As we pointed out, analysts are increasingly using blogs as research development platforms so monitoring analyst blogs is a good way for analyst relations (AR) to get insights into analysts’ work-in-progress. With this information in hand, AR teams can then decide whether to join the conversation online or reach out to the analysts for a briefing or inquiry.
Because relatively few AR teams are monitoring analyst blogs, those AR professionals that use this technique can achieve a competitive advantage by getting in early on developing ideas when they can have the most impact.
Here are two recent examples of analysts using their blogs as research tools:
Forrester’s Jeremiah Owyang on his “Web Strategy by Jeremiah” blog announced Forrester Underway to Catalog the White Label Social Networking Space. Because the white label social networking tools market is exploding with many small vendors, it is the type of market that analysts have trouble cataloging. Here Jeremiah uses his visibility to alert vendors about the catalog project and generate entries that the Forrester team might not have found on their own.
IDC’s Rachel Happe is using her “The Social Organization” Community Velocity: A Metric for Measurement post to get feedback on a framework she is working on. Another excellent use of a blog as a research tool because in will include non-IDC clients as contributors.
It is interesting to note that both of these blogs are under the analysts’ personal brands, not their firms’ brands.
- Ask the analysts on your analyst list whether they have a blog, firm branded or personal, where they develop new research ideas
- Add any new blogs to your RSS feed
- Set up a process where AR team members are regularly checking on the analyst blogs
- Develop a decision framework when to leave a comment on the blog versus arranging for a formal briefing… or both
- Develop a process for contributing ideas, customer stories, data points and so on to analysts via comments on their blogs
- Create a team of domain experts that are available to quickly contribute comments to analyst blogs. Train the team on the best practices for comments
- Add analyst blog content into your opinion monitoring and AR metrics programs
Bottom Line: Because there are relatively few analysts in any particular market that actively blog, adding blogs to the AR team’s responsibilities will not add much work to the already busy workday. The benefits of being involved early in the development of new research offer a significant payback for a modest amount of monitoring.
Question: AR teams – Why don’t you read the relevant analysts’ blogs?