Analyst firms should notify vendors about staff changes

Especially vendors with scheduled briefings, consulting days, or key projects by analysts  who submit their resignations

Analyst relations (AR) professionals are sometimes blindsided in the final preparations for a long scheduled briefing, analyst summit, or analyst consulting day (aka SAS) to discover that the analyst had submitted his or her resignation several weeks before. Worse yet are situations where the vendor has just conducted a briefing only to learn days later that the analyst has just left the firm. Either way it is bad for AR who now has to scramble to change plans and could experience the wrath of executives who perceive that AR just wasted their time by being uninformed.

For a variety of reasons, analyst firms are reluctant to admit that an analyst is leaving the firm. However, these reasons are insufficient for withholding critical information from AR teams who work hard to facilitate the flow of information from the vendor to the analyst firms. It is not appropriate for the firm to arrange a last minute substitution without […]

Why analysts matter – “I get asked daily in one medium or another who to buy”

Some analyst relations (AR) managers are lucky in that their executives really get the analysts and their impact on the vendor’s leads and sales deals. Alas, not all AR professionals are so lucky. However, there is a resource to use to educate* executives about the impact of the analysts – the analysts’ own words. For example, here is a throwaway line by Forrester analyst Jeremiah Owyang in Starting the Forrester Wave: White Label Social Networks and Community Platforms:

          “I get asked daily in one medium or another who to buy”

Jeremiah is very good about keeping vendors and end-user clients alike up-to-date on what he is working on via his blog posts. This particular line was not bragging, but explaining one purpose of the Forrester Wave, which is to help technology buyers develop their short list of vendors to invite to a bid. Because it was not the main purpose of the post, I think that makes it even more powerful education tool as it […]

What to do when analyst firms lays off analysts

SageCircle has learned that IDC has initiated a round of analyst layoffs. At this time the exact number of staff and coverage is not known. AR teams need to hope for the best for their favorite IDC analysts, but plan for the worst.

Of course, layoffs impact real people with families and obligations. Often AR people are genuinely friendly with the analysts they work with and this sort of news can be a shock. Unfortunately for AR professionals, analyst firm layoffs also raise important issues that need to be addressed ASAP no matter how much sympathy they feel for the analysts caught in the layoffs.

The stark reality is that an analyst firm will not admit that […]

How does one become an analyst? [AR Practitioner Question]

question-mark-graphic.jpgAt a recent client meeting we got an interesting question: How does a person become an analyst? Is there certification? A test?

At this time the requirements for becoming an analyst consist of ownership of a laptop, cell phone, business card and an opinion. A website and / or blog are nice, but not required. There are no educational requirements, no state certifications, no tests to pass, no professional licenses to acquire, no World of Warcraft guilds to join, or secret handshakes to learn. Direct experience as a vendor or end user is not a requirement either as firms hire people straight out of collage and even outside of the tech industry as well.

Obviously, an individual has to be smart and insightful to be successful as an analyst. But to become an analyst one only has to be hired by a firm or hang out one’s own shingle.

While this statement produces chuckles and rolling of eyes in AR training or meetings with clients, there is both a serious issue and a real opportunity for AR teams in this reality. The issue is […]

Did you know that you can comment on Forrester’s research on its website?

icon-social-media-blue.jpgSomething that came up yesterday at the AR Effectiveness Seminar is that nobody knew that they could rate and comment on research notes on Forrester.com. This is another example of Forrester embracing social media and they deserve kudos for doing so. However, to make it really powerful, Forrester should actively promote the use of this feature to its clients.  This will begin to create a true community focused around the conversation on research.

A key issue for vendors is the ability to easily influence the impact of Forrester research.  This feature should be a powerful tool for all vendor analyst relations (AR) teams.

End users (aka IT buyers, your customers) are using Forrester.com to find and read […]

Startups should look for “bite-sized” services that provide AR insights and tools at modest prices [Startup Saturday]

rocket-for-startups.jpgStartups rarely have huge sums to spend on analyst relations and AR services. This is often perceived as a barrier to getting the help they need to get their AR programs launched or taken to the next level. However, there are some modestly priced services that startups can turn to.

Analyst Directories – ARinsights’ ARchitect and Lighthouse AR’s AR Intranet are full featured analyst relationship management (ARM) applications that include analyst directories. Because these are full ARMs, the cost can run into the thousands of dollars per year. If a startup just needs access to a directory of analyst information, check out Tekrati’s Analyst Profiles. The cost is only $379 per seat for a full year and is easily purchased using credit card.

Advisory – Annual advisory services – retainer-based, on-demand ad hoc access to AR experts – can run over ten thousand dollars from SageCircle, Forrester, Lighthouse AR, KCG and other firms. Another choice is […]