Archive | AR Best practices

Why and how should you tier the analysts?

This was a question asked on the new Forrester AR community, so I thought I’d point readers to some older conversations where that topic was pretty much nailed.

1. IMHO, tiering should be at the individual analyst level and not at the firm. Read my comment here:
http://sagecircle.wordpress.com/2009/11/10/gartner-and-forrester-are-not-tier-1/

2. Still IMHO and still in that comment I made the point that tiering should be related to the AR plan objectives.

Read also the conversation here:
http://technobabble2dot0.wordpress.com/2007/04/27/what-makes-a-tier-1-analyst/

Finally, there’s an IIAR Best Practices Paper – A New Foundational Approach to Analyst Tiering « The IIAR Blog (IIAR membership required).

 

IIAR Best Practice Paper on tiering

 

Other AR Best Practice posts

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Recap – IIAR Teleconference on Best Practices in Sourcing Advisory Relations

The IIAR hosted a Best Practices teleconference on Sourcing Advisory Relations on August 11th. The panel led by Ed Gyurko, IIAR Board Member, featured panellists, Amber Wagenknecht, Senior Executive, Global Sourcing Advisor Relations, Accenture, Ed Gardiner, Advisor Relations Director at HCL, and Simon Knowles, Managing Director, Essential Edge Ltd.  The discussion, led by Ed Gyurko featured a lively discussion which had the panellists sharing their expertise and personal anecdotes followed by a Q&A.

Members can see notes from the call in our members area here.

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IIAR Best Practice Teleconference on Sourcing Advisory Relations – Aug 11th

The IIAR is delighted to host a teleconference on Best Practices in Sourcing Advisory Relations. The call is scheduled for Wednesday, August 11th at 4:00pm BST/11:00am EST. The panel will be led by Ed Gyurko, IIAR Board Member, and the featured panelists include:

  • Amber Wagenknecht, Senior Executive, Global Sourcing Advisor Relations, Accenture
  • Ed Gardiner, Advisor Relations Director at HCL
  • Simon Knowles, Managing Director, Essential Edge Ltd

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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Why analyst sales people can never be stopped

Picking up on Marc’s recent post, one of the most common complaints I hear from AR people is about the behaviour of sales people from the industry analyst firms.

It goes something like this: “The account managers come in to visit people and start selling their research to people who have no budget. Then I’m the one who has to find the budget or -more likely – tell them that they can’t have what they want. I want the account managers only to talk to me!” Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] Help – I have just hit the glass ceiling

Marc Duke profile picturePosted originally on Marcduke’s Blog, thanks to Mark for his permission to repost.

I have been having a number of great conversations with members of the AR fraternity about all things AR. Smart people whose work I respect and opinions I value too.

One of the comments that really got me thinking (and now finally blogging) was as follows (paraphrased as this was a conversation I had a while back):

‘The problem I have is that I feel I have hit a glass ceiling with AR, there is only so far I can go with it. Plus in the organisation I work in, its part of the PR framework and I feel there is a limit to what I can do’

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AR and social media: it’s the interaction stupid!

I’m back from the Forrester IT Forum last week, where I was invited to the AR Council (thank you @liz_pellegrini).
There I stumbled on a nice graph (right) published on John Rymer’s blogs and thought it summarises pretty well why AR should care about SocMed.
My research lifecycle
Many of my peers see blogs as an output for free research and Twitter as drinking from a chit-chat firehose. My argument there is that they’re missing the point.

Here’s the reasoning:

  1. Social media is declarative (people say what they want, where they want and choose to participate or not). This means you need to interact with a given audience where they are -on Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn or in the good old fashion way, at the pub. And chose the appropriate topic for the appropriate channel.
  2. Social media is a conversation -it’s the place to discuss and interact. I take many briefing requests from analysts on Twitter, post some comments on their blogs (if I’ve got something relevant to say and that complies with my employer’s blogging guidelines), all that to say it’s not a one way street.
  3. DO: use SocMed as a research tool. John is illustrating well how an analyst can test an idea, exchange with other analysts (this point is far tool little documented actually), etc.  But it’s also a great research tool for AR pros to see what analysts are thinking about.
  4. Timing is everything. Research is nothing if not followed up by actions: being better connected with web 2.0 tools allows AR managers to insert the right proofpoint, topic, idea, in a conversation with much better chances of being picked up by analysts because it’s more relevant to their research agenda. The idea is to switch away from being reactive to being more proactive.

Nothing really revolutionary as good AR mangers already do all this by calling regularly their key analysts, but social media is a conversation accelerator, allowing AR pros to follow more analysts and interact with them in a more timely and proactive fashion.

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IIAR Discussion Group: IIAR Best Practices Paper “Making The Case for AR”

This teleconference features the Analyst Strategy Group (ASG) and is scheduled for Thursday, June 10th from 16:00 to 17:00 BST/11:00 EST/8:00 PDT. Tom Ryan, Partner and Chief Research Officer (LinkedIn) and Rob at ASG will share their insights on Making The Case for AR.

Over the past eighteen months, most companies have been seriously affected by the global economic recession. In many cases, budgets across all departments have been trimmed to the bone; but Analyst Relations (AR) programs seem to have been particularly hard hit. Increasingly, AR teams are asking:

– What can we do to keep at least the base of our budget intact?

– How can I defend my AR budget?

– How do I make the case for AR?

The IIAR> Best Practices Paper, “Making the Case for Analyst Relations,” by Tom Ryan (@tom_asg  LinkedIn) and Rob Kolokousis (@rob_ASGLinkedIn) identifies the four principles for building solid executive-level sponsorship for your AR program. Continue Reading →

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[Guest post] V3: It’s All About the Analysts

There is a kind of Google out there in the realm of IT industry analyst firms, a purveyor that turns the successful models of the “Big Three,” Gartner, Forrester and IDC, on their proverbial ears.  This little firm does not market itself very much; it rather eschews the “branded analyst firm” approach where analysts largely become subsumed in the one-to-many brand-first approach, hoping for margins that impress boards and investors.  Rather it aims for some simple values:  It purely focuses on serving its affiliated analysts and helping its affiliated analysts service their clients.  Maybe you have heard of “V3.”

I challenge you to find V3 on the Web:  The URL is actually not www.v3.com but www.valleyviewventures.com – like International Data Corporation goes quite strictly by “IDC” these days, but the URL just hasn’t been changed yet.  You will not be awed by the V3 web site, but that doesn’t matter one iota to Fred Abbott, V3′s founder, who says with utter sincerity, “It’s all about the analysts.” Continue Reading →

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Recap of the IIAR May 6th Teleconference on AR best practice at analyst-firm sponsored events

Last week, the IIAR hosted a teleconference about best AR practices at analyst sponsored events like Gartner Summits, Forrester IT Forums or IDC Directions.

Many thanks to the featured panelists for taking their time to share their insights and taking questions from the members.

  • Gerry Van Zandt / HP, Worldwide Analyst Relations Manager (@gerryvz,LinkedIn)
  • Kent Cook/ Microsoft, Director Corporate Analyst Relations
  • Bill Reed / St. Cross Group, Managing Director (former IBM manager of industry analyst relations, EMEA) (LinkedIn)
  • Sandeep Thawani / Mahindra Satyam, Head of Marketing and Communications, Europe (LinkedIn)

Here are some highlights from the discussion.

  • AR must help identify the right events to focus on
  • Invest in fewer events, and look closely at attendee list
  • In general ROI for participating at events is difficult to ascertain
    – Short term ROI – measured in blog postings, published notes, twitter notes
    –   Long term ROI – shifted analyst perceptions(change in annual vendor rating report)
  • In general ROI for participating at events is difficult to ascertain
  • Do as much as you can as early as you can
  • These events are not opportunities for briefings & knowledge transfer
  • Follow-up after the event, generating conversations afterwards is what results in knowledge transfer

IIAR members will be able to access more detailed notes from the teleconference by logging into the members area at https://analystrelations.org/members-area.

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IIAR discussion group: AR best practice for analyst events

IIAR discussion group: AR best practice for analyst events by Ed Gyurko.

The IIAR will hold a discussion group teleconference on the subject of AR best practice at analyst-firm sponsored events like Forrester’s IT Forums,Gartner Symposia and IDC Directions on Thursday 6th May 2010 from 1500 BST to 1600 BST / 10:00am EST to 11:00 am EST. The discussion will cover all levels of participation from simply attending to main sponsorship.

We’ve got a great line up of panelists:

  • Gerry Van Zandt / HP, Worldwide Analyst Relations Manager (@gerryvz, LinkedIn)
  • Kent Cook/ Microsoft, Director Corporate Analyst Relations
  • Bill Reed / St. Cross Group, Managing Director (former IBM manager of industry analyst relations, EMEA) (LinkedIn)
  • Sandeep Thawani / Mahindra Satyam, Head of Marketing and Communications, Europe (LinkedIn)

IIAR members who would like to join should RSVP on huddle or by email or to jcourtenay at analystrelations dotte org.

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[GUEST POST] Doing a Joint Announcement with Your Competitors

Today’s guest post is from John Simmonds (@johnsimonds) from IBM AR, read more on his blog here.

Recently, I’ve done joint announcements with Oracle, SAP, HP, Tibco, Software AG and HP. As you can imagine, I’ve had varying relationships with each and I’m happy to report that the state of the A/R industry is good and that we can work together.

When I was in PR, it was cat fight supreme with territorialism and turf wars. Most of the announcements I did with these companies didn’t have that element. For the most part, the announcements were about standards, not products. So that went a long way towards working together. Still, if you include IBM, the companies I’ve named here aren’t known for being best buddies.

As and aside, I can say that the executives (who can be the source of most problems) all worked towards the cause of the best briefing possible.

Some things are given, like in a certain area (we just did SOA) the analysts know the exec’s by company and the exec’s know each other so I’m happy to report they acted like grown ups.

TURF WARS

With the typical name calling (from the CEO’s)and belief in your own products, the first issue to overcome is that the announcement is usually about a jointly create product or standard, not us vs. them.  That rule has to be set down first and if you don’t overcome that, you have no chance at building trust, the basis for working together.

DIVIDE THE DUTIES

One company can’t dominate the duties or it is not a joint announcement.   This also forces the companies to work together to approve what the others have created as their part of the announcement.   There are analyst lists, invitations, charts, follow up issues and any number of duties that need to be attended to and dived up.  Once that is done, you must rely on each other and the level of trust inherently rises.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT

It’s important that the analyst see this as equal amongst the companies.  One company presenting more than another is a dead give away.  You can’t help Q and A as the analysts will direct the question directly to a company.

LESSONS LEARNED

You either put your differences aside and work together, or you’ll never get anything done.  It’s tough to do when your day job is to hammer the company that you are working with on the announcement.  These are the days of co-opetition though.  You learn to get along or you’ll never make it to announcement day.

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How far should an NDA go?

Jeff Mann from Gartner (@JeffMann) blogged yesterday about NDA Games.

It’s an interesting subject, in particular with respect to what useage analysts are allowed to make of information disclosed in an NDA briefing, or to spell it out, a briefing during which the information exchanged is disclosed under a “Non Disclosure Agreement”.

Just to go back a little on the basics, and as Jonny (@jonnybentwood) points out, the ability to exchange non-public information (to a certain extent, because publicly traded companies are subject to some rules on equal access to information towards investors and shareholders, so it should not be material infomation to the sense the SEC understands it) is what differentiates a press interview from an analyst briefing. It’s also one of the things that make this relationship much more interesting and insightful if you ask me. Most firms, such as Gartner, have “blanket” NDA’s with large vendors.

The vendor Jeff mentions should not however say a whole briefing is under NDA, but AR people should take great care in flagging (before and after, as I train my spokespersons to do) what’s under NDA and what’s not. Clearly, what happenned there is not best practice.

Except that talking too soon about a new product can kill sales for today’s product. Some vendors are very good about talking about futures and not selling what they have, but clearly that’s a pre-do-crash business model, not one for today’s business environment.

Any thoughts on how to reconcile this with the need to brief analysts on what’s coming so that their research is accurate?

And question to Jeff and other analysts: can you elaborate on “what’s in it for a vendor to brief you on roadmap/futures?” I think I know some of it but I’m interested in the answers…

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Latest IIAR Best Practice Paper – Making the Case for Analyst Relations

By Thomas Ryan (LinkedIn)

Over the past eighteen months, most companies have been seriously affected by the global economic recession. In many cases, budgets across all departments have been trimmed to the bone; but Analyst Relations (AR)  programs seem to have been particularly hard hit. Increasingly, AR teams are asking:

  • What can we do to keep at least the base of our budget intact?
  • How can I defend my AR budget?

or more generally,

  • How do I make the case for AR?

The IIAR’s latest Best Practice Paper, “Making the Case for Analyst Relations,” identifies the four principles for building solid executive-level sponsorship for your AR program.  Each principle is explored in terms of how AR programs today are effectively – and ineffectively – applying the principle’s key elements.  Examples from successful AR programs are provided to illustrate how each principle can be adapted to your organization’s culture, objectives, and expectations. Continue Reading →

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Latest IIAR Best Practices Paper – A New Foundational Approach to Analyst Tiering

By Susan Galer (@smgaler, LinkedIn)

Everyone knows the industry analyst relations landscape has changed with firm consolidations, resultant influencer moves and content proliferation across an explosion of new channels. In a headlong rush to understand and exploit this new world, it’s easy to get reactive and lose focus on what really matters: having the right information to make the right decisions about working in the best way with analysts most relevant to an organization’s business objectives.

The IIAR’s latest Best Practices Paper, “Beyond Best Practices: Industry Analyst Tiering for Business in the Real Word,” sheds some light on a new foundational approach to sort out which analysts matter to a company, and develop a rationale for optimal engagement strategies. As the title suggested, this paper goes beyond traditional best practices to offer a step by step guide for navigating the industry analyst community in the context of real world challenges. It’s designed to help teams get the in-depth knowledge needed for accurate decision-making about who to engage with and why. Included are answers and suggestions for handling difficult situations thereby mapping advice to situations faced every day.

In many ways, analyst tiering is foundational to industry analyst relations program success. Armed with information about who analysts are and how they form opinions, practitioners can figure out how to work together for mutual advantage. When done correctly, analyst tiering positions the industry analyst relations team as trusted advisors, and lays the groundwork for relationship building to achieve organizational success. We welcome your thoughts and feedback on this important topic.

 

IIAR members can access this paper on our extranet: Industry Analyst Tiering for Business in the Real World

 

 

IIAR Best Practice Paper on tiering

 

Other AR Best Practice posts

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Scheduling made easy?

tetris-blocks[1]Thanks to James, I’ve just discovered Tungle.me, a service to publish your availability.

Scheduling is one of the most time consuming (and least rewarding) tasks AR Managers have to perform in their duty, think of trying to play a 4D Tetris game or being a dating agency for high-speed particules in in LHC. Simply put, executives and IT analysts have a better chance to meet in an airport lounge than in a briefing I’ll arrange.

If all the analysts were on tungle.me, it would be easier to schedule calls as I could triangulate this with my execs calendars.

I hope IDC, Forrester or Gartner will adopt this.

For in person meetings, there are two other web 2.0 tools called dopplr and tripit, which allow you to share where you’ll be with a a selected group of people. Quite practical to see when analysts are attending conferences.

This aspect of declarative authorisation is important for privacy (and safety/security reasons), tungle.me should add this. You can of course mash those ones up with your LinkedIn profile and voila!

If only things were that simple 🙂 But I’m an optimist!

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[GUEST POST] Analyst Relations Basics – part three

NB This is a cross-post from the Buzz Method blog, where it was originally posted in February 2010 as the third in a series of articles on Analyst Relations basics. 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.

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[GUEST POST] Analyst Relations Basics – part two

NB This is a cross-post from the Buzz Method blog, where it was originally posted in November 2009 as the second in a series of articles on Analyst Relations basics. 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.

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[GUEST POST] Analyst Relations Basics – part one

NB This is a cross-post from the Buzz Method blog, where it was originally posted in November 2009 as the first in a series of articles on Analyst Relations basics. 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.

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[GUEST POST] How should AR pros use online channels to increase influence on their target prospects?

By Duncan Brown / Influencer50 (LinkedIn, @duncanwbrown).

This is the third and final post in a series of thought pieces on the role of online channels in influence. The first two articles are here and here. [For more discussion on the role and nature of influence see my blog, Infuse.]

There’s little doubt that online channels are important. I don’t believe that they are the whole story in measuring influence, but they are essential in reaching influencers.

There are two primary uses of online channels in an influencer relations programme:

  1. Tracking what influencers do: online media don’t help identify influencers (I assert), but they are useful in post-identification analysis. What are influencers blogging on, are they Twittering, what webcasts and podcasts are they involved in, and so on. You can use online tools to track what influencers are doing and saying, even what they’re saying about you.
  2. Engaging with influencers. If influencers are blogging and Tweeting, then that’s where you need to be too. If they’re on Facebook and LinkedIn then connect to them there. Comment on their blogs, request guest blog posts, follow them on Twitter. Be where they are.

Of course, if influencers are not online, then there’s no point in you trying to find them and interact with them there. Some influencers eschew online channels for communication, because of the time it diverts from other activities. (Seth Godin claims that he’d lose 6 hours per day if he Tweeted.)

I know some markets (web development, for example) where 100% of the influencer community blogs and uses discussion forums. I also know of tech markets where nearly 0% of influencers use online channels: they live in a face-to-face world. Most tech markets, but not all, have a spread of online- and offline-oriented influencers (and many influencers, of course, are both).

Make sure you know where your influencers are.

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Next IIAR discussion group on linking AR with sales

Our next monthly discussion group teleconference is next Monday, February 22nd, on the topic of linking AR with sales.

The call will be lead by Ed Gyurko, who is currently authoring a Best Practice white paper on this topic for the IIAR. Ed will be joined by Allen Valahu from Accenture.

IIAR members who would like to join the call, please contact Hannah Kirkman for dial in details.

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