Selling the Concept of an AR-Sales Partnership – November AR Coffee Talk

icon-coffee-talks.jpgThe idea of an AR -Sales partnership is very powerful. But, how you do sell your executive sponsors and Sales it is a great idea to invest in? – You already know that working with sales in a coordinated fashion can leverage the value and influence of the industry analysts. But how do you sell this idea to your executive sponsor, the sales management, and perhaps even other team members? In this AR coffee talk we will discuss techniques for educating these groups on how AR and sales working together can drive top line revenue growth.

Join us to chat about approaches to take when discussing this concept , and what proof points to offer your stakeholders.

November 3 at 10 AM Pacific      Free – Click here to register

November 11 at 8 AM Pacific      Free – Click here to register

AR Coffee Talks

Networking and chatting with peers is a great way to expand your knowledgebase. Unfortunately, we do not always have the time to Continue reading

Creating an AR Measurement Program: Make it Practical and Powerful – A SageCircle Webinar

AR Metrics & MeasurementAnalyst relations teams need to gather metrics data to manage their program, show their strategic value, and maintain executive support.  A measurement program must be simple, yet meaningful if it is to succeed.  Determining what and how to collect the data in ways that do not impact the team’s limited time can be a challenge.  This SageCircle Webinar will provide you with succinct and actionable information that will help create the plans for a realistic and effective measurement program. 

In this SageCircle Webinar, our strategists will provide a framework for building a measurement plan. Participants will come out of the webinar with best practices and tools that will help them collect and report without adding significantly to AR’s workload.

Key Issues to be addressed in this webinar include:

  • What are typical objectives of a metrics program?
  • How extensive should a measurement program plan be to remain useful, but not too much work?
  • What are the needed administrative foundation elements?
  • How does a team set standards for data collection?

Who Should Attend:

  • Analyst relations professionals and managers
  • Public relations professionals and managers

Agenda:

AR Operational Metrics: Key Management Tool – A SageCircle Webinar

AR Metrics & MeasurementAnalyst relations teams need to gather operational metrics to manage their program – measurements of the activities they do.  By tracking and balancing activities you can ensure that the correct analysts are being contacted in the best ways; you can ensure the most efficient use of staff time; and you can track overall AR activities against the AR strategic and tactical plan.

In this webinar we review various types of operational metrics, the processes needed to obtain the data, and methods for weighting and reporting these using various techniques such as a balanced scorecard.

Key Issues to be addressed in this webinar include:

  • Why are operational metrics important and what is their role?
  • What are the operational metrics needed to better manage the AR plan?
  • What are the best practices for collecting operational metrics?
  • What are the approaches for reporting to the team or as part of a broader reporting structure?

In this SageCircle Webinar, our strategists will provide a succinct analysis of the options for gathering and reporting operational metrics. Participants will come out of the webinar with best practices and tools that will help them collect and report on operations without adding significantly to AR’s workload.

Who Should Attend:

  • Analyst relations professionals and managers
  • Public relations professionals and managers

Agenda:

  • Role of operational metrics
  • Types of operational metrics
  • Incorporating operational metrics into your Continue reading

Hone your AR skills by attending AR Measurement Week

AR Metrics & MeasurementMark your calendars for a week (dates are listed below) of intense training on AR measurement topics. Every day for a straight week, SageCircle will be putting on a different webinar on one of the most critical foundational functions for AR: measurement. Each webinar is only $95 and you can find links to the individual webinars on SageCircle.com webinar page. There is a special offer if you register for all five sessions: a $50 discount (see the special link at the bottom of this webpage to sign up with the discount).  Each 90-minute session is packed with practical tips, information, and insights.

Certificate of Completion for Analyst Relations Measurement – SageCircle is starting a new program where we will be sending a signed, hardcopy “Certificate of Completion” to AR professionals who have completed a series of training sessions on a particular topic. The first Certificate to be awarded will go to attendees of all five AR measurement webinars.

 A “Certificate of Completion” will be a useful item to add to your resume as it shows you have invested in upgrading your AR skills and your commitment to the AR profession.

The Certificate of Completion for AR Measurement will be issued for those who have attended all five of the measurement webinars.  This includes the ones you may have taken in the past as well as those in one of the upcoming Measurement Week! series. Future public webinars will also count toward completion of the training for a Certificate. Another way to earn a certificate is to attend a half-day AR Measurement Workshop, either a public version or a privately scheduled session for just your company. 

Two sets of dates: October 19-23 and October 26-30 –“What!” you say “The first week is the same week as US Symposium!” Right, but if you are not going to be in Orlando schmoozing with the Gartnerians that week it would be a great use of your time to get in some training.  Alternatively “Measurement Week Two” will be held the week after Symposium.  You can even mix the sessions across both weeks if that is more Continue reading

AR Performance Metrics: Reporting Strategic Accomplishments not Activities – A SageCircle Webinar

AR Metrics & MeasurementAnalyst relations teams need to gather operational metrics to manage their program – measurements of the activities they do.  But your executive sponsors want to see performance metrics – measurements of what you have accomplished.  These include such concepts as change in analyst perception, lead generation and short list placements, and positive analyst impact on sales.  While these are harder to obtain they are far more meaningful and demonstrate AR’s strategic value.  To help analyst relations teams focus their measurement program on strategic data, SageCircle is announcing a new public webinar focused on providing the best practices and insights needed to efficiently collect, analyze and report performance metrics. 

In this webinar we review various types of performance metrics, the processes needed to obtain the data, and methods for weighting and reporting these using various techniques such as a balanced scorecard.

Key Issues to be addressed in this webinar include:

  • How are performance metrics different from operational metrics?
  • What are the performance metrics needed to demonstrate AR’s strategic contribution to the company?
  • What are the best practices for collecting performance metrics?
  • What are the approaches for reporting on performance (aka outcomes or accomplishments), either as standalone reports or as part of a broader reporting structure?

In this SageCircle Webinar, our strategists will provide a succinct analysis of the options surrounding  Continue reading

Spoken Word Audits: Eavesdropping on Analyst and End-user Client Conversations – A SageCircle Webinar

AR Metrics & MeasurementWhile it is illegal for analyst relations (AR) teams to wiretap the phones of analysts, it is possible to eavesdrop on their conversations with enterprise IT managers and other technology and telecommunications buyers. Well, sort of.

The Spoken Word Audit is a technique to determine what opinions analysts are giving verbally to their clients and if those verbal opinions differ from published opinions.  Spoken Word Audits are considered a critical activity because advisory analysts like AMR, Forrester, Gartner and Ovum influence in-progress sales opportunities significantly via phone-based inquiries with enterprise clients, typically IT managers.  

Spoken Word Audits consist of talking with analysts and posing a set of specific scenarios in order to gauge how well the analyst understands the vendor’s positioning and messaging based on the analysts’ answers.  The scenarios should be very specific and incorporate elements that measure the various aspects of the vendor’s message, strategy and tactics.  Spoken Word Audits are conducted periodically with the same analysts and similar scenarios in order to measure how analysts’ opinions are being changed by AR activities.

This SageCircle Webinar will provide you with succinct and actionable information that will help you understand the process and technique for conducting an efficient and effective Audit.

Key Issues to be addressed in this webinar include:

  • What are the uses for a Spoken Word Audit?
  • Should Spoken Word Audits be done only by 3rd party services firms?
  • How should scenarios be generated?
  • What are the best techniques for executing a spoken word audit with an analyst?

In this SageCircle Webinar, our strategists will provide a succinct analysis of the options for Spoken Word Audits. Participants will come out of the webinar with best practices and tools that will help them execute Spoken Word Audits and report on the data gathered.

Who Should Attend:

  • Analyst relations professionals and managers

Agenda:

  • Context
    • Measurement & Reporting Overview
    • Conversational Interactions
  • Planning
  • Scenarios
  • Data Continue reading

Incorporating Social Media Metrics into Your Measurement Program – A SageCircle Webinar

icon-social-media-blue.jpgSome of today’s new challenges for AR teams are how to determine if there is value to monitoring analyst opinions on blogs, Twitter, and social networks like LinkedIn; how to do the monitoring; and how to use the information gathered to create meaningful metrics. To help analyst relations teams be proactive with the emerging measurement requirements for social media, SageCircle is announcing a new public webinar focused on providing the tools and insights needed to efficiently collect, analyze and report social media metrics. 

This webinar is designed to teach you how to measure analyst social media traffic, the various methods for automating your social media monitoring for effective data gathering, and ways to measure both the mentions and the tonality.  We will discuss how to incorporate social media into your balanced scorecard and provide concise reporting to executives.

Key Issues to be addressed in this webinar include:

  • How do social media metrics fit into the overall AR measurement and reporting program?
  • What are the social media metrics needed for both performance and operational measurements?
  • What are the best practices for collecting social media metrics?
  • What are the approaches for reporting on social media activities and outcomes, either as standalone reports or as part of a broader reporting structure?

In this SageCircle Webinar, our strategists will provide a succinct analysis of Continue reading

Train content developers to save time

“Geez, I wasted so much time just trying to fix this VP’s presentation I should have done it myself!” Alas, this is a common lament that SageCircle strategists hear when we are chatting with clients about how the preparation is going for a briefing, SAS day, and so on. The lament concerns that having someone on an executive’s staff prepare a presentation is not the time saver for analyst relations (AR) they had hoped. The time spent back and forth trying to get a presentation fixed often turns into a huge time sink for AR.

The answer is not for AR to give up and do all the presentations themselves. Rather, AR should invest a modest amount of time in developing templates for different types of presentations, examples, and also training for content developers. A little upfront training will save time on the immediate and future analyst interactions as content developers who “get” the analysts’ information needs will generate PowerPoint files that will require much less effort on AR’s part.

Content developer training should be part of an overall training plan (see this post), which should be part of your AR Strategic & Tactical Plan.

SageCircle Technique for Analyst Relations Teams:

  • Develop a short training plan for the extended team, which includes content developers
  • Generate presentation templates that lay out what slides and associated content are appropriate for Continue reading

Analysts can be excellent guest speakers at Sales training sessions

icon-dollar-euro.jpgAn interesting service that analyst relations can provide the company’s sales organization is arranging for an industry analyst to be a guest speaker at an internal sales training event. This could span the range from a main stage speech at the annual sales kickoff to a 15-minute discussion as part of a regular weekly sales team call. Topics can cover a broad range from changes in the competitive landscape, to what the analyst is hearing from end users, to why enterprise technology buyers use the analysts. We have yet to hear of a situation where the analyst session was not one of the highest rated sessions at a major sales event. Of course, the analyst has to have great content and snappy presentation skills. But in general feet-on-street sales representatives love to hear what the analysts have to say and to grill them with tough questions. 

There are a number of benefits for all constituencies in having an analyst guest speaker:

  • Your Sales representatives – valuable information and insights to help them close business
  • Sales training department – a special guest that will “perk up the audience,” especially after lunch at a multi-day sales kickoff
  • Sales managers
    • An agenda item on a regular team call that will get the sales staff to either a) attend and/or b) stop doing email with the mute button on and pay attention
    • Competitive market insights that will help them fine tune their plans and Continue reading

Analyst Relations budget – Use it, don’t lose it

It’s now July 22nd, about half way through the third calendar quarter. Many communications and IT vendors have budget policies in place where departments lose any budget that is not spent within a particular fiscal quarter or calendar year. AR managers frequently find it difficult to find a good use for remaining budget, especially when it might only be a few thousand dollars. Are you kicking yourself because you had had left over budget at the end of the last quarter that you did not use? In addition, you don’t want to blow any remaining budget on something that might not be used to its fullest extent, like a reprint of a so-so research note or a Gartner Advisory seat for someone who probably won’t do inquiries.

An excellent use of remaining budget is AR staff development because it increases efficiency and effectiveness, boosts staff morale and adds variety to the job. Staff development  is even more important during a recession when bonuses are meager and pay raises are not likely.

To make it easy for AR managers to spend odd amounts of end-of-the-quarter budget, SageCircle offers its services à la carte as well as by annual subscription. We have many services under $1,000 such as webinars ($95), Online SageContent Library ($395), AR briefings ($495), workshops ($495) and advisory blocks (2 hours $495, 5 hours $995) and seminars ($995).

Another advantage of SageCircle AR training offerings is that many are 90 minutes or less, making them easy to fit into a busy schedule or a regular staff call. Oh, did I mention that you can conveniently buy any SageCircle service via credit card to ensure you get it into this quarter’s purchases? We will also work around the clock to complete any paperwork you need for traditional purchase order/invoice.

Here are three examples of how you can mix-and-match SageCircle training services to meet various needs:

AR continuing education – This example assumes an experienced AR staff located in one office. The first two items are free, which of course is a great price. Using the AR DiagnosticTM as a continuing education tool is atypical, but the questions asked Continue reading

AR Performance Metrics – July AR Coffee Talk

icon-coffee-talks.jpgThere are two types of AR metrics – operational and performance. Operational metrics are useful for the AR team only. Proving the value of AR requires data on the performance of the AR program rather than simple counts of analyst mentions or briefings held.

Join us to chat about what make good performance metrics that demonstrate the strategic value of AR.

August 4 at 8 AM Pacific – Free – Click here to register

August 13 at 10 AM Pacific – Free – Click here to register

AR Coffee Talks

Networking and chatting with peers is a great way to expand your knowledgebase. Unfortunately, we do not always have the time to Continue reading

Managing your pesky executives requires training, oops, I mean “strategic updates”

seminar.jpgIBM AR manager extraordinaire John Simonds (Twitter handle) posted Managing the Executive’s Ego’s; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly last week on his Delusions of Adequacy blog. It is a very useful post as it discusses the types of executives that AR teams often encounter. I am sure that many of the AR professionals reading John’s post can only shake their head in agreement as they think about their own experiences. 

However, it is possible to change some executives from “The Bad” into “The Good” and make “The Good” even better (we are not sure there is much one can do with “The Ugly”). What it takes is education. So how does AR educate executives about the impact of the analysts and analyst interaction best practices?

First, you don’t call it education or training. We all know that the typical executive is beyond training. Rather, AR needs to position the education as “strategic briefings” or “strategic updates” because those are something executives will agree to do.

Second, AR has to engage in retail not wholesale sessions. You cannot expect execs to show up in a classroom, so AR needs to invest a little time in meeting one-on-one with execs in their offices.

Third, AR has to keep the sessions short,sweet, and very focused. Hone your content to Continue reading

SageCircle Special Webinar: Impact of the Recession on the Analysts and AR – Time for Ruthless Action

seminar.jpgThe worldwide economic downturn is impacting analyst firms that only a few months ago thought they would see slowing of their revenues, but not much more. In the last month, eight analyst firms – including Forrester and Gartner – have announced layoffs. More are surely to come.

And it is not just the analysts who are caught up in this recession. Analyst relations (AR) programs often get caught in the downdraft of a recession experiencing budget cuts, headcount freezes or reductions, and less analyst interaction support from executives and domain experts. If AR is to avoid being the target of budget and headcount cuts is it critical to ensure that it is aligned with corporate priorities and is demonstrating positive economic contributions. While this seems obvious, too many AR programs are so caught up in reactive mode or simply doing normal day-to-day tasks that they don’t see the danger forming. As a consequence, these programs have a greater likelihood of getting cut than those AR managers and teams that proactively or preemptively move to change their focus. 

To help AR professionals and teams take a strategic approach to dealing with the rapidly changing environment, SageCircle is announcing a new public webinar focused on the recession’s impact on the analyst ecosystem and the actions AR needs to take.

Key Issues to be addressed in this webinar include:

  • How is the analyst ecosystem impacted by recessions?
  • Will the “Big 2″ advisory firms see their influence impacted by the recession?
  • What are the immediate steps that AR should take when analysts are laid off?
  • How will the recession cause AR to work differently and spend differently?

In this SageCircle Webinar, our strategists – who have experienced recessions both Continue reading

Adding more sessions to make it easier for you to attend AR training

Frequently we hear from AR professionals wanting to attend one of our seminars, webinars or Coffee Talks saying they could not attend the scheduled session. In the very next sentence is usually “when will the session be scheduled again or do you have a replay?” To answer the request for additional scheduling options, we are happy to announce that we are greatly expanding the times we schedule webinars and Coffee Talks. Every month we will have two sessions for the Coffee Talk, two sessions for the new webinar and two repeats. In addition, most months will have public seminars scheduled as well.

To help you keep track of all these options, we are launching a new page on the SageCircle blog called, not surprising, Calendar to graphically display all the scheduled training for a number of months (see below for an example). You can find new page in the left-hand navigation menu in the “Pages” section. Currently we have February, March and April posted and will be adding additional months soon. If you to know about an AR training event in the May through July timeframe, please send us an email (info [at] sagecirle.com) and we’ll happily send you the information.

If you are a regular reader of the SageCircle blog, especially for breaking news in the analyst ecosystem ( e.g., news around the six firms that have laid off analysts in the last three weeks), a great way to show your support for this free service is by signing up for one of our events. Thanks.

 We look forward to seeing you at one of our events.

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  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday  
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9 am PT
AR-Sales Partnering
       
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    Webinar
8 am PT
How to rank & tier analysts
Coffee Talk
12 pm PT
AR-Sales Partnering
Webinar
12 pm PT
Intro to Blogging for AR
   
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  Seattle
Seminar
 
AR Effectiveness
Seattle
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Are you wasting time on the wrong analysts? Announcing “Ranking and Tiering,” a SageCircle webinar

seminar.jpgOne of the biggest ongoing mistakes that AR professionals make is not using a rigorous methodology for managing their analyst lists. This often leads to too many analysts on their lists and too many analysts designated as “Tier 1.” This state of affairs leads to inefficiency and ineffectiveness as AR teams are spread too thin to effectively influence the most relevant analysts. Another problem is a list that is missing relevant analysts, which can lead to uninformed analysts negatively impacting your sales cycles. While bad enough in good economic times this mistake can be fatal in recessions when all corporate functions are being scrutinized for efficiency as well as contribution to revenues and corporate/business unit objectives. The quality of your analyst list brings up a number of key issues for AR:

  • Do you have a formal analyst list management process that can withstand executive scrutiny?
  • Are your list management processes efficient enough to permit quick changes to reflect the changing company priorities or upheavals in the analyst community like layoffs?
  • Do you have the content to educate your stakeholders about how analyst lists are managed and the importance of prioritizing the analysts?
  • Are you prepared for the analysts to “go around” you and interact directly with your executives to get their “tier” upgraded?
  • Do you have the tools to efficiently manage and share your lists?

To help out AR professionals and teams take a strategic approach to creating and maintaining analyst lists, SageCircle is announcing a new public webinar focused on the methodology for creating an airtight analyst list.

In this SageCircle AR Webinar, we will provide you with succinct and actionable information that will help you develop a solid and efficient analyst list management process. The agenda for the 90-minute session includes: Continue reading

SageCircle is extending its AR Seminars to the Seattle area

seminar.jpgDue to popular demand, SageCircle is expanding our seminars beyond the Silicon Valley. The first location is Bellevue, strategically placed between Seattle and Redmond. In addition, for those of you in Portland, it is only a three-hour drive (faster and much less expensive than flying) up lovely Interstate 5.

Seminars are held from 12:30 pm to 5:30 pm on day one and 8 am to 11:30 am on day two. This approach has two benefits. First, out-of-town attendees can use the morning of day one to travel to the conference site and then return home the afternoon of day two. Second, full day seminars can be like drinking from a fire hose with fatigue settling in the middle of the afternoon. Our approach gives attendees a chance to absorb the first half of the content and then start the second half refreshed and armed with questions about the content from session one.

The afternoon-morning approach also gives us a chance to schedule a happy hour for networking.

You can sign up for either (or both) seminars by visiting www.SageCircle.com and clicking on the appropriate link on the right side of the page. Call 503-636-1500 or e-mail “info [at] sagecircle.com” to schedule a call about how SageCircle can help take your career and your AR program to the next level.

Please spread the word and let’s see if we can get a great turnout in the Pacific Northwest.

SageCircle seminars in Seattle

Announcing the SageCircle Webinar “AR in a Recession – Refocusing Priorities and Activities”

Analyst Relations (AR) programs often get caught in the downdraft of a recession experiencing budget cuts, headcount freezes or reductions, and less analyst interaction support from executives and domain experts. If AR is to avoid being the target of budget and headcount cuts is it critical to ensure that it is aligned with corporate priorities and is demonstrating positive economic contributions. While this seems obvious, too many AR programs are so caught up in reactive mode or simply doing normal day-to-day tasks that they don’t see the danger forming. As a consequence, these programs have a greater likelihood of getting cut than those AR managers and teams that proactively or preemptively move to change their focus. 

When AR programs are considering what has to change during a recession they often focus only on cutting spending. However, this is not enough. AR professionals should remember to both work as well as spend differently. Only doing one is not enough.

In this SageCircle Webinar (see agenda below), our strategists – who have experienced recessions both as AR professionals and as a top Gartner analyst – will provide succinct and practical advice on how AR programs need to work and spend differently in this recession. Participants will come out of the webinar with best practices and tools that will help them survive the current recession and thus provide their employers with a competitive advantage by continuing to influence the industry analysts. Key issues that will be addressed include:

  • How should AR conduct a zero-based rethink of its priorities and activities?
  • What is the impact of the recession on the AR measurement and reporting program?
  • Does the recession change the priority given to an AR-Sales partnership program?
  • What AR spending cuts should be considered and how will analyst contract reductions impact relationships?
  • Should AR shamelessly market its contributions to its executive sponsors?

There will be plenty of time for your observations and questions. See below for the agenda

The cost of this information-packed session is only $95. You can register by Continue reading

Announcing SageCircle’s Advanced AR seminar “STRATEGIC ISSUES: Challenges for the AR Team”

The advanced AR seminar has been finalized!

“STRATEGIC ISSUES: Challenges for the AR Team” is the newest addition to SageCircle’s AR training portfolio. Thanks to all of you who participated in the survey on what topics should be included in the seminar. This seminar is designed for experienced AR staff and managers who need to move beyond the fundamentals.  Spread over two half-day sessions it includes information, checklists, and templates to create actionable AR programs that can demonstrate true business value.  The seminar will be January 13-14 in Cupertino and you can register on our website. Here is a sneak peek at the agenda (click here for the brochure with full agenda):

  • Planning – Creating a strategic plan that moves the team into proactive activities, promotes AR with executives and colleagues, and incorporates new methods of dealing with analysts.
  • Strategic Projects – Five key groups of AR activities that build the AR program. These include strategic messaging, influencing Magic Quadrant positioning, Customer case study programs, merger and acquisition projects, and new category creation.
  • Innovative Analyst Interactions – Breaking away from the traditional to deal with difficult analysts, create a plan to influence major analyst events, or alternatives to consulting days.
  • Measurement – Creating a cohesive metrics plan that tracks performance and AR impact.
  • Sales – Planning an AR-Sales partnership program that demonstrates AR ROI

For more information call us at 503-636-1500 or send an email to info [at] sagecircle dot com.

Knowledge about the industry analysts can be a competitive advantage so create a training plan that includes all constituencies

Depth of detail depends on the audienceBest-in-class AR programs do not take training for granted.  They understand that communications and IT industry analysts can touch or be touched by many parts of the company and that a good training program is key for ensuring that all interactions with analysts are positive for the company. In addition to outbound activities a training program that includes inbound activites such as research use and effective inquiries can help you get more value from your analyst firm contracts.  This breadth of training will cover all aspects of communication with analysts and involve each constituency within the company (click on the graphic to enlarge).

It is important to note that training is not just for large Communications and IT Vendors, but should be addressed as part of any company, regardless of size, that deals with Continue reading

Take a deep breath before responding to analyst commentary

Almost every week, SageCircle strategists do inquiries about how to respond to an analyst quote in the press or a piece of published research. Most often, the AR staffer is more than annoyed because the analyst’s words have caused a brouhaha with his or her management. Sometimes the AR staffer is so angry that he or she wants to call the analyst’s manager – or CEO – and complain, or put out a press release about the analyst’s shortcomings. While this could be satisfying emotionally, frankly it would be counterproductive. 

Rather than attacking the analyst by putting out a press release or talking to his or her manager, AR is better served by taking a deep breath, analyzing the situation, and developing a campaign to change the analyst’s opinion. Unfortunately, implementing a campaign to change an analyst’s opinion takes time and your executives probably want something done today. Consequently, one of AR’s challenges in this situation is how to manage the expectations of executives Continue reading

Is There a Need for a Magic Quadrant on the Analysts?

"Magic Quadrant" for the analystsFrom time-to-time, we get a suggestion – sometimes tongue-in-cheek, other times quite serious – that we need to create a Magic Quadrant focused on the analysts. One client passed along that he heard the two axes could be “The Analyst Gets It” and “We Care that the Analyst Gets It.” This remark produced both a chuckle and an “hmmm.” 

The idea behind the Magic Quadrant is to provide a visual snapshot of a market or situation to provide the reader with a framework for making a decision or shaping an opinion. Graphical representations of data are generally considered to be the most powerful form of information delivery. Thus, internally using a graphic to show the analyst landscape vis-à-vis your company can dramatically shape an executive’s perception about AR.

To be effective, the graphic needs (click on example MQ to enlarge) to convey succinct, interesting and provocative information. The axes above are a good starting point. Knowing whether an “analyst (not firm) gets it” is critical to AR because it impacts the information campaign directed toward that analyst. Gauging whether the analyst is relevant (“We care”) is just as important because it determines whether effort should be expended to influence him/her. For example, if an executive insists on briefing an analyst with low relevance, a well thought-out graphic could help persuade him/her not to bother.

So, how do we determine the key issues to map on Continue reading

77% of industry analysts would read AR blogs, if…

…”they had relevant, useful, timely information.” There is always a catch, eh?

icon-social-media-blue.jpgFrankly, this percentage is significantly higher than we would have guessed before we conducted our survey of thousands of industry analysts. Even though we are ardent proponents of AR using social media, we expected that many in the analyst community might be adopting a “wait and see” attitude at best. However, we were pleasantly surprised that many analysts said they would read AR blogs. Here is the full question and percentage replies:

Question:     I would read vendor AR blogs if they had relevant, useful, timely information (pick one)

  • 20% – Yes, regularly
  • 31% – Yes, occasionally
  • 26% – Yes, episodically related to major news or announcement coverage
  •   5% – No, because I do not read blogs
  •   8% – No, because I do not have time
  •   9% – No, because most vendor blogs are a waste of time
  •   1% – Undecided

This would indicate there is an obvious opportunity for AR teams to Continue reading

Get onboard the AR social media train

Got a problem analyst? Screaming won’t help.

That primal scream of frustration from the throats of many AR professionals often comes as a reaction to something that a “problem analyst” has said or done. Be it the killing of a promising sales deal or an uninformed but highly visible press quote, problem analysts can wreck havoc on the AR team’s plans and standing within their own companies. How should AR professionals react when they are confronted by the wrath of an executive screaming?  What activities should a team plan to turn around negative analysts?

An approach that rarely works is for the AR manager to turnaround and scream, whether at the analyst or the analyst’s boss.  What does work is for the AR manager to step back, take a deep breath and calmly analyze the situation.

One issue that AR has is determining whether or not it even makes sense to invest any effort into turning around or countering a problem analyst. Frankly, many problem analysts are not worth the effort because they have little influence. The next issue is to determine the type of problem analyst you are confronting (e.g., pragmatist, know it all, budget vampire, well-known press hound, rock star, among others) because different types of problem analysts require different approaches.

The critical step – if the decision is to turn the analyst around – is creating a plan to address the situation. Oh, don’t forget to equip your sales force with information and tools to mitigate negative commentary in the meantime. Of course AR has to do this while your executives are breathing fire down your neck.

Announcing the SageCircle “Dealing with Problem Analysts” Webinar

Our SageCircle AR Webinar will provide you with succinct and actionable information that will help you analyze your situation and determine Continue reading

Announcing “Introduction to Twitter,” a special SageCircle webinar

After we sent out the email last week about the AR Twitter Directory, we received a great response from tweeting AR professionals that wanted to be added to the directory and page views were quite high. However, we also got a lot of emails along with comments like: 

            “I only have a vague notion of what twitter is!”

            “I’m thinking about trying out Twitter soon”

            “Would like to, but how do I get started?”

            “How do I find the time?”

            “I’m a bit skeptical about it …”

            “…unfortunately I am not hip to the Twitter scene yet …”

There are over 120 analysts in the Analyst Twitter Directory with new names being added weekly. So if some of your top analysts are on Twitter, shouldn’t you be on Twitter as well?  To help out AR professionals and teams get started with Twitter, SageCircle is announcing a new public webinar focused on using and understanding this bleeding edge form of communication.

In this SageCircle AR Webinar, we will provide you with succinct and actionable information that will help you get up-to-speed on Twitter as a user, and help you understand the implications for AR. The agenda for the 90-minute session includes:

  1. What is micro-blogging and Twitter
  2. How are analysts and AR professionals using Twitter
  3. Getting started on Twitter
  4. Tips on being an efficient Twitter user
  5. Setting up an Continue reading
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