Involving the analysts – The need for early and often

sagecircle-need-for-early-and-often-200w.pngToo often, communications and IT vendors wait until a few weeks prior to a major announcement to brief the analysts. This is a problematic practice for a number of reasons which we will investigate in future posts.  Perhaps the most important is that the advisory analysts are talking continuously to many people that fill many roles. When analyst relations (AR) teams are not involving the analysts early and often, the vendor is missing the opportunity to influence all these other people.Advisory analysts (i.e., analyst firms where enterprise IT managers are a major part of their client base) talk or interact with IT executives, IT buyers, financial analysts, reporters, vendors, bloggers and others. Concurrently, the analysts are preparing and giving speeches, writing research, conducting teleconferences and so on. All of these activities are intertwined and occur frequently (click on the graphic to enlarge). Without information from the vendor, analysts will not be able to […]

Are the analysts laggards or have startups neglected to brief them? [Startup Saturday]

rocket-for-startups.jpgHere is a comment from a blog that is representative on the attitude about analysts at major firms covering an emerging technology:

“…I think that the Social Revolution is being underreported by Gartner et al, because the enterprise world is a laggard …”

Or maybe the thought leaders and leading providers of an emerging technology market (in this case social media technology and services) have not done a good enough job briefing the analysts and sharing market intelligence.

Myth #1 – The analysts know everything (see Analyst Myths Revisited)

The commenter was right that a significant portion of the advisor analysts’ client base is large enterprises. It is also true that most enterprise CIOs are inherently conservative in adopting technology. So advisory analysts, like Gartner, that get a lot of data points from their end-user client inquiries will not hear about cutting edge uses of emerging technology. Another critical fact in this situation is that an important source of information for the analysts is the vendor community. However, tech startups and small vendors are less likely to have formal AR programs. This means that the emerging technology crowd is not making its point-of-view heard.

So it is logical that if only one side of a debate (e.g., enterprise IT managers concerned about the risks whatever new technology) is talking to the analysts then that side’s opinion and factioids will be overweighted in research. Equally damaging for emerging technology is when end-user clients don’t talk about […]

Analyst Hierarchy of Needs — Part two — Emphasis Changes Depending on the Situation

hierarchy-by-professional-needs.jpg The SageCircle Hierarchy of Analyst Needs provides interesting insights into the professional and emotional needs of analysts (see Part one). What makes this model powerful is the application of the Hierarchy to specific relationships. In the graphic to the right we illustrate that the level of analyst (see Know your analyst – Novice, Luminary or Sage) can have a dramatic impact on their relative needs relative to the level of the pyramid of needs (see below).

The novice analyst typically is trying to get up-to-speed on his or her market coverage that encompasses a number of vendors. The novice usually has many questions, both basic and advanced, that they are desperately trying to get answered. As a consequence, their need for responsiveness and basic outreach is disproportionately larger than their need for personalized outreach or making an impact.

Contrast the novice’s needs profile with that of a sage analyst. The sage already has a […]

Analysts should let vendor AR teams know that they want AR blogs

icon-social-media-blue.jpgIt’s a classic chicken-and-egg situation: AR is not using blogs until analysts say they will read AR blogs, but analysts are wanting AR to start blogs but not asking them to which means AR postpones launching a blog… You get the idea.

Last week at IDC Directions in San Jose, analyst Rachel Happe (bio, blog, Twitter) stated in one of her presentations and in private conversations that she wishes that more vendors would use social media like blogs to interact with her. It is true that Rachel covers social media and thus has a predisposition toward it.  However, her comments were more around “I’m so busy and get so many e-mails that going to a blog is […]

Common mistakes made when using market share numbers from industry analysts

Market share numbers from the market research analysts can provide interesting insights into the direction a market is going. However, relying on the numbers alone without understanding how they are created or the assumptions that went into their research can lead to the wrong conclusions

There are a variety of common mistakes that market research consumers make. Consumers of market share numbers need to be aware of these types of mistakes and […]

The value in the Analyst Relations Diagnostic™

SageCircle AR DiagnosticOne of the SageTools that SageCircle has devoted a significant amount of effort in building is the Analyst Relations DiagnosticTM. It represents such a significant research investment and a major advancement in evaluating AR programs that we decided to trademark it. In addition, it’s one of the coolest tools this long-time analyst has seen.

The AR Diagnostic evolved as we worked to develop a systematic approach for evaluating AR programs. We had to balance gathering a comprehensive set of information with putting too much of a burden on the AR manager. In addition, the AR Diagnostic had to make analysis efficient while yielding insights that supported pragmatic recommendations. The approach selected uses text questions (e.g., AR goals for the year, concerns, executive perceptions) to gather overview information about the AR program and a detailed questionnaire that asks the respondent to answer “Yes”, “Somewhat” or “No” to statements.

SageCircle created this tool to permit quick data capture and automatically generate graphs (click on example to enlarge) showing where the AR program tracks against SageCircle’s AR Effectiveness Matrix. Using this tightly packaged information, the strategist can then create an individually tailored analysis and […]

Be Analyst Centric, not Company Centric

One of the greatest failings of inexperienced AR teams, and occasionally even seasoned AR professionals is not focusing on the analyst needs.  In a recent post about the Analyst Hierarchy of Needs we explained some issues of content.  However, schedule is also a major consideration.  Too often the AR plan is driven in the same manner as PR – with a focus on the company events, announcements, and products.  Analysts live on a different timetable and are focused on clients, markets, and trends.  Their needs, for scheduled research documents, potential speaking events, and in responding to client inquiries are the driving forces – not your announcement timetable.


As you develop your interaction calendar and plans for analyst contacts you need to focus on […]

Commenting on analyst blogs to build relationships with analysts on the cheap [Startup Saturday]

rocket-for-startups.jpgOne of the challenges for startups is how to build relationships with analysts when they do not have a services contract. Because many analyst firms put the analysts behind a paywall, startups cannot call up the analyst for an ad hoc conversation. Yes, one can do some relationship building via briefings and informal interactions at events, but not having client inquiry takes an important tool out of the AR tool box. Luckily, there is a new avenue for building relationships without requiring client status and that is commenting on the analysts’ blogs.

More and more analysts are writing blogs, either directly tied to their firm or as a personal branding tool. In addition, savvy analysts are using their blogs as idea development platforms to incorporate a broader community into their research work. This increased usage provides a huge opportunity for startups – and any AR team – to develop top-of-mind presence […]