Cross-link your social media identify by adding your Twitter handle to LinkedIn profile

icon-social-media-blue.jpgIt’s important to raise the visibility of your Twitter handle to increase your followers, which could then give you insights about who you should follow. One of the simplest ways to raise your Twitter visibility is to place links to your handle in your LinkedIn profile. This is rarely done, but quite easy to do. 

SageCircle Technique:

  • On www.LinkedIn.com click on Profile then Edit My Profile then Additional Information to edit your websites
  • Select which of the three website slots to use
  • From the first drop down menu select “Other”
  • In the description box, type in […]

As we head into Hype Cycle refresh time, pick up a copy of “Mastering the Hype Cycle”

Gartner typically refreshes most Hype Cycles in June and July every year. From a timing point-of-view that means the analysts are starting to think about what they want to change in the Hype Cycle in April. Then in May and June they move into their serious work on their Hype Cycles in order to get them through Editorial by the end of June. Working backward that means that AR programs need to start now to think about how they want to influence the Hype Cycle. 

A valuable resource for AR programs that want to influence the Hype Cycle is the book Mastering the Hype Cycle: How to Choose the Right Innovation at the Right Time (Harvard Business Press, $19.77 + S&H on Amazon) by Hype Cycle creator Jackie Fenn and colleague Mark Raskino. While written for the enterprise client, there are many valuable insights in the book for vendor AR professionals.  Click here for SageCircle’s review of the book.

Related posts:

SageCircle Technique:

  • Add influencing the Hype Cycle to your annual AR Strategic & Tactical Plan
  • Carefully review the list of Hype Cycles to identify relevant targets (while there are 96 Hype Cycles as of July 6, 2008, this task will likely not require a lot of time and effort)
  • Identify which of your company’s leading-edge […]

Know when your analysts are likely on Twitter with Tweetstats

icon-social-media-blue.jpgOne of the great things about social media and Twitter in particular is that they give you permission to interact with analysts outside of the normal channels. This can be a powerful tool for staying top-of-mind because as former Gartner and AMD analyst Jonathan Yarmis tweeted: “vendors who interact with me on twitter get me multiple times/DAY, everyone else multiple times/month or year”. 

While you can tweet an analyst in an asynchronous fashion, it is even more powerful if you exchange tweets in real time. A great tool to understanding a person’s pattern for when they usually tweet is Tweetstats.

Tweetstats is a free tool that is simple to use because all you have to do is enter someone’s Twitter handle and hit [enter]. After a couple of minutes it returns a number of graphs that analyze the person’s twittering by date and time. Within this context it is the Tweet Density that you should look at because it shows when the person tweets by hour and day of week. Here are two examples:

Example A:
 Tweetstats - Tweet Density - example A

Example B: […]

Is your email to industry analysts value-add or spam?

Forrester analyst and best-selling business book Groundswell co-author Josh Bernoff (blog, Twitter handle, bio) has an interesting little critique of the emails he receives in Three quarters of the PR email I receive is irrelevant. Why? Josh tweeted me that this post applied just as much to analyst relations (AR) professionals as PR.

You should take a moment to read his post and do a quck review to see if you are you guilty of any of Josh’s offenses.

SageCircle’s Analyst Hierarchy of NeedsAs we pointed out in the “Analyst Hierarchy of Needs”, the analysts do appreciate outreach by AR teams. However, they want more than simple, generic outreach. They want “Personalized Outreach.” In our interviews with analysts the common refrain is “Just send me information about stuff I care about.” Once your AR program is proficient at providing analysts the basic information they need, your program should work to begin personalizing content based on the specific coverage, speaking calendar, and editorial calendar of individual analysts.  Targeted information supporting issues they are concerned about is highly prized by the analysts and can raise your AR program’s visibility significantly.  However, analysts who receive too much generic content will stop looking and miss your personalized information.  

Another point to be aware of when applying the Hierarchy of Needs to your analyst email distribution is emphasis changes depending on the analyst’s status. A Sage analyst will be significantly less tolerant of generic emails than a Novice analyst, who might appreciate the basic information (see Know your analyst – Novice, Luminary or Sage).

The situation differs when you are […]

AR & recession – Ruthlessly revisiting analyst lists and service level frameworks

Analyst Relations PlanningDuring a recession AR managers are confronted with the need to cut back work either due to headcount constraints or the need to refocus their priorities (e.g., providing more support to their company’s sales force and increasing lead generation via analysts placing the company on purchasing short lists). Two areas of low hanging fruit for saving time that can then be reallocated to other activities are the normally important analyst lists and the level of service provided to each tier of analyst. 

One of the biggest ongoing mistakes that AR professionals make is not using a rigorous methodology for managing their analyst lists. This often leads to too many analysts on their lists and too many analysts designated “Tier 1.” This state of affairs leads to inefficiency and ineffectiveness as AR teams are spread too thin over too many analysts to effectively influence the most relevant analysts. While bad enough in good economic times this mistake can be fatal in recessions when all corporate functions are being scrutinized for efficiency as well as contribution to revenues and corporate/business unit objectives.

Another major problem is that many AR programs have not revised their service level frameworks – or do not have formal service levels in the first place. These plans to allocate effort must be adjusted to reflect recession driven resource constraints. This results in AR teams being too generous in the amount effort they give to lower ranked analysts’ information/briefing requests which in turn siphons away precious AR bandwidth for higher priority activities. A related problem is not having the discipline to follow established service levels.

To correct this situation, AR managers need to ruthlessly revisit their analyst lists, aligning them more tightly with today’s business objectives and cutting back on the number of Tier 1 and Tier 2 analysts in order to focus more intensely on the most relevant analysts. Second, AR programs have to reduce, perhaps significantly, the amount of service they provide to […]

“Prime the Feedback Loop” VP of Marketing’s excellent advice about Gartner

rocket-for-startups.jpgThis advice is just as useful for large vendors as startups

In Gartner for startups Michael Waclawiczek, VP of Marketing at expressor software, has joined the conversation started by Talend’s Yves de Montcheuil and Gartner’s Andy Bitterer (see Vendor complains in a very public blog post about Gartner’s Data Integration Magic Quadrant)  about startups ability to be included on Magic Quadrants.

Dr. Waclawiczek’s observations and advice are dead on and well worth reading. While directed at startups, his main points are applicable to large vendors as well. A quick summary:

  • For any vendor selling to high-end/large customers, dealing with Gartner is a given. Even if you decide to ignore them, your customers won’t.
  • At some point, you have to realize that the MQ is designed to meet the needs of Gartner customers – big companies looking for information, insights and backside-cover for big-ticket IT purchases.
  • My advice to fellow startups? Give up hope of making a real impact in “your” MQ, for now at least. But don’t give up entirely.
  • Work the Gartner system the best you can. Pull every lever you can reach.
  • Set your sights on […]

Responding to Analysts’ Published Comments – Speed is Essential

As pointed out in past posts (see The Volume of Analyst Publishing and Quotes), analyst opinions show up in published format thousands of times each month. Unfortunately, too many AR teams are behind their colleagues in knowing when the analysts are being quoted or published. This lag can result in a CEO being embarrassed by a reporter or by a financial analyst who asks the CEO’s position on an IT industry analyst’s opinion. Another example is a sales deal gone awry because the company’s sales representative did not know that a relevant industry analyst had published a negative research note, or that his company was not on the Leaders Square of a Magic Quadrant.

The way to avoid these types of situations is for AR to know first when any Tier 1 analyst ends up in print. That way AR can prepare colleagues instead of responding to their pain. Too often, AR either ignores this requirement or does something ineffectual. Some AR departments subscribe to alerts that the analyst firms’ research engines have, but never look at the daily e-mails that are generated. Other AR departments buy a clipping service to get analyst press quotes.  However, because these services typically have a delay of one to two months between the original publication and their report delivery, clipping services simply are not timely enough for effective response.

SageCircle recommends that AR put into place a program for daily monitoring of analysts’ opinions. What need to be monitored are specific analyst opinions, not just […]