By Carter Lusher, Strategist
Last week’s Forrester Analyst Relations Council Panel on “Analyst Relations 2.0” was fun and interesting. There was quite a bit of diversity of opinion on the panel with KCG’s Bill Hopkins playing the self-described anti-blog/anti-Web 2.0 curmudgeon and Dana Gardner from Interarbor Solutions way on the other side playing the pro-social media fan. That left plenty of room in the middle for Jonathan Eunice from Illuminata, Forrester Senior Analyst James Kobielus and me to take a balanced approach. The moderator was Forrester VP Laura Ramos, who I count as a blog skeptic when it comes to blogging by analysts and vendors.
There was a fair amount of angst in the audience, with many AR professionals clearly wishing blogs would just go away, while others were open minded. Very few AR pros in attendence had embraced blogs personally or professionally. Many were clearly overwhelmed because of the sheer number and types of bloggers who could touch their companies.
While fun, there some something unsatisfying about the panel. One attendee e-mailed: “What struck me about the panel was it asked more questions than offering answers.” Hmm, good point. I tried to provide very specific advice (see Steps for AR teams for starting with analyst blogs), but I admit there was a lot of philosophical ramblings during the 100+ minutes of the panel. Upon reflection, I think the problem was that the panel was not asked to focus on a specific issue, rather we were given a topic that provoked entertaining discussion, but was too broad and fuzzy for hard recommendations.
Bowl of Spaghetti
Because “AR 2.0” was clearly too broad, the organizer and moderator decided to narrow the discussion to “analyst blogs.” However, ever this re-definition of the panel topic was too broad because it encompassed the entire blogosphere. This led to panel discussion, audience questions and comments that touched on traditional analysts and bloggers without distinguishing between the type of influencer. In addition, the discussion occasionally drifted into whether AR teams and their companies should blog and […]
Sometimes IT and telecommunications vendors express frustration at the very existence of IT advisory analysts and their influence with the technology buyers (aka end users or IT managers). Often the vendors accuse the IT buyers of being lazy or stupid because they use the analysts instead of doing the research themselves. Bloggers are equally amazed at why end users would spend money on analyst contracts when there is so much information available for free on the Internet.
The reality is that the advisory analysts provide valuable services to technology buyers and have earned the trust of those buyers over the years. When they don’t understand the true reasons why the advisory analysts are widely used, vendor executives will miss opportunities to invest in analyst relations efforts. This is also true for the sales force who need to understand the motivations for using the analysts, Training is critical for preparing sales reps to handle lucrative deals that are impacted by IT analysts.
There are a number of reasons why IT advisory analysts exist and […]
For more than a decade there have been graphics that capture the evolving role of IT industry analysts as influencers in the market and on purchasing decisions. Here are […]