Archive | Guest Posts

Guest posts for the IIAR website

[GUEST POST] What do I expect from an analyst firm?

Barry Rabkin / Market Insights Group

I’ve had the good fortune to be an insurance technology / insurance industry analyst since 1997. During that time, I’ve launched and led insurance technology advisory practices at The META Group, Financial Insights (IDC), and Ovum (an Informa Company). I also had the opportunity to work at Advisen doing the Front Page News and writing research reports on a variety of commercial property and casualty / risk management issues.

During the decades of analyst experience, I developed some opinions ( a shock, I realize) about what I expect from an analyst firm (and by extension, what I expect from analysts).

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[GUEST POST] Ode to the Solo Practitioners and Boutique Analyst Firms

Peggy O'Neil for the IIAR>

I recently caught up with an old friend who has been a solo practitioner analyst for decades. He was venting as only an analyst can about how too many analyst relations programs only deign to work with large traditional firms such as Gartner, IDC, etc. Boutique analyst firms and solo practitioners are frequently shunned by vendors who, while they might need to prioritize Gartner because of their unquestioned end user influence, have not reserved any bandwidth to work with the smaller outfits.

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[GUEST POST] How software vendors view analyst companies in 2021

By Dr. Thomas Mendel P.D., Managing Director Research In Action

Every year, Research In Action surveys 10,000+ enterprise IT and business decision makers in order to gain insights on strategy, investments and ongoing challenges of technology innovation in the IT and marketing automation realm. These surveys feed our Vendor Selection Matrix™ reports and give us access to a wealth of direct and unfiltered feedback from the buyers. It also helps us to understand how buying decisions are made in today’s business environment. For our internal strategic planning purposes, we also frequently survey this buyer community. In addition to that, around once every two years or so, we interview software vendors in our two primary focus areas, namely IT and marketing automation. This time, the results have proven to be of high interest to many people, so we decided to share them with you.

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

Robin Schaffer (LinkedIn, @robinjs19)’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.

Related AR pros guest posts

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[GUEST POST] It’s a Great Time to be in Analyst Relations by Peggy O’Neill

Peggy O'Neill, Senior Director Analyst Relations @ Informatica

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.

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[GUEST POST] Influencer relations so much more than going from an A to I

Marc Duke profile picture

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.

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[GUEST POST] Do’s And Don’ts For Analyst Interactions by Chase Cunningham / Forrester

Chase Cunningham, Principal Analyst, Forrester

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.

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[GUEST POST] Looking Back at Three Analyst Firms by Barry Rabkin / Market Insight Group

By Barry Rabkin (LinkedIn, @Impactoftech), President & Principal Analyst, Market Insight Group, Ltd.

Barry Rabkin / Market Insights GroupI was fortunate to become an insurance industry analyst in 1997.

Before that time, I had worked in the business side of the insurance industry for 17 years (primarily in marketing and/or market research across all major lines of business) and then due to, what was to prove a very lucky event in hindsight, being caught up in a purge from John Hancock, becoming a management consultant. After eight years as a management consultant, I got and grabbed the opportunity to become an insurance industry analyst. I definitely found my true professional love being a part of the analyst community. [One difference between a management consultant and an analyst? Analysts don’t have to be nice!]

My insurance industry analyst experience included leading or launching and leading insurance strategic advisory services in the US and the UK. Looking back at those experiences at META Group, Financial Insights (IDC), and Ovum, these highlights standout to me. BTW Before going into my highlights I want to state that I respected all three firms for not being just vertical (i.e. industry) analyst firms but instead were homes for analysts from a large variety of IT and Telco disciplines as well as having vertical analysts. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] How Analyst Relations Impacts Strategy 

Analyst relations seems straightforward enough – as a tech vendor, you relate key milestones and elements of strategy to those industry analysts who you think will have the greatest reach to your target market. Right? In my opinion though, the best analyst relations professionals also flip that model. With just as much vigour and interest, they ensure that the leaders in the company are not only aware of overall market trends and emerging technologies that could impact short term AND long term revenues, but they also consider how best to respond to market indicators. How do you do THAT? It’s like inserting yourself into the C-Suite, or as part of the Office of the CEO or Strategy team. How do you get senior executive leaders to listen? And more importantly, to take action based on the market trends you bring them? Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] What I Learned from 5 Years at Gartner

Martin Kihn / ex. Gartner, now DentsuMonday — on what would have been my five-year anniversary at Gartner — I left to join Dentsu Aegis Network. It was a good span at a well-run company doing God’s (technical) work. It was simply time.

When I was a management consultant, I couldn’t describe what I did. Not to my parents, not to strangers. Not in a way that convinced them I had a real occupation, and maybe I didn’t.

Try describing what an “industry analyst” does: “Research, writing, 30-minute consulting engagements.”

“But you can’t solve any problem in 30 minutes.”

“Just watch me.”

“You don’t know anything about the company.”

“I know something.”

“But — but — but –”

The assumption most people make is that marketing problems are unique. Perfect knowledge of the context, the company, its tech stack is required to construct a solution. This assumption is false. Continue Reading →

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[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 →

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[GUEST POSTING] Debunking Five Analyst Relations Myths

Hand with ace card up the sleeve (IIAR website)Analyst relations is easily the most misunderstood function in marketing.

I’ve been involved with analyst relations — or AR — for over a decade, working on dozens of Gartner Magic Quadrants and Forrester Waves. I’ve experienced the impact that analyst relations, when done well, can have on growth. And I know how much time and effort it takes to do it right. It’s not witchcraft nor is it a simple “spend more / do better” formula.

It’s time to set the record straight, so in this post I’m going to debunk five of the most common myths I’ve come across. Well, turns out this ex-mathematician is not great at counting, so I’ll be dubunking a bonus 6th myth as well 🙂

  • Myth #1: Analyst firms like Gartner are “pay to play”
  • Myth #2: Your PowerPoint slides matter
  • Myth #3: Gartner is the only analyst firm that matters
  • Myth #4: You can move the “dot” in a Gartner Magic Quadrant
  • Myth #5: Just becoming a Leader in an analyst report will double/triple/10x your growth
  • Myth #6: Your PR firm can manage analyst relations

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[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 →

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Trio of analyst departures at Gartner underlines why backup strategy is so important

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. Continue Reading →

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Effective Measurement: ARe we there yet?

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. Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] How not to be an analyst? By Jon Collins

Today’s guest post is a long(wish) read by Jon Collins from GigaOm (LinkedIn, @jonno) following our IIAR Webinar on “How not to be an industry analyst?

If you enjoy this, why not check his “How not to write an autobiography?

 

Jon Collins: How not to be an industry analyst (IIAR website)Introduction – a glass of wine…

For a start, a bit of background. I never meant to be an industry analyst, not as such: indeed, having done my time as a programmer, then IT manager and various forms of consultant, I hadn’t a clue what one was. Back in 1998, I was responsible for training and other informational services at a mid-sized consulting firm when a report from a company called “Butler Group” came across my desk. That was my first connection with the world of analysts.

A year or so later, I was looking for something new (a cyclic habit in my career); I was also drinking a rather fine glass or two of red, when I stumbled across an advert from Bloor Research. With my inhibitive defences down, I banged off an email straight away.  I barely had time to regret it, as the following Monday I went for an interview… and the rest is an 18-year career.

These were exciting times. At the turn of the millennium the dot-com was still bubbling up: we launched a couple of web sites and face to face forums at the time (IT-Director and IT-Analysis) and set to making the most of the complexity and uncertainty, charging for clarity and simplicity. I remain proud of my 2001 report about the inevitable move towards universal service provision. We call it the cloud these days.

I paraphrase history, but by and large, analyst firms emerged in the mid-1990’s, as attention moved from bespoke ‘turnkey’ solutions and towards custom-built software. From there, they made sure to cover the space like any good ecosystem. So, has anything changed, over the past two decades?

I have worked for a variety of smaller firms and I have done a short stint at a bigger one —IDC. I’ve spent an awful lot of time hanging out with analysts, AR professionals and the firms they represent. I’ve also spent some time not being analyst, working behind the scenes to help some of the largest vendors tell their stories. And this, to an extent, is mine.

I don’t know if you are familiar with the C.S.Lewis classic, The Screwtape Letters — written from an old devil to a little demon? In a similar vein, I thought I’d capture some of the things I might tell my younger self. As they say, getting it wrong is the best form of experience, and it is good to share.

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[GUEST POST] Tips to Ensure a Productive Analyst Briefing

IIAR blog: illustration for post on briefing best practices by Cindy Zhou / ConstellationSince becoming an industry analyst almost two years ago, I’ve sat in on nearly 100 vendor briefings and have some tips and do’s/don’ts to share to help you prepare for your next analyst session. First, know that Constellation is a firm very accessible to technology companies of all sizes and no, you don’t have to be a client to brief us. Based on availability and relevance to my coverage areas, I’m happy to take the call and enjoy helping young start-ups.

Let’s ensure we both get the most out of our limited time together, so here are my tips for you :

Do:

  • Be respectful of the analyst’s time. Our free briefings are 30 minutes, and if I’m able to, I will often extend to 45 mins (at my discretion).
  • A little light research to understand who I am and my coverage areas (Marketing (B2B and B2C), Sales, and Customer Experience. I prepare by visiting your company website and learn about you on LinkedIn before the call, please extend that courtesy.

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[GUEST POST] How to lose an industry analyst in 10 days (and ways)

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). Continue Reading →

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[GUEST POST] How to Create a More Compelling Analyst Event

Yawning catI thoroughly enjoyed and could very much relate to Jon Reed’s recent post, How to screw up a vendor analyst day – in 12 simple steps. So much so that I’m inspired to write my own take on how to create a more compelling analyst event that’s more rewarding for all involved.

Vendors spend a lot of time and money on these events. Presumably, they want to deepen their relationships with analysts and influencers, and give them the insights they need to offer constructive feedback and provide perspectives to the broader market. However, like Jon, I’m constantly amazed at how often they seem to miss these marks–as evidenced by analysts that have tuned out to look at news, email or sports on their laptops or phones. So here are my suggestions for how to create an analyst day that will help you better engage with analysts. Continue Reading →

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