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. Continue Reading →
Tag Archives | Guest Post
“We have a problem with analysts,” I hear you say. “You have to buy analyst services to have a good relationship with them,” has got to be the most common phrase any analyst relations professional hears from colleagues.
Cynicism reigns when it comes to judging analysts, which reflects the way many of us might feel about the role they, and other influencers, have when recommending IT products or services.
Originally posted by Bram Weerts from KEA on BramWeerts.com: Non-Academic Views.
On the 5th of March, the IIAR (The Institute of Industry Analyst Relations) will hold a panel that will discuss what the ethical standards should be across the analyst industry. Kind as they are at the IIAR, they have invited me to take place at the table in London. I would like to take the opportunity to give a bit of my vision before the 5th. Since nobody reads my words, it will not hurt the discussion.
The question of how AR professionals should use social media keeps cropping up.
Even though social is a part of our daily lives, I am still asked whether it’s okay to use Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to contact analysts – never mind apps like WhatsApp, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat. And I’m not alone.
There has been no shortage of social media gurus who happily told us that social media would radically transform the world of AR.
Yet my colleagues at the IIAR and I found ourselves continually asking the same thing. Has that transformation actually happened?
No-one would dispute that social media has had some impact. Still, has it really changed the fundamental way in which an AR professional needs to be work if they’re to be successful and effective?
If you don’t know him already, Brett’s an experienced and well-respected leader. He’s previously held senior positions at Ovum, where he was managing director, and Gartner, where he was group vice president/chief analyst. Continue Reading →
When the IIAR was first formed, one of its goals was to enable members to help each other achieve their goals. Primarily this has taken the form of sharing best practice, but we also recognised the value in publishing job postings – analyst relations is quite a specialist field, after all.
I just survived Gartner Symposium in Orlando and as part of my regular post mortem, I analyze what went well and what I can do to improve the experience next year. A critical player for me this week is my Gartner salesperson, which got me thinking about how many AR managers neglect this key participant in their program.
Analyst firm salespeople are unsung heroes in the AR world because AR managers tend to overly focus on our analysts and overlook these useful resources. I remember one year when I was at Oracle OpenWorld, I took out my account execs for dinner one evening – no analysts, only my key salespeople from the major firms to a fun dinner as a thank you and hosted them, as usually it’s the salesperson hosting us. This was years ago so hopefully things have gotten better out there, but I was saddened when one of my account execs said it was the first time he saw an AR manager do something special for sales rather than for an analyst. Continue Reading →
It happens to the best of us. Your analyst relations program is humming along nicely – your analysts are behaving, your internal constituents under control – when one day, wham! You get a call from one of your SVPs sharing some exciting news! Joe Analyst, one of your company’s key advocates, has now joined your company.
AR managers will inevitably grapple with this scenario as analysts migrate to vendors often. Informatica took out two high profile analysts last year and I’ve experienced this at previous employers too. AR managers can expect certain behaviors when an analyst who used to cover your company comes inside, so your best bet is to prepare for when that day hits and take full advantage of the opportunity. Continue Reading →
Not all IT research is about numbers, but the IT analyst business definitely is. It’s a business after all, and if you don’t make the numbers, you don’t have a business. But what’s interesting is how many different ways there are to make the numbers stack up.
It’s somewhat ironic that while IT analyst firms often rely on public – and private – disclosure of information from both vendors and end-user organisations to make their prognostications, they often don’t like to reveal too much about their own businesses. The big public firms, Gartner & Forrester, disclose good detail about their revenues to meet their statutory requirements, and perhaps a little more, while the private firms tend to be fairly vague. Continue Reading →
Recently, I’ve done joint announcements with Oracle, SAP, HP, Tibco, Software AG and HP. As you can imagine, I’ve had varying relationships with each and I’m happy to report that the state of the A/R industry is good and that we can work together.
When I was in PR, it was cat fight supreme with territorial ism and turf wars. Most of the announcements I did with these companies when in Analyst Relations didn’t have that element. For the most part, the announcements were about standards, not products. So that went a long way towards working together. Still, if you include IBM, the companies I’ve named here aren’t known for being best buddies.
As and aside, I can say that the executives (who can be the source of most problems) all worked towards the cause of the best briefing possible. Continue Reading →
It’s that time of year again. When all thoughts turn to the biggest global mobile technology and applications showcase in the world, Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress (MWC). Held each year by the GSMA, the show unveils some key yearly indicators that any attending exhibitor, press member, or aspiring Steve Jobs-acolyte should know about mobile.
According to a recent IIAR webcast I listened into with industry analysts Keith Humphreys of euroLAN and Catherine Haslam of Ovum, as well as members of the IIAR membership committee, estimates say that you’ll be one of nearly 1,500 exhibitors, and more than 67,000 attending members of the public. And if MWC 2012 estimates from the GSMA hold up this year, there could be many more who are interested in demonstrating or learning about your mobile wares.
How can you possibly hope to get maximum value out of Analysts who are attending MWC 2013? Continue Reading →
Dave Noble / Intelligen AR (@IntelligenAR, LinkedIn) recently posted a good insight on his blog at looking in to the financial results of Gartner and Forrester. To go directly to the article click this link.
If you ever wanted evidence that success in the analyst business is about more than good research, then the latest financial results from Gartner and Forrester tell the story – it’s as much about sales performance as anything else.
In its earnings call on Wednesday (US time) Forrester chairman & CEO, George Colony, CFO Michael Doyle & recently-appointed chief sales officer, Mike Morhardt, all pinned the blame for weak 2012 results on a complex sales compensation plan implemented in early 2012, which subsequently accelerated salesforce attrition & impacted bookings growth. Continue Reading →
This guest post has been authored by Evan Quinn (LinkedIn, @evanquinn, blog) who is a Senior Principal Analyst at ESG (Enterprise Strategy Group) covering Data Management, Analytics, Big Data and Cloud Platform-as-a-Service. While at Axicom, Evan was also on the IIAR board .
Speech is free: Evan and ESG are not associated in any ways with the IIAR and the post below contains Evan’s opinions which might not reflect the views of IIAR’s members or ESG.
A couple of years ago I decided it was time to step away from the analyst/influencer relations function for at least awhile. The researcher/competitive analyst side of me was asking for an outlet, and so I left the AR ranks. But, ironically, in my current job as an industry analyst I have the opportunity to see how AR practitioners perform their jobs every business day. I am here to report that things have changed somewhat in AR, and in some cases not for the better. But first some background. Continue Reading →
While the Northern hemisphere is getting chilly, this is the one month when salespeople at firms like Gartner and Forrester really start to sweat. Many vendors sign off their major contracts with analysts firms around now, and it’s a great opportunity for analyst firms and vendors to maximise the value from their contracts.
Despite the huge scale of vendor spending with analysts, many users don’t get the best value from their subscriptions. Gartner has a huge number of account managers and, while some clients don’t like being sold to, the advantage of working with Gartner is that it works harder than most other firms to make sure that seat-holders benefit from what they have bought.
Blog courtesy of: Simon Levin (IIAR Board Member), Managing Director at The Skills Connection
“They’re a mid-sized company and they asked for my advice on relevant vendors, so I told them you guys were definitely relevant for small and mid-sized enterprises,” the analyst said.
But nothing happened. Our client didn’t hear from the prospect. And it was only later that we discovered our client had even been removed from a previously compiled consideration list as a direct result of this brief conversation.
The client was mortified. The analyst was baffled. The prospect, of course, missed the opportunity of acquiring what may well have been the best possible solution for his particular set of requirements. Continue Reading →
By: Duncan Chapple, Consultancy Director at Loudhouse
This is an independent opinion piece submitted by an IIAR member and AR professional – it does not represent the official views of the IIAR.
Analyst relations (AR) programs have a substantial opportunity for improvement. This month I’ve been reviewing ten years’ worth of data from the Analyst Attitude Survey, which Loudhouse Research and Lighthouse AR co-produce. Around 700 analysts have taken part in the survey and, after around 180 analysts downloaded the summary last week, I’ve also been thinking over comments from them. What I’ve seen is that there’s a real opportunity to work smarter and more strategically. Continue Reading →
By: Ludovic Leforestier
After a fascinating presentation from Neil Pollock (see his blog post here [Guest Post] Why IT Vendors Should Take Industry Analysts (More) Seriously), Forrester came “en force” to give IIAR members an update on the company strategy. Tom Pohlmann (@tpohlmann, LinkedIn), Forrester’s CMSO patiently presented and answered IIAR members’ questions. My take on this is that the firm is on a journey to deliver strategic research advice up the food chain and deliver at a strategic level – they’ve started with IT managers, then moved on to CMO’s in the past and are trying to better penetrate the rest of the C-suite. Forrester disagrees with this statement. Continue Reading →
By: Dr Neil Pollock, University of Edinburgh Business School
After several years’ research on industry analysts and IT Research firms there are some interesting conclusions to be reached on how industry analyst firms are exerting influence on IT vendors and their product markets. This is just a snapshot of some of Dr. Pollock’s findings.
1. Industry Analysts Stifle Novelty
The first point shows how industry analysts are one of the new ‘institutions of information technology’ with the cognitive authority to shape technological fields. One common way they do this is through proposing names and definitions for emerging technological trends, an activity with positive and negative consequences. We saw, for instance, how this could stifle innovation. IT vendors offering new kinds of products were penalised if their technologies did not conform to standard product definitions. We observed how one seemingly novel solution belonging to a newcomer received a critical review, which led to its rejection from a major procurement contest, effectively calling into question the robustness of its solution. The suggestion here is that industry analysts can help but also hinder innovation. Continue Reading →
By: Richard Stiennon, Chief Research Analyst at IT-Harvest and a former VP of Research at Gartner
The second of a two-part blog on ’Maximizing the impact of an analyst briefing’. This is an adapted excerpt from Richard Stiennon’s book – Up and to the RIGHT: Strategy and Tactics of Analyst Influence. You can read part 1 here. The IIAR will be holding a webinar with Richard on October 4th to hear more about his book and IIAR members wishing to buy his book will receive a 50% discount.
Build a relationship
Every interaction with the analyst builds on your relationship but the briefing is a structured opportunity to establish a communication bond. It is important to identify who is going to represent the company to the analyst. Contact consistency is key. If a different person briefs the analyst each time, they are not going to know anyone at your company at all. There are two separate bonds to create. The bond with the AR/PR person and the bond with the product person. Continue Reading →
In a two-part blog, the IIAR will be publishing an adapted excerpt from Richard Stiennon’s book – Up and to the RIGHT: Strategy and Tactics of Analyst Influence. In this post Richard provides some advice to AR pros on ‘Maximizing the impact of an analyst briefing’. The IIAR will be holding a webinar with Richard on October 4th to hear more about his book and IIAR members wishing to buy his book will receive a 50% discount.
Most analyst firms, including Gartner, do not charge for analyst briefings. Savvy PR professionals take advantage of this to get early recognition of their clients. The analyst briefing is one of the most important ways to influence a vendor’s position in the all important Gartner Magic Quadrant. With Gartner, the vetting process is more stringent than for an inquiry, which is another opportunity to interact with key analysts but is reserved for paying clients. You have to fill out a briefing request and send it in. You should know beforehand which analysts you want on the call; if you appeal to more than one, you may get several on the call. A briefing is a rare opportunity to get a full hour of an analyst’s time. Follow this guide to maximize the impact of your analyst briefings. Continue Reading →