Tag Archives | AR Best practices

[GUEST POST] Briefing tips and best practices from Lisa Rowan / IDC

Analyst PhotoOur guest post today is from Lisa Rowan (@lisarowan), IDC’s Program Director for HR, Learning and Talent Strategies.  Read on for Lisa’s tips for briefing analysts from the analyst perspective.

There are excellent resources available to assist the AR profession including IIAR but on this side of the briefing table, it seems like that advice is not universally followed. As analysts we get a steady stream of requests for our time and often for a first introduction. I’d say that for the most part this goes well but there are some tips I thought might be worth underscoring to make the briefings effective for you and the analyst. For a lot of you, these might seem obvious but trust me that I wouldn’t write these tips if there weren’t situations where these things occur.
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Is shooting on the referee productive?

Contentious conversation 1 – integrity of analysts and the future of AR

Bribery illustration in a blog post by Jonny Bentwood for the IIAR website

Blog by Tom Bittman from Gartner: A Rant – My Integrity as an Analyst

Summary: Gartner analyst angry that he has to justify his integrity

My view: Edelman trust barometer consistently shows that over the past few years analysts are the most trusted

Key comments: Vinnie Mirchandani questioning whether Gartner’s reliance on large vendor subscriptions means that their reports are truly representative Continue Reading →

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IIAR Best Practices Paper: managing the Forrester Wave

The Forrester Wave™: Global Delivery Infrastructure Management, Q4 2005 By Robert McNeill with Robert Whiteley III, , Olivia Ester

The Forrester Wave™: Global Delivery Infrastructure Management, Q4 2005 By Robert McNeill with Robert Whiteley III, , Olivia Ester

Last week IIAR hosted a call with AR professionals about sharing best practices for managing the Forrester Wave. The IIAR last month published a paper about the Wave, which outlined common best practices in dealing with this high profile research report. Forrester is also in the middle of reviewing changes to the methodology, although it has signaled it doesn’t expect major changes this go around.

Curious to get other AR managers’ thoughts on the Wave.  What has been your experience, and do you have any best practices you want to share?

For IIAR members, the IIAR Best Practice Paper is available on our extranet > Managing the Forrester Wave

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AR professionals should canvass inside firms

It’s all too easy to assume that by briefing the lead analyst on a vendor or on a coverage area, your job as AR professional is done.

Don’t…

While some firms have robust sharing practices, such as repositories for presentations and vendor briefing teams that check which other analysts may be interested in a briefing, you can’t rely on those for the following reasons.

  • You know best what you’re trying to say.
    Vendor briefings follow the firms’ coverage model, and it usually works. However, you might want to brief some analysts in a “new” area, as you’re about to launch a new product or respond to new trends. Think for instance of Cisco entering the servers market, Oracle launching apps for the iPhone, etc…
  • Politics hinder the information flow Some topics breach the usual silos within analyst firms and as a result you need to brief several analysts. In an ideal world, we would all be working in happy-family-like-companies and all work together towards achieving the highest customer satisfaction. However, some analysts may not view positively others stepping on their coverage area while others may not spontaneously and proactively share the information. It’s not only job protection, it’s also the fact that they tend to have incredibly busy schedules, with some targeted to produce over 15 notes per year, in addition to the briefings, the sales calls, the events and the customer engagements.
  • Metrics can prevent analysts from collaborating
    The way people are incented can also play a role. In some firms analysts get more brownie points for notes they write solo (which is IMHO as perverse as incentives for long notes). So, do make sure you tell everyone what you’re up to to facilitate collaboration (but don’t force it).
  • The coverage model may not work for what you’re trying to say
    For instance, if your are doing AR for some products that are not part of a firm’s coverage map but may impact the edges of some analysts’ interest areas. There are also firms that have decided to cover “roles”, which can mean that they won’t effectively cover industries. In those cases, try to find a theme that’s of interest to some analysts or propose vertical case studies to horizontal analysts.

Key learning point: look further than the “obvious” analysts, remember your job is to sell ideas and not everyone’s buying off plans!

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IIAR publishes Best Practice Paper on Managing the Gartner MQ

Today the IIAR published my Best Practice Paper titled: “Managing the Gartner Magic Quadrant: a tool for analyst relations managers.”  The paper is free for all IIAR members and can be found in the Library section of the IIAR extranet.  In it, I discuss and give recommendations on the key stages of the Magic Quadrant and how to ensure you and your team are as prepared as you can be when the process begins; how to build internal support and manage expectations with your stakeholders; building the relationship with the relevant Gartner analyst; and providing customer references.

After I agreed to write an IIAR whitepaper about managing the Gartner MQ process I soon discovered that everyone has an opinion, in many cases an emotional one. In addition, I realised that the paper needed a focus or otherwise it could have easily been turned into a book. I will admit that I was selfish, that what guided me through the research and writing process was the question: what would have helped me in past situations working with the senior management at vendors? In the end, I aimed to create a pragmatic and useable document with sections that can be cut and pasted.

There’s so many people to thank for providing their insights and time. Moving forward I would like to keep writing about topics related to the MQs. I would welcome your comments, suggestions and stories (even under NDA).

IIAR members can read the full paper here > http://my.hdle.it/7601816

Related post: Gartner engages in debates on their blog

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International AR Best Practices: how to leverage all the good stuff out there

As a result of doing some research on International AR practices and gaining input during the January IIAR forum in London, the following paper on International Analyst Relations: Methodology and Best Practicesby Ellie Warner (LinkedIn@elliewarner)is now available to all IIAR members.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend and present at the IIAR Forum in London recently. One of the breakouts was on International AR. Even in the short time we had together, the kind of questions that were asked made me realize the advantages to be gained by documenting some of the more common best practices and methodologies for scaling AR efforts around the globe.

“So, how do you go about setting up country AR?”, “Which analyst-supported sales campaigns have had the most impact?” and “How can we ensure there is no overlap between the UK AR efforts and the corporate AR team?”

The discussion was inspiring.

Where do I start?

Working with AR services firms such as Intelligen, KCG, Lighthouse, Sage Circle and Sunesis is an obvious place to start. In addition, working to some kind of framework with defined stages and suggested best practices can be very effective, and take some of the pressure off overloaded AR practitioners

“International Analyst Relations: Methodology and Best Practices” (subscribers only) provides tons of usable material and ideas. There is no right or wrong way to scale AR efforts globally, but some are more effective, less costly and more replicable than others. Leveraging best practices and replicating successful initiatives also makes good business sense, especially in these times where budgets and resources are under more pressure than ever before.

What do you think?

Tell us what your experience of international AR is if you’re analyst or an AR professional. Would this fit into your company model and culture? Have you similar ideas you would like to share?

Why do International Analyst Relations matter? (subscribers only) looks at the business benefits and drivers for International AR in a separate white paper, also available to IIAR members.

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IIAR research highlights importance of International AR

As a result of doing some research on International AR practices and gaining input during the January IIAR forum in London, the following paper onWhy do International Analyst Relations matter? (subscribers only) is now available to all IIAR members.

As AR professionals, we all are familiar with the value and sales influence of industry analysts. It can sometimes be a hard sell internally, because for ethical reasons analysts do not speak about their end-user client engagements. But anecdotal evidence shows that IT analysts influence most, if not all, large deals

But can you articulate the value and business drivers of International AR?

How many of us can rattle off the main business benefits for complementing corporate AR with an International AR program? Do we know the most important business drivers for regional and country level AR? Do we all have visibility on the multiple ways in which analysts in Germany, India, Singapore, Brazil, and China are impacting vendor sales, marketing and strategy daily, not to mention the ways in which they influencing end user procurement decisions?

And most importantly, are our stakeholders aware of the potential negative impact on the sales pipeline by not having any global AR outreach?

Why do International Analyst Relations matter? aims to provide a balanced set of answers for all these questions, and more.

What do you think?

Tell us what your experience of international AR is if you’re analyst or an AR professional. Would this fit into your company model and culture? Have you similar ideas you would like to share?

For comments and input, please contact ewarner -at- analystrelations -dot- org.

Methodology and industry best practices for International AR is covered in a separate white paper, I’ll blog about this soon.

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The Fundamentals of AR Measurement and Evaluation

Most AR professionals recognise the importance of measurement and evaluation, but many admit that it’s a subject they struggle with.

To help AR professionals improve their knowledge and understanding, we held a best practice conference call during June on “The Fundamentals of AR Measurement and Evaluation”.

On the panel were two in-house AR leaders:

  • Kathy Nottingham – director of industry analyst relations for Lawson Software.
  • Pauline Respondek – senior manager, market intelligence – EMEA for Research in Motion.

Joining them were two specialist AR consultants:

  • Martin Tilling – VP services at Lighthouse Analyst Relations
  • Stephen England – president and partner at The Knowledge Capital Group

The final panel member was Dr Ralf Leinemann – marketing program director for Matchcode. Ralf has authored several books on marketing communications and measurement and evaluation across a range of PR disciplines.

The call heard a world class panel cover three main areas

  • why measure AR
  • how to measure AR (activity reporting v media coverage v perception tracking v report mentions v sales impact etc), and
  • the limitations (aka the importance of setting expectations).

In addition, Kathy shared insights into the work that Lawson is doing on how analyst relations drives sales while Pauline talked about how RIM uses a range of tools to determine the effectiveness of its AR activities.

Many thanks to all our panellists for sharing their experience, knowledge and opinions.

Thanks also to T-Systems for donating the conference call facility.

A recording of the call is available for members to download from the IIAR website, along with the presentation slides used by Kathy and Pauline.

We are also writing a white paper on the subject which will be available in the next couple of months.

 

 

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