Answering “10 Questions Analyst Relations Have on Social Media” Part 2

icon-social-media-blue.jpgRecently Jeremiah Owyang, a Forrester analyst that covers social media, spoke to a group of AR and PR professionals at a large vendor in the Silicon Valley about the use of social media. Of course, Jeremiah being Jeremiah, he posted about the meeting in 10 Questions Analyst Relations Have About Social Media. The post is interesting in that Jeremiah did not try to answer the questions he recorded, so SageCircle is going to provide our take on the answers.

The following questions were answered in part 1:

  1. Is social media a medium to influence the influencers?
  2. Are influencers impacted by social media usage of clients, vendors, and media?
  3. Now that many are creating their own messages is message control realistic?
  4. Can AR and PR benefit from listening to social media?
  5. Can AR and PR benefit from using social media to talk?
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    Now to questions 6 – 10
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  6. How do AR folks, who are traditionally accustomed to deep, often in-person relationships benefit from this? Relationships today are built on more than in-person meetings. This is especially true as both analysts and AR staff become more geographically dispersed. Social media can provide intelligence, insights and actionable information about the analysts that provides the basis for […]

Answering “10 Questions Analyst Relations Have on Social Media” Part 1

icon-social-media-blue.jpgRecently Jeremiah Owyang (bio, Twitter handle), a Forrester analyst that covers social media, spoke to a group of AR and PR professionals at a large vendor in the Silicon Valley about the use of social media. Of course, Jeremiah being Jeremiah, he blogged about the meeting in 10 Questions Analyst Relations Have About Social Media. The post is interesting in that Jeremiah did not try to answer the questions he recorded, so SageCircle is going to provide our take on the answers. 

Some of the questions are addressed to “influencers,” not necessarily only analysts. For our answers we are going to focus on the industry analysts, thought SageCircle does think a lot about the broader influencer landscape (e.g., see Fog of Influence).

  1. Is social media a medium to influence the influencers? Yes, but “influencing” is too narrow an approach. Social media can be great tools for engaging analysts, educating them on important issues, building personal relationships, getting feedback from analysts, and so on. AR teams need to think less that social media is something “special” and more that it is just part of the overall communications toolbox to be used where appropriate depending on the specific task and analyst.
  2. Are influencers impacted by social media usage of clients, vendors, and media? This depends on the analyst. Some are ignoring the whole social media phenomena because they think it is a passing fad, not relevant to their clients, or does not fit into […]

How closely does AR, PR and Sales have to coordinate?

Here is an interesting comment (click to enlarge) that might portend a problem for technology vendors in the near future:

This reminds me of the discussions in the mid-90’s around the then nascent market category of customer relattionship management (CRM). One of the perceived benefits of CRM was that it would provide companies a single view of the customer that would make life easier for the customer and provide business value to the company. But there was also huge disagreements over who would “own” the customer: customer service, marketing or sales.

Today, people are starting to play multiple roles as customers, influencers, collaborators and […]

Right usage – Drive usage of the services you buy to ensure maximize business value [Purchasing Analyst Services, Part 6]

icon-budget-cuts-105w.jpgPart 6 of the Purchasing Analyst Services series does not directly address buying, but what happens after the contract has been signed. By taking into consideration how you are going to drive usage of the services you buy, enterprise and vendor buyers of analyst services can feed that back into the purchasing process to ensure that you will get the right services from the right firms at the right price and maximize business value from the contracts.

One of the key purchasing mistakes buyers make is not examining past contracts and determining if the services were adequately used. While some larger clients of the analysts will survey users on whether the firms under contract had responsive client service, timely access to analysts, and maybe ask a subjective question about usefulness, they rarely evaluate usage patterns to see if seat holders actually use the services at an optimal level to get business value. If usage by particular seat holders is low, buyers need to reconsider whether or not these seat holders should receive seats at contract renewal time. One of the best ways to save money is to not buy services that do not get used.

In addition to analyzing usage patterns, analyst clients need to evaluate their training programs and their processes used to encourage usage of […]

Social media as a channel for analyst conversations

icon-social-media-blue.jpgFreeform Dynamics analyst Dale Vile (Twitter handle) has an interesting post, The importance of the back channel, on the Open Reasoning blog. In the post, Dale discusses the value social media can play in moving public conversations into private channels. Money quote:

“Consider, for example, that while it is obvious when a blog post or a tweet on Twitter sparks an open conversation in public, it is not so obvious when it prompts a private exchange via email, instant messaging, the telephone, or some other mechanism. Indeed, it is quite common in my experience for two related threads to be running in parallel, one in public and one in the private back channel. More commonly, however, the back channel exchanges are spin-off conversations that have their roots in the public discussion, but take it down a different route.”

However, social media is a channel in and of itself for some analysts. Jeremiah Owyang (blog, Twitter handle) from Forrester in a post on Edelman AR pro Jonny Bentwood’ Technobabble 2.0 blog explains:

“I’ll be very clear on this as an analyst. If you want to influence me, be in a conversation and dialog with me, in person, online, and wherever I go.”

Jeremiah is heavy into conversations via comments to his blog and Twitter tweets.

AMR Research disruptive technology analyst Jonathan Yarmis […]

Right price – Acquire those services that meet your basic requirements [Purchasing Analyst Services, Part 5]

icon-budget-cuts-105w.jpgIn the past the way to avoid the price increases that Forrester and Gartner are initiating on a regular basis would be to use the usual purchasing best practices. These include waiting until the last minute before the end of the quarter or better yet end of the fiscal year to finalize a contract, playing one firm off another, signing up for a multi-year contract, and consolidating purchases to obtain a larger discount.

Alas, these techniques are not as effective now with Forrester and Gartner as they were in the past.

While there are hundreds of analyst firms, with some large ones like AMR Research and IDC, the unfortunate reality is that when it comes to the market for end-user advisory analysts, Forrester and Gartner have achieved a de facto duopoly. Because the market for […]

Analysts need to chill out and don’t get so emotional about “tiering”

Note: An earlier version of this post showed up as a comment on ARmadgeddon, which was later elevated to a full post. Then I posted a version on my former employer’s corporate AR blog. However, this is a topic that still generates heat so we are now posting it on the SageCircle blog to stimulate discussion.

AR and analyst blogs that begin with vigorous discussions about tiering often end in flame wars. The loudest protesters are usually smaller analyst firms and single practitioners who believe that the practice of tiering slights and excludes them.

What we have here is a failure to communicate.

There is no generally accepted definition of what “tier” means in the context of the analyst industry, so let me offer some points to get the discussion started and lance the boil of negative emotions around this concept.

At SageCircle we promote the best practice of “rank then tier” industry analysts. This is a two-step process. An analyst list is ranked based on relevance to […]