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.Continue Reading →
Tag Archives | AR Best practices
Here are the top ten best practices we un-earthed during the IIAR> AR Professional Of The Year 2019 survey.
- Regular briefings
- Targeted coverage
- Open discussion about company strengths and weaknesses
- Sending the deck ahead of the briefing so there’s time to come up with in depth questions
- Well organised AR events that encourage conversation not mere presentations
- Support for research interviews, being pragmatic during Evaluative Research.
- When AR helps to get the right people on the table for f2f meetings and when AR gives feedback about what kind of information is the most valuable for its organization
- Pro-actively flagging developments in coverage areas
- Knowing the kind of material/projects my company works on.
- Sharing data under NDA
Time to renew your Gartner subscription?
Our members have indicated a few interesting plays by the industry analysis market leader, almost two years after its takeover of CEB. including a continued drive to multi-year contracts and aggressive drive to sell their $150k executives offerings, effectively mirroring the EXP strategy for vendors. Those offerings causing much confusion with users in vendor organisations are Gartner for General Managers, Gartner for Sales Leaders, Gartner for Marketing Leaders, etc.
Following our latest discussion group on the subject, the IIAR is conducting a discussion group for members to exchange the issues they face when being sold bundled products. This will enable members to discuss ways to get the best value without disclosing individual price. IIAR will then present these findings to Gartner for their feedback and help Gartner sales teams improve client satisfaction. Continue Reading →
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 →
Although crisis situations can at times feel out-of-the-blue, AR nightmares can usually be solved by adhering to a simple to follow maxim: it’s all about communicating what you can, when you can.
However, in an escalating crisis of epic proportions, it’s important to ensure that you, as an Analyst & Influencer Relations specialist, tend to your priority analyst relationships first and foremost.
Here are three simple tips for how to survive your first crisis as an AR professional working within an escalating crisis, or in a PR nightmare scenario where you’re asked to give advice on how to inform the analyst community. It can be anything from a briefing which has gone off the rails to an issue in a local market that mushrooms into a global performance or critical security flaw.
No matter the issue, there are ways as guardians of the relationships our Vendors have with Industry Analysts, that can be replicated across most B2B technology and marketing companies. Continue Reading →
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
Read on! Continue Reading →
Effective 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 →
Since 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 :
- 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.
A 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 →
I 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 →