Forrester Research Q3 2009 earnings call scheduled

logo-forrester.gifForrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR)  earnings call is 11:00 a.m. Eastern time on Thursday, October 29, 2009 . The earnings call is a webcast that you can find on Forrester’s investor relations webpage. This call is coming the day before Gartner’s earnings call.

SageCircle doesn’t listen to the Gartner and Forrester earnings calls with the same mindset as a financial analyst. What we listen for are clues to how the two publicly traded analyst firms are evolving their business models and research methodologies that might impact their clients, end user or vendor, especially when it comes to contract negotiations. I also listen to gather intelligence about their end-user client bases, which provides input into determining how their influence might be changing, which can be very useful for analyst relations teams. We will publishing summaries and analysis after each call is completed.

Gartner, Inc. 3Q 2009 earnings call is scheduled – will it continue to add enterprise clients?

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Gartner, Inc.  (NYSE:IT) announced that its earnings conference call will be on October 30, Friday, at 10:00 a.m. ET. The earnings call is a webcast that you can find on Gartner’s investor relations webpage. This earnings call happens the day after Forrester’s Q3 call.

This earnings call should provide critical insight into whether enterprise technology buyers are changing their advisory analyst contract purchasing behaviors. In recent recessions, IT managers (the typical tech buyer client) have, as a group, been steady in their purchases of Gartner and Forrester services (and Giga and META before they were acquired). Most of the advisory analyst firm research syndicated contract revenue volatility is due to vendors who often cut their marketing budgets steeply during recessions.  Because Gartner is not very vendor centric the earnings call information correlates closely to end user activity. So far in 2009, Gartner has added 555 $1bn+ enterprise clients:

  • 249 new enterprise clients Q1 2009
  • 305 new enterprise clients in Q2 2009

Enterprise technology buyer purchasing patterns are important because they are an important indicator of Continue reading

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

Gartner Statement about the ZL Technologies lawsuit

SageCircle received the following official statement on October 21, 2009 from Gartner about the ZL Technologies lawsuit. Thanks to Andrew Spender, VP Corporation Communications (Twitter), for sending this.

“We are aware of the complaint filed in California by ZL Technologies regarding their location in a Gartner Magic Quadrant. While it’s not our practice to discuss pending litigation, we do consider this complaint to be completely without merit and have moved to dismiss it in the courts. While we regret that ZL Technology is dissatisfied with its location in the Magic Quadrant, we remain committed to providing our clients with independent research and advice about the products that we cover.” -Gartner, Inc.

ZLTI v Gartner in logos

Lack of hands-on testing for products by industry analysts [AR Practitioner Question]

question-mark-graphic.jpgQUESTION:  It disturbs me that analysts don’t have hands-on experience with the products they advise their clients about.  How are can they be credible?

ANSWER: Analysts, especially at the larger end-user centric firms like Gartner and Forrester, have access to what they would claim is the world’s largest testing lab – their clients. Analysts covering hot product areas, both software and hardware, are hearing from scores of clients every month who are evaluating products or using them in production. As a consequence, the analyst firms claim that they can develop a series of data points that quite accurately portray the quality of a vendor’s products. 

Note: This is a classic SageCircle article from our pre-blogging newsletter. This particular article appeared in March 2001. It is being brought into the blogging era because ZL Technologies in its lawsuit against Gartner criticizes Gartner because it does not do “a single minute of independent testing of the products it purports to evaluate” (page 9 of the original court filing).

SageCircle Technique:

  • Vendors can help themselves by ensuring that their product evaluation programs for prospects are Continue reading

This not the first time that Gartner has been sued nor will it be the last

Software vendor ZL Technologies has sued Gartner, Inc. about the impact of the firm’s research on its business (see the court documents on its website). Needless to say, this has gotten the attention of twits and bloggers. Here are two example blog posts 

There are legitimate criticisms about any particular firm’s research methodology, whether a standalone piece of research or a recurring research deliverable like IDC’s market share models or Aberdeen Axis. SageCircle, vendors, and others have certainly given Gartner suggestions for improving the Magic Quadrant in private meetings, on blog posts, and in public forums like the Gartner Quarterly AR Call. And to be fair, Gartner has tweaked its methodology a little for the Magic Quadrant over the years, but probably more in response to the Forrester Wave than what they hear from the vendors.

ZLTI v Gartner in logos

There is also the issue that many technology buyers who use the Magic Quadrant as an input to decision making do not know how to Continue reading

What to do when you only have a few dollars for AR

rocket-for-startups.jpgThere are many IT vendors that are either launching or reinvigorating their AR program for the IT industry analysts (e.g., Gartner, Ovum and Yankee Group). It is typical for nascent AR programs to have a small budget to work with. This heightens the importance of spending decisions because when there is little money the margin for error shrinks considerably. 

The first priority for AR managers is that they demonstrate effectiveness early to get more support for AR. This requires a ruthless focus on the key success factors and how money spent can help achieve those factors. While there are many reasons why IT vendors invest* in AR, more often than not the initial reason is to obtain increased visibility with the analysts talking to their prospects. This post focuses on that premise.

First, spend your money with the right analysts. There are three primary types of analysts: end-user advisory, market research, and white paper for hire. It is the end-user advisory firms that have the hundreds of thousands of personal interactions with IT buyers every year. Thus, dollars spent with those analyst firms will have the biggest payback by obtaining relationship-building tools. Advisory firm contracts provide the ability to do inquiries on a frequent basis, which are invaluable for gaining insights into the analysts’ thought processes and research agenda, getting “top of mind” presence, doing spoken word audits, and developing a personal relationship. These types of activities will greatly enhance an IT vendor’s visibility with their primary analysts leading to analysts being more comfortable recommending the vendor to their clients.

Market research firms are less important because their clients are vendors and financial firms. The exception is when the market researchers are affiliated with an end-user advisory firm (e.g., Dataquest and Gartner) where a well-crafted and keenly executed “market driver” study can be used to influence the advisory analysts. In this case, the AR program might be able to leverage their company’s research/competitive intelligence’s market research budget for this project.

White paper for hire firms should NOT get any of your meager AR budget. These analysts’ primary clients are vendors’ marketing and Continue reading

The Top 5 – Mistakes concerning SAS days

Here are the top mistakes by IT vendors when using SAS (aka analyst consulting days) as a tool for briefing the analysts, marketing support or as an advisor. 

   5)   Not using preliminary phone briefings and inquiries to set the groundwork before the analyst shows up for the on-site day.

   4)   Not getting a full day’s worth of time and effort when using an analyst as a speaker at a marketing event.

   3)   Not doing sufficient planning in advance including agenda setting.

   2)   Not being disciplined about sticking to the agenda (e.g., wanting the analyst to contribute to your strategy and plans in order to get psychological buy-in but spending the entire day briefing the analyst on less important issues).

…and the number one worst practice is

1)     Having the wrong reason for doing analyst consulting days in the first place. Too many IT vendors think of paying analyst consulting day fees as some sort of a bribe to get favorable coverage. The reality is that a consulting day is a way to get the analyst’s uninterrupted 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:

IT managers use analyst inquiry much differently from vendors

One of the sources of disconnect between vendors’ perception of the advisory analysts (e.g., Forrester and Gartner) and the reality is how very differently vendors and end users (usually enterprise IT managers) make use of the phone-based inquiry that comes with annual subscriptions.

IT managers frequently use analyst inquiry to manage the risk of buying a technology product or service. In addition, IT managers will call upon the analysts to give them intelligence and insights when they are negotiating a contract with a vendor. Often this information and advice is provided over many short phone calls touching on very specific topics, e.g., “Vendor X came to present to the team yesterday and said they could…” or “Vendor Y appears to have better support and should I…..” As a consequence, IT managers see the analysts as allies when it comes to making the best purchasing decisions and paying the right price. In fact, many IT managers think that rather than an expense, a Gartner or Forrester contract is an investment because they end up saving so much on their vendor contracts.

Vendors just do not have the same experience with analysts. First, vendor clients of analysts rarely use inquiry with the same frequency as end users. Furthermore, the typically vendor client never calls an advisory analyst to get advice on how to save money on purchase. So for the vendor executive, the only thing s/he sees is an expensive contract that is rarely used and provides no tangible value. No wonder vendor executives are befuddled by why end users continue to sign up for advisory analyst contracts.

We bring this up because a SageCircle strategist was talking to two senior and savvy vendor executives who normally understand the analysts. The executives were completely amazed to hear about Continue reading

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

Value for Effort

Analyst Relations PlanningOne of the slides we consistently include in any of SageCircle’s training content, private or public, covers value for effort. Basically this is our discussion about implementing only those activities or best practices where the analyst relations program receives more value back than the effort put into it.

For example, SageCircle consistently encourages AR professionals to pay attention analyst usage of social media. However, we also consistently say that AR needs to limit the number of analysts that they monitor on social media so as not to use too much time. This recommendation then dovetails into a discussion of the need for a good analyst list ranking and tiering framework to make sure that the AR team is focusing on the most relevant analysts.

SageCircle Technique:

  • AR teams need to careful vet any new programs or best practices for relevance and practicality

Bottom Line: The most precious resource that AR has is its time. While there are many Continue reading

TowerGroup acquired by Corporate Executive Board

Logo - TowerGroup10/13/09 2:25 pm – TowerGroup announces acquisition by Corporate Executive Board

Corporate Executive Board has announced that it will acquire TowerGroup from MasterCard Advisors for an undisclosed price. MasterCard Advisors, a subsidiary of MasterCard International, acquired TowerGroup in February 2004 from Reuters Enterprise. Reuters acquired TowerGroup in 1999.

Many of you might not be familiar with the Corporate Executive Board. The CEB is a research and education firm that delivers data and tools, best practice research, and peer insight to enterprise executives and professional staff. It is a public company (NASDAQ: EXBD) with revenue of $228m and net income of $18m in 1H09.  It has more than 5,100 client companies and 120,000 members. Its business model is primarily built on annual subscriptions with access to published research, inquiries with researchers, and access to peers through networking councils. So CEB sounds like an IT advisory analyst firm like Gartner in many respects. However, CEB does not research technology markets and vendors like a Gartner or IDC, rather it focuses on best practices for managing a corporate function. 

SageCircle has been briefed by TowerGroup. Our analysis is that the TowerGroup acquisition is clearly an expansion of Corporate Executive Board’s services and not a consolidation move to eliminate a competitor. This is similar to Forrester’s Giga acquisition, but different from Gartner’s grab of META which was clearly a strategic move to keep META out of Yankee Group and kill a competitor. Regardless of motivation, it is still possible that Continue reading

Bill of Rights for industry analyst vendor prospects

SageCircle has addressed the never ending myth that large advisory firms like Gartner and Forrester require vendors to pay in order to be included on research in posts such as You don’t have to be a Gartner client to get a good “dot” on the Magic Quadrant and Analyst integrity issues – the urban legend that won’t die. In addition, Gartner VP and Distinguished Analyst Tom Bittman (bio, blog, Twitter) has addressed the issue in A Rant – My Integrity as an Analyst along with Gartner Client Ombudsman Nancy Erskine who posted It’s Still True: Gartner Opinion is Not for Sale. A final point is that large firms explicitly make it part of their policy to state vendor briefings are not contingent upon being a client. For instance, on Gartner Vendor Briefings page there is the statement in the first paragraph “Gartner analysts schedule briefings at their discretion based purely on an interest in the vendor, its technologies and its marketplace, not because of any fee or contractual relationship.”

So why does this myth still persist? One reason is that there are still “white paper for hire” firms that will generate papers favorable to the client. So these “white paper for hire” firms taint the perception about all analyst firms. In addition, there some unscrupulous sales representatives at major firms like Forrester, Gartner, and so on that have played the research placement card when they desperately needed to close a contract or risked being fired. So part of the problem is that a few rotten apples at the major firms spoil the reputation of the entire firm. Finally, while analysts have policies against pay-to-play on their websites, has anybody ever read them? 

Killing the myth

So what can analyst firms do to drive a stake through the heart of this pernicious perception? They can create a “Bill of Rights for Vendor Prospects” that clearly states the policy and that every firm sales representative is required to give to a new prospect or existing clients working on a contract renewal. By explicitly stating the policy, which would include a provision that the firm would deal harshly with any sales representative that crossed the line, the firms would stand a better chance of stamping out this myth.

 While the focus of this proposal is on vendors who are (or are not) clients of the advisory firms the concept plays well to the end-user clients who are purchasing services.  They expect the advice they are receiving is objective and not tainted by undue influence.  A more public statement of the policy might be of value in selling to those clients as well.

To get the process started, here is an outline of what a “Bill of Continue reading

You don’t have to be a Gartner client to get a good “dot” on the Magic Quadrant

One of the continuing myths in the IT industry is that Gartner demands payment from vendors for placement on its research. This even came up in a comment – anonymously posted of course – on a blog post written by Gartner VP and Distinguished Analyst Tom Bittman (bio, blog, Twitter) called A Rant – My Integrity as an Analyst.

SageCircle knows this is not the case from personal experience, but also because we get collaborating evidence from our clients. Just last week we were on an inquiry with a client, a small software company, who was included on a Magic Quadrant in the Visionary square months before they even considered signing up for a Gartner contract. The reason for the inquiry with SageCircle? In the draft update of the Magic Quadrant their dot had moved to the left. Yikes. However, the reason for the less favorable position had nothing to do with their client status or the size of their contract. Rather it was because they had not noticed that the lead author on the Magic Quadrant had changed. Once we figured this out, they understood that their problem was that they had never briefed the new analyst.

We also know of large vendors who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars with Gartner year in and year out only never to get onto a Magic Quadrant on which they wanted to be included.

However, in the past it has also been true that some unscrupulous Gartner sales representatives have played the research placement card when they desperately needed to 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

How AR used analyst inquiry to help an end user make a decision leading to a $1.2m win (Case Study)

icon-dollar-euro.jpgThis post is one in a series of case studies on analyst relations teams have worked with their sales colleagues to grow the company’s top line. Readers that have AR-sales stories they would like to turn into case studies are encouraged to contact SageCircle. We will do the work of creating a case study at no charge. 

About the Company: The IT vendor in this case is a multi-billion dollar server and storage hardware company that sells to large enterprises with a direct sales force. The analyst relations (AR) team consists of one director and three AR managers. There is a formal but early stage AR-Sales Partnership program in place.

Situation: This project was kicked off by an email from a sale representative to the analyst relations (AR) lead on the AR-Sales Partnership program requesting assistance. The email read in part:

“…IT shops in large healthcare organizations are very project driven.  They get funding for special projects, approved by the Board of Directors, which are unpredictable at best.  …

Recently, we were approached by <prospect> to provide a hardware quote for about $1.2Million of servers and storage.  They have been tasked to present the platform solution to the <prospect> Board of Directors and one of the issues they need to address is server and storage life cycle.  In support of their ROI analysis they needed an unbiased 3rd party statement on server refresh.  That is where this request is coming from. …”

Action:  The AR manager worked with the sales representative to arrange an inquiry with an advisory analyst to discuss server refresh decision methodology and how to create a business case to present to the Board of Directors. The steps that AR took were: 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

Insights from Forrester’s CEO presentation at an investor conference

This analysis does not look at areas of interest to investors, but seeks to pull out insights that are relevant to clients and prospects of Forrester Research, the number two advisory analyst firm, as well as communications and IT vendor analyst relations (AR) teams.

logo-forrester.gifForrester Research (NASDAQ: FORR) Chairman & CEO George Colony (Twitter, blog) and CFO Michael Doyle presented (replay available for approximately 90 days) at the William Blair & Co. Emerging Growth Stock Conference on Tuesday, October 6, 2009. Because the presentation was oriented toward investors that might not know much about Forrester, instead of the usual Wall Street analysts on quarterly earnings calls, there were some tid-bits of intelligence useful for clients and AR. 

A large number of diverse data points but spread thin: One of the advantages that a large analyst firm has is that its analysts can – not always – have access to a large number of formal and informal data points to include in research and use with end user clients during inquiries. Forrester revealed that its analysts conduct 3,500 vendor briefings, 16,800 inquiries, 250,000 consumer survey responses, and 10,000 large company survey responses.

Sounds like huge numbers, right? Actually these numbers might not seem so impressive when the average per analyst is calculated. Forrester currently lists 193 analysts, not including research associates and researchers. That means that the average number of inquiries per analyst is only 87 per year or seven (7) per month. Of course that is the average, which means that some analysts will be doing much less than the average, maybe as little as three (3) per month or less than one a week.

Calculating the number of briefings per analyst is a little trickier because a single briefing can have multiple analysts in attendance. For this discussion let’s say three analysts per briefing, which then calculates to each analyst getting about six (6) briefings per month. Again, this is not an impressive number when taking into consideration how important vendor information is for advisory analysts.

Of course, inquiry and vendor briefings are not the only sources Continue reading

Is there an acquisition coming in the analyst ecosystem?

SageCircle has been picking up signals that there is a potential announcement about the acqusition of an analyst firm by another analyst firm. This announcment could occur as early as today, Thursday, October 8th.

  • 10/8/09 9:07 am PT — Initial post
  • 10/8/09 9:53 am PT — Added section about Forrester CEO’s comments at investor conference
  • 10/8/10:37 am PT – Added section about Gartner
  • 10/8/09 11:43 am PT – Added section about IDC
  • 10/8/09 12:13 pm PT — Added section Ovum

Ovum could use more heft to take on “The Big Two”

Ovum is seriously taking a run at the big two advisory firms, Gartner and Forrester (see  Ovum-Datamonitor Restructuring: Sufficient Critical Mass to Take on the “Big Two”?). However, it still needs more analysts and sales reps to accelerate its growth in the enterprise advisory research space. Acquisitions would be a logical complement to organic hiring to quickly grow.

Don’t discount IDC as a potenial buyer in an M&A event

While IDC has had three layoffs in the last 18 months (see this post), that does not mean it could not pull off a large acquisition. There is a difference between managing costs during a recession and having the financial strength to invest in the future. Remember, IDC acquired Meridien Research in November 2002 during the last recession. IDC could certainly be looking at bulk up one of its Insights companies to compete more effectively in the end user market.

Gartner is sitting on approximately $100 million in cash

Gartner has the financial strength (approximately $100 m cash plus $250 m line of credit), dedicated M&A team and success with acquisitons to make it a logical player in any analyst ecosystem acquisition event. During each quarterly earnings call, CEO Gene Hall makes it a point to discuss M&A strategy and opportunities, though obviously not specific targets.

Could Forrester be ready to pull the trigger on a purchase?

At the William Blair & Co. Emerging Growth Stock Conference on Tuesday, October 6th, Forrester Research Chairman and CEO George F. Colony mentioned several times about 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

People on the Move in the Analyst Ecosystem – Annemiek Hamelinck to lead Waggener Edstrom’s Global AR Practice

Thumbnail_Annemiek_HamelinckAnnemiek Hamelinck’s promotion to SVP to head up WaggEd’s new worldwide AR practice is well deserved. She has been thinking about how AR fits into the agency mix for a long time as demonstrated by SageCircle’s video interview with her in What do PR agencies bring to the table for AR? See below for the press release about the new Global Analyst Relations Practice and Annemiek’s new role.

Please join us in congratulating Annemiek and wishing her great success in her new position.

 

 Logo - WaggEd

 

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Are you or someone you know on the move? Please let us know and we’ll post the news in future editions of People on the Move. Send us the information to info [at] sagecircle dot com. 

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Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Names Global Analyst Relations Practice Lead
Based In London, Annemiek Hamelinck Will Head Global Team Of Over 45 AR Specialists

LONDON — 7 Oct 2009 — Global multiservice communications agency Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE) today announced it has formalized its Global Analyst Relations (AR) Practice, under Annemiek Hamelinck, senior vice president based in WE’s London office. The agency has been conducting analyst relations consulting services on behalf of its global clients for more than a decade. With Hamelinck’s leadership, the practice will offer a more structured and streamlined AR services offering that maps to the increasingly complex business demands of WE’s client base.

Hamelinck has worked in technology communications since 1994, in three continents and on both consumer and enterprise accounts, from early-stage companies to some of the largest technology vendors in the industry including Cisco, Sun Microsystems and Nokia. Since joining WE, Hamelinck has headed up the Microsoft AR account, Continue reading

SageCircle AR Podcast for October 6, 2009

SageCircle AR Podcast ArtworkThe AR podcast is a review of the latest news and trends in the analyst ecosystem along with tips and tricks for analyst relations professionals and analyst research consumers. SageCircle strategists Dave Eckert and Carter Lusher co-host this bi-weekly program. You can find all the SageCircle podcasts on our podcast page.

Visit the podcast page to download the MP3 file or listen to the episodes on your computer.  Click here to subscribe to the podcast within iTunes

SCP 10: Table of contents. Numbers in parentheses refer to minutes:seconds when the article starts within the podcast.

[00:00]  Introduction

[01:18]  News – Gartner’s AR Call and why AR should go to Symposium

[04:06]  How client inquiry by end users is different from vendors

[08:32]  AR-Sales Case Study: How AR saved a $35m deal

[16:10]  AR and Continue reading

People on the Move in the Analyst Ecosystem

Here are some of the changes we have seen in the Analyst Ecosystem. Please join us in congratulating each person and wishing them great success in their new position. 

Are you or people you know on the move? Please let us know and we’ll post the news in future editions of People on the Move in the Analyst Ecosystem. Send the information to info [at] sagecircle dot com.

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

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