tips – Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR) The IIAR is a not-for-profit organisation established to raise awareness of analyst relations and the value of industry analysts, promote best practice amongst analyst relations professionals, enhance communication between analyst firms and vendors, and offer opportunities for AR practitioners to network with their industry peers. Wed, 01 Apr 2020 10:32:25 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 76177372 [GUEST POST] How Analyst & Advisory Relations translates to Business Fri, 07 Sep 2018 11:12:42 +0000 Christian Holscher (IIAR website)When even hyper-successful companies like AWS invest in dedicated analyst and advisor relations management although they seem to dominate their markets anyway, it suggests they realize much more value in AR than ‘only’ to position high in an industry report. 

Even small innovative businesses seek to engage regularly with the likes of Gartner, Forrester, IDC or with boutique analyst firms, although they may be far from making it ‘onto’ a flagship MQ or Wave or Marketscape report. Why do they prioritise time and money to AR?

Because it pays unique dividends that are harder to achieve otherwise.

This article aims to explain AR results in the context of the business functions that it supports and based on years of hands-on experience.

Quick (incomplete) intro to Analyst and Advisor Relations

I’ve worked in analyst and advisor relations management in medium and large organisations, and I’ve played a broad spectrum of AR instruments. It is a fascinating professional discipline with deep and direct reach right into the entrepreneurial centers of even super large organisations.

  1. It means personal connections right to the people who effectively strategize about portfolio, partnerships and investments, or who actually shape the critical tactical programs of the company, or who work on that unique “must-win“ deal. AR is in touch, understands their diverse needs and challenges and often connects the dots between separate issues that even key players didn’t realise. AR helps by bringing independent and trustworthy external insights to these key players where and when it is specifically needed to get ahead.
  2. At the same time AR also helps by carefully positioning the companies most relevant topics with industry leading analysts and advisors, so that its capabilities and ambitions are adequately understood when the most influential market reports are written and when potential new customers seek strategic advice from sourcing consultants.

From these two perspectives alone you can see that the AR role can be extremely impactful, when companies allow it a bit of breathing space. But how effectively does it translate to business?

Let me take you through 3 examples how analyst and advisor relations management can achieve what type and dimension of business results.

The report-to-business impact

When I took over the management of a specific Gartner MQ in one of the companies smaller portfolio branches, the company had already qualified onto the report and was placed as a close-to-niche challenger. I was assigned to manage the submission for the following year. That year our placement advanced straight to the Leaders box. In response, early heads up information from customers about planned larger investment and the number of invites to such RFIs grew tripple digits. Now that was remarkable.

After that I managed with the portfolio team to improve the MQ placement another four years in a row, overtaking big names in the industry and making it right to the top placement within the Leaders box. I taught sales how to use these placements with prospects beyond simply sending them a copy mentioning the success, and instead showed them a way that would take the conversation to an entirely different level, open a more strategic perspective and thus give sales a much better understanding of the customers challenges and broader ambitions. During this time the business of the portfolio branch grew 5x, attracting new top brands as customers and – equally important – attract new key talent as well.

The insight-to-innovation impact

Since top report placements do not come from once-a-year engagements with an analyst house but rather build on a continuous and well-dosed alterocentric exchange, there’s a lot of value that AR collects along the way. Insight about the market and trends, technology, new business models, management challenges, etc. Using this insight for and with the people who run the most critical projects and programs throughout the organisation directly supports their results and amplifies their value for the company.

This is probably the most fascinating part of the AR work because it is so excitingly diverse and it challenges and builds the AR manager’s business acumen every day in so many ways.

During the time when I intensified a more continuous exchange with leading industry analysts and sourcing advisors for my portfolio teams, the insight that we gained from these interactions significantly supported the teams ability to advance product and portfolio strategy. It helped by challenging us with doubts, it reaffirmed unusual observations, it put things into wider perspective, and we were asked questions in a way that was just that bit harder to answer, etc. During this time the teams – from engineer to VP – felt encouraged to build on the companies actual strengths and to follow their very own vision to develop true hard-to-copy USPs. Countable result: It won TMforum awards around digital business innovation 3 years in a row.

The resource-to-revenue impact

A dedicated team of AR professionals working with top sourcing advisors can lead to additional opportunities that are beyond even the best sensors of a companies sales teams. It will also be able to leverage insights that are more effective support for both, the sales team as well as the customer, by avoiding costly and frustrating bid efforts based on wrong expectations and instead direct the resources to the right matches early on.

An AR manager can make this happen very effectively and efficiently. The value of the additional business will outweigh their salary cost by far. Although this is certainly depending on the industry and type of products and services, however, in telecommunications and IT services a ratio of double to tripple digit multipliers is a good indicator to size the net value.


Companies with a modern understanding of continuous business improvement are investing in AR for all the above reasons and more. Counting the value of AR just by the number of top placements or analyst quotes does not do it justice at all. The true value is in the countable effect on the people and the programmes supported.

AR is their lean and effective managed interface into insights from top analysts who’s reputation is built on true independence, often proven over a decade or more. In effect AR support amplifies the value of these companies’ best strategic and tactical initiatives and the value of their best people.

I hope these high level explanations and examples will help qualify the value of this exciting type of role for your own business as well – or inspire you to extend how you can leverage the possibilities even further.

Comments more than welcome.


This post was originally posted by Christian Holscher (@HolscherCLinkedIn), independent AR advisor and consultant on LinkedIn


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Effective Measurement: ARe we there yet? Fri, 01 Jun 2018 15:16:16 +0000 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.

Mirroring Gerry’s thoughts and adding some of my own, the best ways to overcome AR measurement issues is to:

  • Ensure that stakeholders have a good understanding of AR, its role and what it can deliver to the business.
  • Challenge the misconception that PR and AR should be measured with the same yardstick and by using the same methods.
  • Be clear about your AR objectives from the start and think about what you want and can achieve in the set timeframe.

To give you an idea of how to start thinking about your AR objectives, Gerry flagged topics such as:

  • Improving external perceptions about your products or services.
  • Rekindling/fixing past dormant or broken analyst relationships.
  • Arming the PR team with analyst materials such as quotes and citations.
  • Ensuring that the Sales team is well-aware of, and armed with, analyst evaluations.
  • Positioning your firm ahead of the competition.

Once AR objectives are defined correctly, measurement can be aligned appropriately and in a manner that delivers value and increases AR advocacy internally. Of course this is not the first time that the IIAR has led the discussion about, and contributed to the pool of knowledge around effective measurement. The AR Compass, a framework that helps professionals set relevant business goals and align their AR programme to those goals has been a valuable resource to me along my career. It’s one of the fundamental pieces on AR measurement that has stood the test of time and tech – definitely a recommended read, especially for professionals at the beginning of their careers in analyst relations.

There are many ways in which AR can be effectively measured. During the webinar a few ideas (or indicators) were discussed by AR professionals which include:

  • Tonality: measuring analyst sentiment about your company in relation to competitors, and can be filtered by types of reports, segments etc.
  • Visibility: inclusion in relevant analyst reports, analyst level of knowledge about your company.
  • Sentiment: tracks and measures analysts’ opinions about your company and it’s where you can benchmark to track and demonstrate shifts in perception.

It’s also important to remember that achieving AR results is one thing but making them resonate more widely is quite another. There are a few ways to amplifying AR value:

  • By sharing your results, positive or negative, in a productive manner.
  • By packaging up reports/analyst insight in a simple way that resonates with relevant teams.
  • By making sure that the right people are receiving the analyst information and know how to gain access to these resources.
  • By tracking amplification, considering aspects such as the amount of information that was used, which prospects/customers received the information and how many sales conversations leveraged the information.

Undoubtedly, the biggest takeaway for me is the importance of defining and updating measurement tactics that enhance the value of AR. Creating an internal resource that can help teams achieve their own goals is another equally important element of AR success. Measuring and benchmarking your programme and amplifying AR results in a meaningful way, will help you to gain internal AR advocates.

Now more than ever, AR professionals should assess and update their measurement tactics and start with “why” (not the book, but the question), while also thinking about the “how”: Why does a result matter? and How can you amplify that result?

By Julia Pope (LinkedIn, @iulia_g_popa) / Analyst Relations manager and AR specialist /  CCgroup, based in London. 

Must reads for IIAR Members

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[GUEST POST] Building credibility to boost sales with IT Analyst Relations Tue, 14 Oct 2014 11:33:02 +0000 By Sven Litke (@SvenLitke, LinkedIn), Kea Company, first published on Influencer Relations and Marketing.
Many thanks for allowing the IIAR to re-publish.

When talking to IT vendors eager to grow their business I usually come across a number of common challenges they face. One of the biggest issues which lies outside the companies (as opposed to e. g. finance requirements to fund the growth or adding enough skilled people to their workforce) is that once they are moving out of their comfort zone they are facing prospects that are much more skeptical than those in their home markets.

It seems to be a common pattern that vendors manage to grow to a certain size (depending on the size of their home market this is often somewhere between five and twenty million dollars) and then start thinking about ways to expand further. This often is when they are confronted with the ‘real outside world’ for the first time. Before this they managed to successfully leverage their network, or simply were the vendor with an office location closest to where the customer was. This kind of home advantage usually works up to a certain point. You might be able to successfully sell to new clients based on recommendations from your network to 2nd degree connections but that’s about where it stops. When you are dealing with prospects who have never heard of you and who don’t have any other obvious connection path (be it geographically or personal) to your company the selling gets much tougher. Obviously the first thing any vendor will do is to bring his USPs to the attention of the potential buyer. But be honest: How many competitors are out there who are making similar claims in regards to their or their solution’s capabilities? At this stage it doesn’t matter if their (or your) claims are true because at this stage the only thing that matters is the question of who is going to get the chance to proof their claims either by further demonstrations, POCs, trials or ideally by closing the deal.

A similar challenge vendors are facing is connected to the deal size. A lot of customers are willing to ‘risk’ a limited amount of money on a new vendor or a solution that is new to the market. With increasing deal size this inclination to take some risk quickly declines which is why smaller or new vendors often fail to win the larger deals in the market. This is also true in regards to the ‘business criticality’ of a solution. Buying something that is a nice to have from a new vendor is much easier than buying a solution that is business critical or security relevant from an unproven source.

Credibility wins business.

With markets where there are typically multiple vendors offering multiple solutions for a problem the buyer needs to significantly narrow down the field of potential suppliers. So being on the short list for further evaluation must be the primary goal in the early stage of the sales process. This is where the topic of credibility comes into play. When competing in their home markets a vendor is virtually guaranteed to get a place on the short list. Once competing outside: Not so much. Credibility means that a potential customer has enough trust in the claims you make about your company and your solution to give you the chance to prove yourself. Having credible sales people goes a long way towards that goal but obviously they are very hard to find. In addition some customers will never accept anything coming directly from a vendor at face value.  Also references help to generate trust, even though the effectiveness of a reference quickly declines when they are not meeting the criteria a specific customer is looking for. This can include the requirement for a reference from the same country, the same vertical or of similar size – or ideally all of this at the same time. And of course if you were not lucky enough to acquire the right mix of reference customers in your home market this only brings you back to the initial problem of getting new customers in the first place. So the question remains how to best handle the credibility issue.

Influencers create credibility

This is where influencer relations has its place in the marketing mix. People like journalist and industry analysts make their living from evaluating technologies, vendors and solutions. Industry analysts in particular are heavily involved in advising technology buyers in regards to their vendor selection and short list creation. With industry analyst groups such as Gartner, Forrester, IDC and Ovum influencing between 40% and 60% of commercial technology sales their market reach is much bigger than anything a midsize vendor can hope to achieve on its own. This means that being mentioned by analysts – either in written research or in 1:1 inquiries – will open up indirect access to many potential customers. Coverage in official research publications is the most powerful tool for your sales people and your marketing materials to demonstrate that your technology, company, products and service offerings and methods are highly recognized and credible.

Analysts are writing about your market, whether you like it or not. Being pro-active in reaching out to analysts gives you the strategic advantage of being able to influence their research by providing them with the insight they need, when they need it. Analyst Relations is not a billion dollar club. It is critical that analysts are well informed of your company strategy, products, and services. This needs to be an ongoing process to maintain a top-of-mind status, especially for a vendor that aims for higher name recognition and company growth. Early engagement with analysts is a great way to get analyst buy-in and top-of-mind presence to increase credibility and in turn to secure your place on the short list and to boost sales.

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[GUEST POST] Key Requirements for Vendors When Briefing Software Analysts, by Natalie Petouhoff / Constellation Thu, 17 Jul 2014 08:06:42 +0000 Natalie Petouhoff / Constellation (IIAR)By Natalie Petouhoff (@drnatalie, LinkedIn) from Constellation Research.

In any given week, analysts hear many pitches. What may not be apparent is “How engaged is the analyst?” So if you are a vendor, how do you engage an analyst? First, don’t be one of those people who is more interested in getting through all your slides in the short period of time you have with the analyst versus really having an engaging conversation with the analyst.

Slides are important as a visual representation of the product and / or services, but more important is the conversation that happens between the vendor and the analyst. Presenting a slide deck where only the vendor presents and the analyst has no time to comment or interact, is not engaging and doesn’t really help the analyst understand your software.

Most analyst have been listening to vendor pitches for years. And after a while they all sound very similar. The only way often times an analyst can grasp what is new or different, is if the vendor has really done their homework prior to presenting to the analyst and can articulate the following things in the first three slides:

1. What does your company do?

2. Who are your top 5 competitors?

3. Why is, what you are offering, so different and so much better those top 5 competitors?

Analysts don’t want a linear presentation with the history of the company, with how many employees… We don’t really always believe when vendors say they have “displaced” this vendor and that vendor. If all the vendors who said they displaced another vendor were true, then no one would have software.

What we want, as analysts, is to quickly assess in the first 5 minutes is “Why am I listening to this presentation?” (Besides the obvious, which is, it is our job to take vendor briefings… )

The issue is that most vendors don’t really know the answers to the top three questions. Why? Because it takes a lot of work to do a SWOT analysis, to understand what your company does and to be able to message that in a unique and interesting way.

I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve seen nearly the same slide deck from different vendors in the same week, month or year. What I mean by this is that the content on the slides – even though they are different vendors — is very similar. So if the vendor can’t tell me why they are different, better, unique… it makes it very difficult for us, as analysts, to describe to end-users of software why they should consider a particular vendor over another one.

It’s up to the vendor to really do the SWOT analysis and know your competitors and how you are different or better than your competitors. What I find is that most vendors don’t spend the time to do this exercise. The issue is that when a vendor doesn’t do this, the presentation doesn’t really inform the analyst what they need to know to help recommend them to their network of end users. Which is part of what a vendor wants – they want the analyst to know enough about the vendor to make a recommendation to their end-users so the vendors can make more sales.

The net-net is that the analyst’s attention is not captured in the way that the vendor would like or perhaps thinks that is happening during the briefing.

The solution? Before briefing an analyst, make sure that your first three slides are about:

1. What does your company do? What problem(s) in a company does it solve? Who does it solve those business problems for? What roles? Do you know what keeps that role up at night and why does your solution solve their problem(s)?

2. How does your software solve that problem for that role? What are the details — the how to’s –how does the software solve those issues for that role better than any other software company?

3. And why is your software able to solve those problems differently and better than any other competitor? What is your competitive edge?

I hope that vendors that want recommendations to buyers take the time to either go through this exercise themselves or get help to create conversations and presentations that do engage analysts. If vendors are able to do this, they will make the conversation between the analyst and the software vendors richer, more productive and in the end, both parties will end up with what they both want – analysts to have a clear picture of the marketplace and the vendor to get more sales.


About the author

Dr. Natalie Petouhoff (bio, @drnatalieLinkedIn) is a Vice President and Principal Analyst at Constellation Researcg focusing on the integration of traditional business strategy and operations with social / digital business transformation at scale by using the latest trends in software that result in increased customer and employee engagement and major shifts increased revenue and decreased costs. Prior to this she was a Forrester software analyst and change management consultant ta PWC.


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Making the most of CeBIT (even at the last minute) Tue, 04 Mar 2014 20:00:49 +0000 CeBIT logoIt’s big, and it’s just around the corner – it’s CeBIT time again. For AR professionals attending the show, the IIAR has put together a new paper sharing expert tips, both from ARs and analysts, on how to best use CeBIT to connect with and build relationships with analysts. This is available free of charge in our IIAR Members Area.

Even though CeBIT looms large – many vendors begin media briefings in Hanover on Sunday – both ARs and analysts also agree that it is still possible to set up meetings at short notice. However, CeBIT is not the place to expose analysts to a full-on deep dives into a new or revised strategy. See the white paper (link, membership required) to learn more about what leading Forrester analyst Pascal Matzke (LinkedIn, bio, @pascalmatzke) recommends for AR professionals.

Over the years, CeBIT’s importance has ebbed and flowed. After a period in the doldrums, the show has picked up in the last couple of years and should be a staple on every AR’s agenda, if only thanks to the sheer number of analysts present.

At CeBIT you’ll not only find many of your superstar analysts from the leading global firms but also you get the chance to get to know some of the more local analysts – who can have a great deal of influence in the German-speaking countries, plus excellent ties to the media. Meeting analysts from these smaller independents can also deliver valuable insights into how doing business in central Europe sometimes requires a different approach than the Anglo Saxon method.

Talking of which, I’d personally rather not spend another CeBIT locked in airless on-booth meeting rooms – or on the roof of Hall 1 – supporting vendors whose approach to an analyst relations program at CeBIT was to get a conveyor belt of analysts rolling through the door. It’s exhausting and doesn’t work very well. CeBIT is so big that some analysts – or your spokespeople – will inevitably be late, and even in the best cases, you’ll be lucky to get more than 45 minutes face-to-face time at the show. There is not enough time and there’s far too much background noise in terms of other announcements to expect any self-respecting analyst to give you the full attention that such a briefing requires, during CeBIT.

For me, the most effective approach to a CeBIT AR program has been to focus on the social side. I’ve enjoyed numerous dinners, lunches and afternoon coffee and cake sessions with analysts, where we’ve exchanged our views about the major highlights of the show, and perhaps some gossip, too. Following one of my golden rules for CeBIT (If you see free food or drink on offer, consume it, you never know when the next meal will come along), it’s very effective to offer analysts a chance to sit down and enjoy refreshments during what can be a grueling, non-stop schedule.

The IIAR has just published a white paper on how to maximize an AR program at CeBIT – available to free download to members. It’s part of the ongoing initiative to develop an IIAR German chapter, as per this recent post by Yvonne Kaupp. All AR professionals in Germany, plus those managing analyst relations programs in Germany, are welcome to join the group – and we are planning a meet up in Munich this spring.

For me, one very memorable analyst briefing session at CeBIT involved an entire afternoon of back-to-back 30-minute briefings in a vendor’s catered café area, where my spokesperson managed to eat a slice of cake in every single meeting. By the end of that, not only could I not hear his story one more time but I couldn’t touch apple cake for a month!

By Simon Jones at OnPR

IIAR Best Practice Paper

Other related posts

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[GUEST POST] The Wi-Fi isn’t working! Thu, 05 Apr 2012 10:20:02 +0000 I’m here at an analyst conference, trying to combine a seamless online and offline experience. The presentations are compelling, the panel discussions are lively, and I should be using social media to augment and amplify the information I’m soaking up from my seat in the second-to-back row.

Except that I can’t. Because, as usual, the Wi-Fi isn’t working.

Sure, there’s a Wi-Fi network, and it worked OK for 30 minutes yesterday, but today, the connectivity is pretty much nada. I’m at a central London hotel where the IT infrastructure is clearly not up to the job, especially when 300-plus delegates all try and connect their notebook, tablet and mobile phone to the network. First, the network slows, then it just stops responding. I’m not alone. Over coffee with the chief analyst, he shrugs and says “yeah. I’ve got the same problem!”

This is very frustrating but also unfortunately commonplace. Even the GSMA couldn’t make the free Wi-Fi work at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. There were Wi-Fi nodes available, but nobody I met was unable to draw data across them. And no, it’s not always so easy to switch over to good old 3G, especially when you’re incurring data roaming charges.

Why does this matter?
Well, for starters, the lack of connectivity is frustrating and time-wasting for users – I’ve rebooted various devices hoping to iron out glitches in connectivity, before finally giving up and going offline. But there’s more to it than that. Being off the grid actually diminishes my gain from sitting in the audience: I’m better off at my desk where I can monitor the livestream and social media channels – and even do a bit of work in-between.

You may argue that this is the very point – get out from behind your desk and meet some real people. Yes of course, but it’s counter-productive to “force” me to pay 100% attention to a conference session that isn’t quite so relevant to my interests, just because the Wi-Fi isn’t working.

Leaking information?
Sometimes I get the feeling that some executives would prefer to do all analyst briefings in lead-lined concrete bunkers so that there’s no danger of being distracted by the outside world (if they’re not listening, could it be that you’re boring or irrelevant?). The other concern is that tweeting analysts might just let the cat out of the bag and breach NDAs in their eagerness to liveblog an event.

I disagree – it’s about engaging with your audience, and asking professionals to respect clearly-flagged NDAs and embargoes, no matter what form of communication they use. Furthermore, without connectivity, I’d miss the real-time interaction of swapping under-the-radar snarky comments with a few friends. You’d be amazed how much backchat there can be when a speaker wears out their welcome, gets into a monotone, uses the same “tic” phrase 20 times or more in a presentation or – horror of horrors – starts lecturing the audience.

Nor could I share those little gems, such as the speaker this week who said “I suppose I shouldn’t be showing this one here”… then still proceeded to brazenly put up a Magic Quadrant slide this week at the non-Gartner conference – in the process earning an ironic round of applause from the audience.

Nope. Without Wi-Fi I’m 100% paying attention to conference proceedings. Or to tell the truth, I’ve zoned out completely for 30 minutes to write this post.

How to solve the connectivity issue?
There must be an answer to the connectivity issue. The  promise of a Wi-Fi network being there, but stubbornly not working, is maddening, and akin to trying to buy the “special offer” that’s sold out without a rain check. And the bottom line is that if I’m offline, I’m not tweeting content from the conference, so I’m not able to amplify the message.

Simon Jones (LinkedIn, @MrNesjo)

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Scheduling made easy? Wed, 17 Mar 2010 11:04:22 +0000 tetris-blocks[1]Thanks to James, I’ve just discovered, 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, 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), 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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