Do’s about using analyst research

icon-phone-headset.jpgLast week we posted some “dont’s” about using analyst written research, so it seems appropriate to follow up with some positive actions for how to use the research and recommendations from the industry analysts.

Contrary to popular belief, IT market researchers and advisory analysts do not do either lab-based product evaluations or take an academic ivory tower approach and think great thoughts in isolation. Rather, the primary research tool is talking: talking to clients, vendors, investors, and the press – the people on the front lines of creating and using technology. Doing client inquiries is not only a way to deliver client service, but also one of the best research sources that analysts have available. Every inquiry provides an analyst the opportunity to find out why a client has some vendors on or off the evaluation list, how the product they installed earlier is working out, how good the vendor’s service has been, and so on. By gathering hundreds of data points from a number of sources, analysts can quickly use pattern analysis to determine what is happening in a market or with a vendor. Knowing how this research methodology works gives research clients insights into how they can better use analyst research, either written or spoken.

For consumers of analyst research an important question to ask analysts break during an inquiry is “What are the sources of information and number of […]

Forrester and Gartner Q4 and full year earnings — Higher prices and emphasis on role-based services

The two analyst firms that are publicly held conducted earnings calls last week, Forrester (February 5) and Gartner (February 6). This analysis does not look at areas of interest to investors, but seeks to pull out insights that are relevant to clients and prospects as well as CIT vendor analyst relations (AR) teams.

For clients of both firms, one important fact jumps out of the earnings calls – price increases will be […]

Know your analyst – Novice, Luminary or Sage

For IT vendor analyst relations (AR) teams, a critical success factor is treating each IT industry analyst as an individual, not some faceless member of a crowd. For example, knowing that an analyst loathes PowerPoint presentations can be an important “ah ha!” to improving a briefing by eliminating an irritation. Similar “ah ha!”s can be gleamed by knowing where an analyst is in his or her career. There are three major stages in an analyst’s growth cycle which will impact how you deal with them: Novice, Luminary and Sage. Each stage has specific motivators and the analyst comes into discussions with vendors with specific ideas, techniques, and needs.

While critical for AR teams, it is also important for research consumers – end user or vendor – to understand if the analysts they are reading or doing inquiries with are Novices, Luminaries or Sages. Each growth stage can provide different types of insights and advice.

The Novice Analyst – Motivated by knowing what their clients don’t know

Being a Novice analyst should not be considered a negative by any means. Novice analysts generally have strong industry experience – usually focused in one segment; have a sharp intellect; can be very […]

Analysts don’t know? Ask them to ask around. [Inquiry]

icon-phone-headset.jpgDespite Myth #1 (The analysts know everything), there are times when clients, end users or vendors, can stump the analysts with a question. While some analysts will use a great question as a trigger to do research and come up with an answer, others distracted by deadlines or travel won’t think to pursue your issue. Obviously if the question is very company specific you might need to commission special research.  However, if the issue is of general enough concern to multiple vendors, other clients, or the market in general it is up to you to make sure […]

IT managers, it’s never, ever only about the upper right dot when it comes to Forrester Waves or Gartner Magic Quadrants

icon-phone-headset.jpgOne of the things that drives vendors – and even some Gartner and Forrester analysts – crazy is when an IT buyer zeros in on the vendors in the upper right hand corner of a Forrester Wave or Magic Quadrant to the exclusion of all other vendors. It is human nature to go for those who are perceived as tops in their market. Alas, that is not how these highly visible research graphics should be used. Rather IT managers should be looking to align their […]

How to break analysts out of auto-pilot inquiry responses

icon-phone-headset.jpgAnalysts who cover really popular topics can answer the same question over-and-over to the point where they go on auto-pilot. This means delivering basically the same information and advice regardless of the client’s situation. This is especially true for end-user or IT manager inquiries. Back when I was a Gartner VP & Research Fellow covering CRM, I once counted up 300 inquiries in a short time all asking me to compare and contrast the same three leading vendors. My eyes would glaze over as soon as the appointment reminder popped up for yet the next inquiry on the three amigos. So how do you ensure that the analyst is not on auto-pilot? Provide background on your situation and ask drill down questions. […]

Listening to analyst podcasts is free and easy

icon-microphone-reduced-v-2.jpgIf you have not started listening to analyst podcasts I highly recommend that you consider doing so. Podcasts are a great way to get information when stuck in the daily commute, working out on the treadmill, shopping at the grocery store, hanging out at the airport and so on.  If you have an Apple iPod, the iTunes Music Store makes it very easy to subscribe to any number of free analyst, technology, business publication, and competitor podcasts.  But you don’t need an iPod.  Most podcasts work with any MP3 player or can simply be played on your laptop.
Podcasts are useful for many communities: CIOs, IT buyers, vendor AR, product managers, reporters and others. […]

Best practices for client inquiry execution

icon-phone-headset.jpgWhether IT managers at corporate/government organizations or product managers at IT vendors, many analyst clients do not maximize the value of client inquiry because they do not approach using inquiries systematically. The best practice below does not require a lot of time, only a few minutes to write up the background e-mail, but can result in a much more valuable interaction because the client and the analyst come to the call more focused.
SageCircle Technique: […]