SMB Group – 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. Thu, 11 Oct 2018 16:43:54 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 76177372 [GUEST POST] How to Create a More Compelling Analyst Event Mon, 14 May 2018 13:14:42 +0000 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.

  1. Make the presentations as interactive as possible. Having to hold questions until the end of presentations is an unnatural act for analysts. It also signals that you are way more interested in talking to us rather than engaging with us. Two-way street, remember? At smaller venues, take questions along the way. At larger ones, try something new–maybe some interactive polling or live-streaming sentiment analysis. After all, you are a technology company,
  2. Give us the deck upfront so we don’t have to keep taking photos. A picture is often worth a thousand words. That’s why analysts are constantly snapping photos of presentations, whether to share on Twitter or use later. This is crazy! Just provide us with the deck and make it easy for us to share screen shots during the event.
  3. Remember that everything you do does not have to involve a talking head and a Powerpoint deck. Some of the best (and sadly very infrequent) sessions I’ve been to have focused having a dialogue with analysts! Imagine that. Schedule more break out sessions and roundtables–they can lead off with a few slides, but the goal should be dialogue.
  4. Ditch the canned panel presentations. So you’ve schedule an hour panel session, and use up 45 or 50 minutes having the moderator asked canned questions. What is up with that? Ask a couple of planned questions to warm things up, but get to the analyst questions after 15 minutes.
  5. Feature SMB and midmarket customer, not just your large enterprise clients. Everyone loves sharing their marquee names. But businesses with fewer than 500 employees account for 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms! Plus, the creation-destruction cycle in business is accelerating. Creative SMBs will disrupt and replace slower-moving large businesses. I want to hear how you’re helping them to do that.
  6. Schedule relevant 1-1 meetings for analysts. I shouldn’t have to even say this! But at many events, I end up in 1-1s with people who have no responsiblity for anything event remotely SMB related–and what I cover are SMB and midmarket. It’s a waste of time, both for the analyst and the executive.
  7. Inform executives and others at your company about the analysts they’re meeting with. The best AR teams not only schedule analyst 1-1s with the executives in your firm that most relevant to analyst coverage areas, but also supply the executive with analyst bios and some samples of their blog posts or reports.
  8. Make it easy for analysts to get to your event. As frequent business travelers, travel is not a novelty or adventure for us. So we appreciate anything you can do to ease travel to your event. Make it easy for us to book air and hotel. Provide a van, or car, or coupon for Lyft to get to the hotel from the airport. And don’t scrimp on the little things. In addition to picking up the major expenses, cover analyst expenses for parking, meals while they’re traveling, minor upgrades like the $15 Southwest fee to reserve Early Bird seating, etc. These little things add up–especially for independent analysts or analysts that work at boutique shops.
  9. Hold your event somewhere different. We get that you need to be in Orlando, Las Vegas, San Francisco, etc. to accommodate thousands or even tens of thousands at your customer-centric events. But analyst events are small, tens to maybe a couple of hundred of people. Go off the beaten track. Having your event somewhere else (still easy to get to though!) is a welcome change.
  10. Take us out to or bring in some local flavor. So now that you’re in a more interesting place, take us somewhere to experience just a bit of it…dinner at a museum, on a boat, whatever. Or at least bring some local flavor in.
  11. Schedule enough time for analysts to take a break between the end of day sessions and dinner. We’ve given up a couple of days to be at your event, but we need a little buffer to get other things done, whether it be business related or personal. 5 or 15 minutes isn’t enough. 60 minutes is okay, but 90 minutes works best.

Some vendors already do some of these things, and some do many of them. But many haven’t shaken things up in years.  While I understand that it takes more time and energy to do try new approaches, I’m at least one analyst that thinks your investment will pay off.

By Laurie McCabe (@lauriemccabe), Co-founder, SMB Group. Reproduced by permission © SMB Group 2018


Other posts on AR best practices

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The IIAR “Tragic Quadrant” Mon, 08 Jun 2015 15:16:20 +0000 Last year, as part of the 2014 IIAR Analyst of The Year Survey, we invited analyst relations professionals to rate their favourite industry analyst individuals and the firms they worked for. More than 60 individual organisations responded to our survey. We were interested to see if we could do further analysis on the data that was collected.

When we set out to do the IIAR Analyst of the Year (with Helen Chantry), we always had envisioned doing a Magic Quadrant of analyst firms. This year the survey provided us with further information which we have been able to breakdown and analyse to provide a more detailed understanding of how analyst relations professionals perceive the relevance, impact and reachability of industry analyst firms. We are not claiming that this is an exhaustive study. Rather it simply opens a new (slightly cheeky – hence the notion of “Tragic Quadrant”) window onto the analyst landscape, where we attempt to rank industry analyst firms by impact, relevance and ease to do business with.

The IIAR survey asked respondents to assess individual industry analysts on a range of issues broadly grouped according to the following criteria:

  • ‘Impact’ (to what extent does the industry analyst impact the technology purchase decision);
  • ‘Relevance’ (is the particular industry analyst relevant to the technology purchase decision, do they understand the marketplace);
  • ‘Interaction’ (how easy is the industry analyst to reach and to interact with).

We are able to represent the top 13 industry analyst firms according to this new analysis. We have produced three Tragic Quadrants according to i) overall industry analyst firms, ii) global industry analyst firms, and finally iii) independent industry analyst firms.

  • The Y axis depicts the ‘Impact’ of the industry analyst firm on the purchase decision. This also relates to their perceived credibility and capability to provide an objective opinion.
  • The X axis marks their ‘Relevance’ for the purchase decision. This means their capability to cover the market and their specific geographical allocation. It also includes public recognition of their presence in the market (e.g. as an expert).
  • The size of the bubble is ‘Interaction’. This relates to issues of communication (e.g. how easy is it to get to them and to talk to them).

Overall Industry Analyst Firms Quadrant

The IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2015 (Overall) featuring Gartner, IDC, Forrester, Ovum, HfS, Constellation, 451 Research, Celent, Pac, ESG, Digital Clarity Group, Ventana, SMB Group

The IIAR Tragic Quadrant 2015 (overall) featuring Gartner, IDC, Forrester, Ovum, HfS, Constellation, 451 Research, Celent, Pac, ESG, Digital Clarity Group, Ventana, SMB Group

In terms of the Overall Industry Analyst Firm Quadrant, Gartner, Forrester and IDC came out ahead of rivals. In terms of their specific ranking according to our analysis, Gartner is 1st, Forrester 2nd, and IDC 3rd. Gartner is higher on impact and relevance than its immediate rivals, but did less well in terms of interaction. IDC by contrast scores someway ahead of Gartner in terms of interaction but is perceived to be slightly less impactful and relevant. By contrast, although some way behind the leaders in terms of impact and relevance, Digital Clarity Group, Ventana and SMB Group did particularly well on interaction.

Global Industry Analyst Firms Quadrant

2015 IIAR Tragic Quadrant - Global Firms featuring Gartner, Forrester, IDC, HfS Research, Ovum, 451 Research

2015 IIAR Tragic Quadrant – Global Firms featuring Gartner, Forrester, IDC, HfS Research, Ovum, 451 Research

In terms of the Global Industry Analyst Firms Quadrant, Gartner stood out as 1st. This was followed by, in 2nd place, Forrester, and IDC in 3rd place. As mentioned above, Gartner were successful with high levels of relevance but performed less well on interaction. IDC performed particularly well on impact and interaction. In terms of the other firms, HfS performed well across all three categories but scored particularly well on impact. 451 Research and Ovum did well based on interaction.

Independent Industry Analyst Firms Quadrant

2015 IIAR Tragic Quadrant - Independent analyst firms featuring Constellation, HfS Research, Ventana, SMB Group

2015 IIAR Tragic Quadrant – Independent analyst firms featuring Constellation, HfS Research, Ventana, SMB Group

In terms of the Independent Industry Analyst Firms Quadrant, Constellation were in 1st place, HfS in 2nd place, followed by SMB Group in 3rd place and Ventana in 4th. Constellation scored particularly well on impact, whilst HfS performed well on impact and interaction but less well on relevance. SMB Group scored highly in terms of interaction. Ventana did well in terms of impact but slightly lower in terms of interaction.

In case you were wondering the Tragic Quadrant is by no mean meant to be a normative or scientific depiction of the industry analysis industry. It offers but one window onto this world that was partially inspired by Juvenal’s ancient dictum Quis custodiet ipsos custodies? (which, roughly translated, is who assesses the assessors? or, in our case, who analyses the analysts?). Whilst it was initially intended as a bit of fun we do nevertheless think there are some interesting aspects for AR professionals and analyst houses to take from it. We see at least two takeaways emerging for different audiences:

  • AR professionals may use this as a subjective analysis tool to look at their target audience engagement strategies. They should balance ‘ease to do business with’ against ‘relevance’ and ‘impact’. Or, in other words, they shouldn’t brief analysts just because they’re easy to deal with (or conversely they should look at analysts which are less of a pain depending on the type of impact the AR professional is looking for (see the AR SOSM model);
  • analyst firms should monitor the ‘transactional tax’ they impose on AR people: if they raise the ‘interaction barrier’ too high while not providing sufficient coverage and not showing impact, their vendor information source might soon provide them only a partial view of the market (raising exhaustivity and fairness issues) or their vendor revenues might suffer too.


By Neil Pollock (LinkedIn@neilpollock), Yulia Sidorova (LinkedIn) and Ludovic Leforestier (LinkedIn@lludovic)


Related posts:

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The IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year 2014 Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:16:38 +0000 The IIAR is delighted to announce the winners of the 2014

IIAR Analyst Firm of the Year


Often imitated, never equalled -the IIAR Analyst of The Year is back in 2014!

The only independent influencers relations professional association surveyed its members and other carefully vetted AR professionals to vote in several main categories: best global firm, best independent firm and best newcomer. More criteria were included -see below. This panel composition and methodology ensures both independence and an opinion coming from the most knowledgeable -and critical- on industry analysis firms, research and analysts themselves.

Individual analysts have also been voted -the results will be published this Friday.

And now, without further ado…

IIAR Global Analyst Firm of The Year

The IIAR Global Analyst Firm of The Year 2014 is Gartner.

The runner ups are Forrester and IDC.

One of our respondents had the following comment: “Gartner is the 800 pound gorilla in the analyst market because it has the greatest influence with technology buyers, has the most vauable brand, and is a well run $2bn business. These factors are also why it generates such vehement hatred among some boutique analyst firms and some vendor executives.

IIAR Independent Analyst Firm of The Year

The IIAR Independent Analyst Firm of The Year 2014 is Constellation.

The runner ups are HfS and ex-aequo for the third place Ventana and SMB Group.

Said Constellation’s chief Ray Wang (LinkedIn, @RWang0): “We’re excited to be recognised by the analyst relations community for bringing Silicon Valley insights, innovative solutions, and market leading buy side clients together into the broader constellation of research.  It’s always an honour to be recognised and we appreciate all the hard work influence relations professionals face in navigating their organisation’s mission and the mission that industry analysts and influencers play.

 IIAR New Firm of The Year

The IIAR New Analyst Firm of The Year 2014 is Digital Clarity Group.

Said a respondent “Digital Clarity is composed of smart, free-thinking and experienced analysts who follow their gut and provide tailored guidance.

More details will be provided to IIAR members during a call on the 15/1/15. It’s striking however to see that Forrester is a fertile ground for new firms -spawning both Constellation and DCG…

Thanks to Helen Chantry (LinkedIn) and Trevor Howard (LinkedIn) for their invaluable contributions to this research.

Read also:

Past winners

The IIAR Analyst of The Year has been running since 2008, see below the past winners.

  • The IIAR Analyst Firm of The Year 2012 were IDC and Ovum
  • The IIAR Analyst Firm of The Year 2011 was Gartner
  • The IIAR Analyst Firm of The Year 2010 was Gartner
  • The IIAR Analyst Firm of The Year 2009 was Gartner
  • The IIAR Analyst Firm of The Year 2008 was Forrester
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