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

The CIO Panel is reason enough to attend the AR Forum at Symposium (part 5 of 7 about Gartner’s Q3 AR Call)

Gartner’s Analyst Relations team holds a quarterly conference call for the analyst relations (AR) community. SageCircle occasionally will post about the call, but for this particular call there was so much information that we have a seven-part series to highlight details and provide commentary. See below for links to all seven posts.

Logo - Symposium 2009Gartner will be holding AR Forums at Symposium again this year. They will be from 3 pm to 5 pm followed by a reception from 5 pm to 6 pm. The Orlando forum will be on October 20 and Cannes will be on November 3. Sydney has not been scheduled yet.

There will presentations by CEO Gene Hall and Head of Research Peter Sondergaard, which should be useful. However, the agenda item that really stands out as a compelling use of an AR professional’s time is the “CIO Panel Discussion: Understanding How the CIO-Gartner Dialogue is Changing.” The description says that CIO clients will share their perceptives and then field questions.

One of the reasons why many vendor executives question the relevance of the analysts in the age of free information on the Internet and bountiful opinions on social media is that they do not grok how the relationship between CIOs/IT managers and analysts is so radically different from the often contentious and dysfunctional relationships vendors have with the analysts. Attending this panel discussion can provide AR with valuable insights about the CIO-analyst relationship that they can then use with skeptical colleagues when discussing the relevance of the advisory analysts such as Gartner.

In addition, understanding the dialogue between CIOs and analysts can help AR focus the type of content they give to the analysts. AR professionals might find that they are leaving out important types of information when briefing analysts simply because they do not understand the types of conversations that go on between analysts and their end-user clients.

SageCircle Technique:

  • AR should prioritize attendance at the AR Forum
  • AR should consider bringing non-AR colleagues to the Continue reading

Make sure to attend relevant Magic Quadrant presentations at Symposium ITxpo Marketplace Theater (part 4 of 7 about Gartner’s Q3 AR Call)

Gartner’s Analyst Relations team holds a quarterly conference call for the analyst relations (AR) community. SageCircle occasionally will post about the call, but for this particular call there was so much information that we have a seven-part series to highlight details and provide commentary. See below for links to all seven posts.

Logo - Symposium 2009One of the recommendations that the Gartnerians gave on the AR Call was to attend some Magic Quadrant (MQ) presentations at the ITxpo Theater. This is a suggestion that we heartily endorse.

AR professionals are probably so tired of thinking about the MQ and arguing with the analysts – especially if the update project was relatively recent – that it would be easy to blow off this opportunity. However, attending a presentation like this can provide some excellent opportunities to gather some insights such as:

  • How analysts tend to position the research to end-user clients
  • How analysts engage their end-user clients when answering questions about the MQ
  • Intelligence when the MQ might be updated
  • Intelligence about how the market criteria are evolving
  • Intelligence about how the analyst might rearrange the dots if it has been many months since the last update

SageCircle Technique:

  • AR teams should identify and prioritize which MQ presentations to attend
  • AR should chat with the end users after a presentation to learn more about how they use the Continue reading

Cost optimization at Symposium will be a critical thread to follow for vendors (part 3 of 7 about Gartner’s Q3 AR Call)

Gartner’s Analyst Relations team holds a quarterly conference call for the analyst relations (AR) community. SageCircle occasionally will post about the call, but for this particular call there was so much information that we have a seven-part series to highlight details and provide commentary. See below for links to all seven posts. 

Logo - Symposium 2009The Gartnerians made reminded everyone that the overall theme of Symposium in 2009 is “Balancing Cost, Risk, Growth.” One of the topics they made sure to highlight is cost optimization. While this has all been included in the voluminous marketing by Gartner, it is easy for AR teams to over look the importance of the cost optimization topic for their companies.

Gartner’s recommendations for cost optimization steps given to enterprise IT managers often come at the expense of the vendors. That is because the Gartner analysts will be suggesting that end users – the primary clients of Gartner – postpone new purchases, go with cheaper alternatives, reduce new licenses, cut support fees, demand deeper and maybe unrealistic discounts, and otherwise squeeze the vendors. For some vendors these recommendations might be a direct threat to active and potential sales deals. For other vendors these recommendations might be a great tool to leverage in sales deals because they closely match their position in the marketplace.

While at Symposium, AR teams can gather important intelligence about what cost-cutting advice analysts are recommending to enterprise IT managers. It is likely not possible to get such unfiltered insights from published Continue reading

Don’t bring your CEO to Symposium and expect to brief the analysts (part 2 of 7 about Gartner’s Q3 AR Call)

Gartner’s Analyst Relations team holds a quarterly conference call for the analyst relations (AR) community. SageCircle occasionally will post about the call, but for this particular call there was so much information that we have a seven-part series to highlight details and provide commentary. See below for links to all seven posts.

Logo - Symposium 2009One of the questions at the first of the Gartner Q3 AR Calls was something along the lines of “I am bringing my CEO to Symposium and want to meet with six analysts. In addition, my CEO wants to give an overview presentation. When can I expect confirmation?”

The Gartnerians were incredibly patient and diplomatic in their response. We will be somewhat more frank in our response:

  • There is a snowball’s chance in Hell that you can set up a meeting of this nature with six analysts because schedules are already getting booked
  • It would be a waste of time to do an overview briefing (see part 1 of this series for why)
  • Your CEO would likely be insulted by an analyst’s lack of interest in his overview should you actually corner one to meet with him, for instance during a 1-on-1
  • Not correctly setting the CEO’s expectations about Symposium could be a career-limiting move for the AR manager

First and foremost, vendors need to realize that Gartner Symposium is end-user centric. While vendor ITxpo sponsorships contribute significantly to Symposium’s revenue stream, it is the end users that account for at least 70% of Gartner’s overall annual revenue. So everything that Gartner is doing is focused on maximizing the experience for enterprise CIOs and IT managers. This includes giving end users priority access to Continue reading

Prepping for Gartner Symposium (part 1 of 7 about Gartner Q3 AR Call)

Gartner’s Analyst Relations team holds a quarterly conference call for the analyst relations (AR) community. SageCircle occasionally will post about the call, but for this particular call there was so much information that we have a seven-part series to highlight details and provide commentary. See below for links to all seven posts.

Logo - Symposium 2009In the presentation for the AR call (click here to get a copy of the slides, to be posted by COB 9/21/09), the Gartnerians made a number of very useful suggestions for AR and other vendor staff going to Symposium. Many of the suggestions were the same ones SageCircle have made in the past including during the August 2009 AR Coffee Talk on “Staying Top of Mind for Symposium.” A quick summary of Gartner’s top suggestions with our commentary:

  • Understand the realities of analysts’ life at Symposium – Every minute is scheduled and they are worked to exhaustion.
    • Implication: Do not try to brief or otherwise give analysts information that you want them to remember because they simply will not remember it
    • Best practice: Use Symposium for relationship building and gauging analyst interest in a topic. Then schedule briefings after Symposium on the new information
  • Do: Draw relevance to analysts’ (that you are talking to) published research and know what they’re presenting on
    • Best practice: Do your homework before heading to Symposium
  • Do: Make it a two-way conversation (when talking to analysts at 1-on-1s or side meetings)
    • Implication: Monologues where vendors are talking at analysts are a waste of time
    • Best practice: Ask questions about their research agenda and what they are hearing from Continue reading

Time is running out for influencing Gartner’s Fall Symposia presentations

Logo - Symposium 2009Analysts creating presentations for the Fall Symposia series will need to submit their PowerPoint files to Editorial starting in late July or early August. So now is the time to make a last push to get your information and point-of-view across to your analysts.

It is important to remember that the push in July is focused on the physical presentation. There will be other activities required in late August to early October to influence the talking points used by the analysts during their speeches and 1-on-1s. See below to learn about staying top of mind at Symposium, which is the subject of August’s free AR Coffee Talk.

One of the trickier issues for AR to decide is how much information to provide in July under non-disclosure about major announcements planned for September or October. There is the obvious concern of leaks while presentations are a work in progress.  However, providing NDA information can subtly influence what is in the presentation or the approach the analyst takes to lay out market trends.  Just be clear about what is confidential and be up front about your concerns.  Analysts will appreciate the candor.

SageCircle Technique:

  • Immediately schedule inquiries with your top Gartner analysts to discuss
    • How their presentations are progressing
    • When the presentations are due to Editorial
    • What new opinions or changes from prior positions will likely be included
    • What type of customer stories, information, data or graphics does the analyst need that you might be able to help provide
  • Determine what you can realistically influence
  • Work with your extended AR team and domain experts to quickly develop written and graphical content to Continue reading
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