyst relations programs? Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] So Where AR You Going? – part 2

Marc Duke profile pictureIn the second of his series of guest posts on AR careers, Marc Duke (@marcduke, LinkedIn looks at the skills required to succeed in AR and how to keep them in good shape.

The IIAR will also be hosting a teleconference for members to discuss the issues raised on May 3rd at 4 pm BST/11 am EDT.

So what does AR do then…?

Without wishing to sound trite, the answer to this question is dependent on a number of factors such as:

  • Size of company
  • Size of team
  • Experience/expertise of staff
  • How “AR-friendly” the organisation is

AR can cover any of the following:

  • Proactive outbound communications to support PR, marketing and sales
  • Inbound communications to support product or business strategy development
  • Reactive communication to support research questions and consulting requests from the analysts 

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Five Worst Practices for Managing AR Headcount

In my last post and in response to a friend’s question about how to size an AR team, I offered some criteria for consideration. This time let’s turn the equation around and discuss worst practices that often lead to wrong-sizing and related performance issues with AR.   Here they are in no particular order.

1. Early Stage Vendor Leans on Agency PR to do AR

The analyst relationships required to establish interest in an early stage vendor among the sometimes cynical lot of industry analysts requires trust – where the AR person obtains the proverbial “seat at the table” with the analysts. PR agencies often over-depend on social media, hard pitches, or analysts who only play to the media. The by-product is the start-up flies under the radar of the analysts with sway with real customers or potential partners. Emerging vendors are better off with a part-time AR contractor, or letting a product manager or product marketing handle the AR work; it more important to be real than over-hyped during the early stages.
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5 Criteria for Right-Sizing AR Teams

Note:  This was cross-posted from IIAR board member Evan Quinn’s blog: link.

An AR friend of mine recently asked if there was a formula or guideline for right-sizing AR teams. Unfortunately, there is no simple formula to the staffing question, but off the top of my head there are five factors that contribute to determining a reasonable headcount model for right-sizing an AR team, whether full-time employee or 3rd party agency or contractors. Continue Reading →

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The IIAR at IDC Directions, Boston and San Jose

At IDC Directions on March 9th in Boston and on March 15th in San Jose, approximately 80 AR professionals attended the IDC-IIAR luncheon program – in fact the San Jose program was packed and IDC had to turn away walk-ins due to a lack of seats.  The program at both venues included speeches by Crawford Del Prete / Executive Vice President of IDC’s worldwide research (bio, @craw), Barbara French / Senior Director of Analyst Relations,  Juniper Networks (blog, @bfr3nch) and founder of Tekrati (now discontinued due to Barbara’s role at Juniper) and USA chapter heads from the IIAR. Continue Reading →

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Ethics isn’t just around white papers

A while back, Curt Monash (@curtmonash, blog) caught our attention by calling on tech vendors and solution providers to disclose which IT analysts’ white papers posted on their web pages, or otherwise used in marketing, are sponsored. That’s good practice, and one which most AR professionals have supported over the last decade or more.

But since AR is a two-way street, what about the reverse? Shouldn’t IT analysts (and actually, pretty much about everyone, including bloggers) disclose if a specific research area, project, note, blog post, white paper, speech, webcast, etc, is being paid for by a third party?

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Jan 12th IIAR Discussion Group for Mobile World Congress

Yesterday’s Teleconference on best practice AR for GSM featured Liz Pellegrino, Program Director for GSM, Elizabeth Rainge, IDC analyst, and Jon Peet, Head of Industry Analyst Relations, Nokia Siemens Networks. The panelists shared their expertise and recommendations for getting the most out of Mobile World Congress taking place in Barcelona in February. They also discussed some of the challenges involved in managing executive interviews with the large number of analysts who turn out for this event.

Members can find the notes from this call here.

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Gartner details the MQ process

Gartner Magic Quadrant for IT Services for Communications Service Providers, Worldwide ;  Published 19 July 2017 - ID G00314283 Following some debate on Quora ( How much does it cost to be included in Gartner Magic Quadrant?,  do make sure you check Nancy Erskine’s answer), Lydia Leong from Gartner did publish a very useful blog post on The process of a Magic Quadrant.

Gartner’s MQ continues to be the source of much debate, mostly since it pits vendors against each others some are bound to be disappointed (a MQ with all vendors in the leaders quadrant won’t probably be of much use to IT buyers).
Gartner has overhauled the process in the last 5 years and made it quite robust now, though the weightings and ratings are still not publicised (a key difference with Forrester’s wave and IDC’s Decision matrixShort List).

No one asked for my opinions, so here they are:

  • it’s better to be in than not, even if in the niche quadrant
  • an MQ is better than a Marketscope (I don’t like rating vendors against a linear scale because it implies you should choose the one to the right)
  • an MQ is still only 2 dimensions (hear below Gideon Gartner on this point)
  • allocate enough time, about 100-120 man hours per MQ on the vendor side
  • make sure you manage your constituents expectations and get their support
  • IIAR members should read @edgyurko’s Best Practice Paper (link below)

Does this help? What is your experience? Do you have any tips?

 

Related posts:

13/1/11 edit: corrected the “IDC MQ” name after Vuk’s comment (below).

All previous posts on the Gartner Magic Quadrant (and more)

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[Guest Post] The Use and Abuse of Analysts (poor things)

NB: This is a cross-post from the Buzz Method blog, where it was originally posted in January 2011. Please note that the views expressed within the article do not necessarily reflect those of the IIAR – they are the opinion of Dominic Pannell, founder of Buzz Method Ltd (@buzzmethod). You can find the interview of Quocirca’s founder here: Around Clive Longbottom from Quocirca in 10 questions.

I just stumbled across an extremely useful document that those prolific chaps at Quocirca published back in 2007 (I seem to recall posting a link at the time). It’s packed with great information and spells out how not to treat members of the analyst community – the report “Use and abuse of analysts” might need updating a little and I would like to see it expanded to include other ‘influencers’ (perhaps I will when I have time), but it should certainly be compulsory reading for anyone entering the world of AR.

All of the guidelines set out in the document are broken either by accident or deliberately every day of the week by ICT companies of all sizes and the communications agencies/consultants they employ. Trust me, it’s a fact. Continue Reading →

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Join the IIAR for AR Best Practice Teleconference at Mobile World Congress

As a result of several requests, for the second year the IIAR will host a best practice AR teleconference focused on the Mobile World Congress (MWC), which takes place in Barcelona this February. The event is now less than two months away and the clock is ticking. In past years up to 50,000 attendees showed up in Barcelona, all hoping to make the most out of the event. What’s the best strategy for successful AR in this kind of environment? Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] It’s the quality of the quantity that counts…..

Marc Duke profile pictureToday’s post is from Mark Duke (blog, @marcduke, LinkedIn), who is an independent AR consultant. See also this post on AR measurements by @elliewarner.

I picked up on Forrester AR discussion about examples of the quantified business value generated by AR. (see here) for full details. Continue Reading →

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Industry leaders discuss the challenge for outsourcing vendors’ AR

Yesterday I hosted a panel of AR leaders to discuss AR best practices in an IIAR phone call. All of them have amazing insights and experience:

  • Larry Bissinger (@LarryBiss, LinkedIn) of HP in Plano, TX leads up HP Enterprise Services Industry Analyst Relations, and previously had a similar role at EDS.
  • Wendy Shlensky (@WLS26, LinkedIn) is Industry Analyst Relations at Infosys (topics such as RIM, Packaged Apps [ERP, SCM,CRM], Testing, SOA, Cloud, SAAS, BPO, BI, Europe), Yogini, ice cream lover
  • Sushma Rajagopalan (LinkedIn), is Head Global Strategy – L&T Infotech. Since 2007 she has headed Global Strategy, M&A and Marketing
  • Rob Petrucelli (@RobboPetro,LinkedIn) is the Global Director of Technology AR at Accenture and is based in NYC. Rob has been with Accenture for 10 years and previously worked in AR at KPMG Consulting and also spent several years at Gartner in the 90s.

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[GUEST POST] Why Virtual Events Should Become Part of Your AR Strategy by Steve Loudermilk

Thanks to Steve Loudermilk, Global Head of Industry Analyst Relations  at Alcatel-Lucent Services Group (LinkedIn@LoudyOutLoud) for this post.

I’m fast becoming a big believer in virtual events as an essential part of a comprehensive AR strategy.  There are many reasons for my enthusiastic position on virtual events.

In today’s fast-paced world of analyst relations, we are under constant pressure from our clients and executives to interact with our analysts in many ways.  These interactions include face-to-face meetings, phone briefings, and “virtual” interactions through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media sites. Continue Reading →

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IIAR Best Practice Discussion November 23: Analyst Relations and Outsourcing Vendors

The IIAR is delighted to host a teleconference on Best Practices in AR and Outsourcing vendors. The call is scheduled for, Tuesday, Nov 23rd at 4:00pm GMT/11:00am EST. The featured panelists include:

  • Robert Petrucelli, Accenture
  • Sushma Rajagopalan, Head – Global Strategy, L&T Infotech
  • Wendy Shlensky, Analyst Relations, Infosys
  • Larry Bissinger, HP Industry Analyst Relations

For those unfamiliar with the IIAR’s Best Practice teleconferences, the format of the discussion will have the featured speakers sharing personal anecdotes followed by a Q&A.

To sign up to join the teleconference, please email jcourtenay (at)analystrelations (dot) org.

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[GUEST POST] Outsourcing Analyst Relations: A viable option? by Fred McClimans

By Fred McClimans / Current Ventures (LinkedIn, @fredmcclimans)

Last week I participated in an interesting discussion regarding influence and the role of analyst relations (AR) – specifically around the issue of how AR staff could increase their influence through a variety of different mechanisms or channels. But one key point that kept creeping into the conversation was one of limited resources: “we simply don’t have the staff to aggressively pursue everything that we would like to accomplish” (a point echoed by many in smaller or fast-growing firms).

After a bit of digging, two basic issues kept making their way into the discussion: a lack of full-time resources and a lack of “R”-level funding (which is often split between Analyst Relations, Investor Relations, Public Relations and Marketing).

That said, there seemed to be a general consensus that yes, there are “parts” of the AR function, regardless of the size of the firm, that could be outsourced based on the size/type of organization, the goals that need to be accomplished and the availability of “outside” resources (or more importantly, funding) – all with the understanding that there must be an accountable person in-house to properly manage and drive the effort. Continue Reading →

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IIAR Best Practice Discussion Oct 19th – Analyst and Influencer Relations

The IIAR is delighted to host a teleconference on Best Practices in AR and Influencer Relations. The call is scheduled for Tuesday 19th October at 1600 BST/1100 EDT. The panel will be led by Ed Gyurko (@edgyurko), IIAR Board Member, and the featured panelists include:

  • Tim Brook (@tbrook), Senior Manager, Analyst Relations, Adobe Systems Incorporated
  • Don Bulmer (@dbulmer), Vice President, Global Communications, Industry and Influencer Relations, SAP AG
  • Rachel Happe (@rhappe), Principal and Co-Founder of The Community Roundtable and formerly an IDC analyst

For those unfamiliar with the IIAR’s Best Practice teleconferences, the format of the discussion will have the featured speakers sharing their experience and personal anecdotes followed by a Q&A.

To sign up to join the teleconference, please email jcourtenay (at)analystrelations(dot) org.

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