Bursts of analyst departures in a hot research area is not unusual

The clump of departures of social media analysts – Brian Haven, Peter Kim and Charlene Li (from Forrester), and Rachel Happe (from IDC) – is not at all unusual and follows typical patterns.

There are several reasons why analysts leave a firm: just want a change or new professional challenge, recruited by another company, desire to start own firm, the current employer has grown too large and its culture has changed and a few others. In this current sitaution, there are two primary reasons why the analysts are leaving: lured by startups and hanging out their own shingle.

From late 1997 to early 2000 a number of analysts covering ecommerce/ebusiness got lured away from the firms by Dot Com startups. For example, in one week Gartner lost four of five analysts covering ecommerce. Yes, they were lured away by various startups dangling stock options, but these analysts were also annoyed at the money Gartner was investing in Jupiter Communications (ancestor of JupiterResearch) rather than beefing up Gartner’s own ecommerce/ebusiness research team.

Another common reason for analysts in a hot research area to leave a firm is to […]

Top social media analysts leave Forrester and IDC

News is that IDC Research Director Rachel Happe (Twitter handle, blog) and Forrester VP & Principal Analyst Charlene Li (Twitter handle, blogless for now) are leaving their firms.

These departures are big blows for both firms, though in different ways. Rachel was really IDC’s sole expert on social media so her departure eliminates a big piece of IDC’s intellectual property on this market. Forrester has a team of social media experts, so expertise is not the problem. For Forrester, Charlene’s departure is a loss of prestige and credibility as Charlene is one of the most highly visible experts in this market. Obviously neither loss is a fatal blow to either firm,  but they need to work to fill the holes quickly.  

(Added 7/3/08 at 5 am PT. Links to Rachel’s and Charlene’s blog posts)

Leaving IDC…Joining Mzinga Rachel

Why I’m Leaving Forrester Charlene

Here is an update on Charlene via Twitter “Looking at options, likely will be on my own with a combo of blogging, speaking, consulting, and influence building”

Remember, most analyst firms have not invested in knowledge management systems so most information that analysts get in vendor briefings and other sources is stored […]

Examples of analysts using blogs for research purposes

icon-social-media-blue.jpgAs we pointed out, analysts are increasingly using blogs as research development platforms so monitoring analyst blogs is a good way for analyst relations (AR) to get insights into analysts’ work-in-progress. With this information in hand, AR teams can then decide whether to join the conversation online or reach out to the analysts for a briefing or inquiry.

 Because relatively few AR teams are monitoring analyst blogs, those AR professionals that use this technique can achieve a competitive advantage by getting in early on developing ideas when they can have the most impact.

 Here are two recent examples of analysts using […]

Announcing a new “Page” – Analyst Tips for AR

There are many interesting blog posts by industry analysts providing tips to the analyst relations (AR) community on how best to interact with the analyst. This is very useful information for AR professionals, both to improve their AR execution, but also to get insights into their analysts.

For awhile, SageCircle has kept a running list of links to these suggestions in a blog post originally published in early February and then updated periodically. The problem is that this particular post is not easy to find unless you knew to look for it. Starting today we have elevated this information into a “Page” called Analyst Tips for AR. A Page is a non-dated post and always shows up in the “Pages” box, which we have at the top of the left navigation bar. A feature of this Page will be a list of updates. This should make it easier for SageCircle readers to keep up with the tips and tricks that the analysts are offering.

In today’s rather large update we have added 14 34 suggestions from three nine analysts. However, because we got a bit behind in updating the list, there are going to be new links added throughout […]

Analysts who blog versus Bloggers who analyze

icon-social-media-blue.jpgBy 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]