Notes on managing your budget in a recession — SageCircle’s Coffee Talk

icon-budget-cuts-105w.jpgOn Tuesday April 1 SageCircle conducted a web-based Coffee Talk around the potential impacts of budget cuts and how AR teams can best handle them.  We began with a few slides to review the techniques for managing a budget and then opened the session to questions from the participants.

Often when resources are trimmed certain areas experience across-the-board and significant cuts.  While some of these areas can be quick to recover in the future analyst relations is generally not one of them.  Developing relationships that can truly provide a positive revenue impact takes sustained effort over time.  Once your program begins to slip the effort required to […]

Influence is not a zero-sum game so analyst influence is not necessarily diminished by the rise of bloggers

icon-social-media-blue.jpgA common thread in blog postings is that because bloggers are becoming more influential, analysts have to becoming less influential. Also, not a week goes by where we hear that some vendor executives – who often loathe the communications and tech industry analysts – have said that analysts and AR are less relevant due to social media. The common underlying idea is that influence must be a zero-sum game where there is a finite and fixed amount of influence in the universe. If one group increases their influence then other influencers have to see their influence decrease. Nonsense. 

The amount of influence is not fixed, but can grow and morph over time as we pointed out in the SageCircle’s Fog of Influence. For instance, the […]

Introducing yourself to an analyst for the first time [Startup Saturday]

rocket-for-startups.jpgStartups are often in the position of introducing themselves to industry analysts as they start or expand their AR outreach. In addition to the initial outreach, startups find themselves introducing themselves to new analysts because the analyst landscape is very dynamic.  Analysts change firms, but more importantly change coverages and areas of research.  This means that your analyst lists need to be updated regularly and there is a significant chance you will need to interact with new analysts at some point.  Startups lack the name recognition that larger communications and IT vendors can leverage, but the process of meeting new analysts applies to all vendors.

How you handle meeting new analysts is somewhat dependent on the level of experience of the analyst as well as your product or services maturity.  Novice analysts are far more likely to […]

Definition and basic characteristics – The ROI of Analyst Relationship Management Systems (part one)

icon-tools.jpgThis is the first in a series of posts that will explore the resources required and the advantages gained in using a formal analyst relationship management (ARM) system.  In this post we will look at the characteristics of a good system.  In future posts we will review some of the commercially available products, suggest some best practices in using a system, and look at the values that can be obtained.  Your comments are encouraged. 

What is an ARM?

Sales and service organizations have long used customer relationship management (CRM) systems to provide customer service, track and promote sales, and maintain general customer records.  These can range across home-grown in-house systems, commercially-available software run by IT, and hosted solutions provided by outside firms.  The value of these systems is well documented.  Public Relations departments often track their work in PR-specific systems that fit into the same three categories.  Analyst Relations teams need to look to […]

Research consumer’s turn — How industry analysts can be better prepared for inquiries

icon-phone-headset.jpgFor the most part the SageCircle blog concentrates how various members of the tech analyst ecosystem interact more effectively with the analysts (e.g., AR best practices and research consumer tips). This post is an experiment to give the community a chance to give a few friendly tips to the analysts.

SageCircle heavily encourages the use of inquiry for both communications and IT vendor AR teams and end-user client researcher consumers.  While most analysts are well prepared for inquires we have personally experienced and received comments from members of the analyst ecosystem about those analysts that might have needed a bit more coffee before getting on the phone. One not so amusing story is the analyst who could not discuss the research he had written, could not remember writing it and […]

Social media inputs need to be added to analyst opinion monitoring programs

icon-social-media-blue.jpgAnalyst opinion monitoring is a critical AR task because it contributes to AR planning, rapid response to sales impact, relationship management, message management, internal politics, and overall metrics programs. In the past, savvy AR means focused on the spoken word – using the SageCircle spoken word audit technique – in addition to the usual written word tracking, typically press quotes and written research. The 21st century raises the bar for what is required to be best-in-class savvy because AR now has to track analyst opinion as expressed in social media.

At this point in time, the analyst opinion monitoring program needs to add analyst podcasts, analyst Twitter streams, analyst blogs and […]

To generate short list placements, you need to narrow your claims to analysts [Startup Saturday]

rocket-for-startups.jpgFounders and senior executives at startups frequent speak about the future of their companies and markets with grand sweeping statements about how they are going to change the world. They also will say that every enterprise and small business or consumer should buy their product or service. While these might be legitimate statements and required when speaking to the press, when used with IT industry analysts they are often a credibility killer. After hearing such claims from a tiny vendor without many existing customers or demonstrated ability to execute, an analyst will often quietly smirk and not consider mentioning the startup to clients – potential prospects for the startup.

If analysts perceive that you are so scattershot in your target markets that you won’t be effective then they won’t risk their reputation putting you on short lists. What is more effective is […]

Are you guilty? Classic analyst complaints

Lately we have given some time to complaints that vendor and end user clients have with analysts.  But analysts have a litany of issues with the typical vendor AR teams that they will gladly speak about given the opportunity.  Unfortunately many AR teams don’t listen. 

Recalling the analyst stages post and the hierarchy of needs we blogged about recently (part one and two) you can see that the specific complaints will vary from Novice to Sage but some stand out.

Vendor is not proactive enough
SageCircle research shows that most analysts believe that Vendor AR teams spend their day in reaction mode and rarely take the opportunity for the “early and often” approach that we suggest.  Analysts want to be given information ahead of the press, and on a timetable that suits their research.  They are happy to have appropriate briefings and other interactions.  A common complaint is […]