Don’t underestimate the visibility a blog can provide an analyst

An interesting exercise is to compare the relative web traffic between the largest advisory analyst firm (Gartner), the largest IT market research firm (IDC) and a very visible analyst who has his own blog. Using the site comparison feature of Compete here is the graphic showing Forrester analyst extraordinaire and social media poster boy Jeremiah Owyang’s (bio, Twitter handle, blog) personal blog Web Strategy by Jeremiah, Gartner.com and IDC.com:

Traffic comparison Gartner.com IDC.com and Jeremiah Owyang blog 

Click here or on the graphic to enlarge. The top blue line is Jeremiah’s blog, the green middle line is Gartner.com and the bottom orange line is IDC.com. There is not a single month in the past year where Web Strategy by Jeremiah did not receive more unique visitors (an average of 136,000 per month) than Gartner.com and IDC.com combined.

Not an apples-to-apples comparison… and that is the point 

Of course, comparing two very different types of websites, a blog vs. corporate sites, is not an apples-to-apples assessment. Rather this illustrates how a savvy analyst can leverage a personally branded blog to obtain unique access to a broader audience than he could even on the regular research website of a $1.2bn but very traditional analyst firm. This is because the analyst blog is easily Continue reading

Analysts can go around AR using social media

icon-social-media-blue.jpgWhen Analyst Relations Get Social is a short and interesting post by Forrester analyst Jeremiah Owyang (bio, Twitter handle) on the fact that analyst relations professionals should not consider themselves gatekeepers, but facilitators. On this, we at SageCircle completely agree. Frankly, the best AR programs have always had the facilitator attitude.

For those AR programs that still want to be gatekeepers, social media is making it harder and harder to maintain control of every interaction with the analysts. As Jeremiah points out:

 “…For example, I can easily tweet out “anyone in the sharepoint team have have a moment for some questions” and I’d suspect they’d quickly respond in seconds, whether or not the AR person was involved. …”

SageCircle Technique

  • AR programs that currently look at themselves as gatekeepers should reevaluate this position
  • AR needs to embrace social media then experiment and Continue reading

Access to those with access – One reason why end users buy analyst advisory subscriptions

Social CRM: When Registration Pages Go Extinct is an interesting post by Forrester analyst Jeremiah Owyang (bio, Twitter handle) on his Web Strategy by Jeremiah blog. However it is not the content of the blog overall, but a couple of throwaway lines that are relevant to analyst relations (AR) professionals:

“…I’m working on a report called the “Future of the Social Web” and I interviewed quite a few companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Lotus, RWW, Federated Media, Plaxo, Dell, Cisco EOS, Flock, Meebo, Gigya, Intel, Razorfish, Six Apart, and a bunch more to find out the trends in this industry. There’s probably less than 10 people in the world that have access to all these teams, executives and thought leaders, and I’m taking advantage of it. …”

I don’t think that Jeremiah is bragging about his access, but rather it is his typical – and rare – transparency about how he goes about his job as an analyst. What is interesting is the number of vendors that Jeremiah has access to for his research. Because of this litany of access, Jeremiah’s factoid can be leveraged by AR as part of its executive sponsorship building efforts and spokespeople training.

One of the selling points that end-user advisory analyst firms (e.g., Gartner and Forrester) make to their enterprise IT manager prospects is that their analysts have access to top vendor executives and thought leaders in the industry. Furthermore, not only do they have access, it is part of their job to take the time to leverage that access. Savvy analysts are adept at name dropping when chatting with existing clients (it helps renewals) and when on a prospect call with one of the firm’s sales representatives. IT executives and IT managers value the analysts’ broad access to vendors – and their IT peers.   Analysts can provide an integrated point-of-view that the IT manager client does not have the time to develop themselves through conversations or reading blogs (see the related story Context, advice, reputation and time: How analysts can thrive in the social media age).

Positioning themselves as having superior access, and the ability to verbally apply this access to a client’s situation, has always been a differentiator of the advisory analysts versus Continue reading

If you have to say you are the market leader, you probably aren’t

Forrester analyst extraordinaire and social media poster boy Jeremiah Owyang (Twitter handle, blog) recently posted a very useful article How to Translate Vendor Talk into Plain English. Besides Jeremiah’s thoughts in the post, there is also a vigorous debate going on in the comments so read them as well.

 While written for enterprise IT managers getting pitched by vendor sales reps, this is a useful post for AR professionals as well.  Not because it necessarily covers new ground (see our posts listed below), but because it is always important to reinforce best practices.  Even the best can fall into bad habits, especially with PowerPoint.

There is one new example that Jeremiah raises that I want to encourage everybody to check carefully and that is “The Fallacy of Vendor Math.”  This concerns vendor claims like “30 of the Fortune 50 are our clients.” Yeah, so? Probably all the vendor’s competitors could make the same claim. 

One last point. If a vendor has to tell an analyst they are the market or industry leader then the vendor probably isn’t the leader. You can save your spokespeople grief by helping them eliminate Continue reading

Forrester analyst comments on Gartner research

icon-social-media-blue.jpgWhile single practitioner analysts or analysts at boutiques will occasionally comment on the research done at the major firms (often in a snide tone), it is rare for an analyst at a major firm to acknowledge something from a major competitor. Forrester’s Jeremiah Owyang (Twitter handle, poster child for tech analysts using social media) does just that in Understanding Gartner’s “Generation Virtual”. Jeremiah – fairly, in a professional tone – highlights the research and points out where he agrees or disagrees with Gartner’s conclusions. My only quibble is that rather than focusing on just the Gartner research, Jeremiah might have also contrasted the Gartnerian model with Forrester’s Social Technographics Ladder.

Bottom Line: One way for major analyst firms to cut through the clutter of the competing voices on the Web could be to Continue reading

Why analysts matter – “I get asked daily in one medium or another who to buy”

Some analyst relations (AR) managers are lucky in that their executives really get the analysts and their impact on the vendor’s leads and sales deals. Alas, not all AR professionals are so lucky. However, there is a resource to use to educate* executives about the impact of the analysts – the analysts’ own words. For example, here is a throwaway line by Forrester analyst Jeremiah Owyang in Starting the Forrester Wave: White Label Social Networks and Community Platforms:

          “I get asked daily in one medium or another who to buy”

Jeremiah is very good about keeping vendors and end-user clients alike up-to-date on what he is working on via his blog posts. This particular line was not bragging, but explaining one purpose of the Forrester Wave, which is to help technology buyers develop their short list of vendors to invite to a bid. Because it was not the main purpose of the post, I think that makes it even more powerful education tool as it Continue reading

Participate in Jeremiah Owyang’s poll “What do analysts do?”

photo-jeremiah-owyang.jpgForrester analyst Jeremiah Owyang is conducting an interesting survey in  What do analysts do?. I encourage everybody to participate. Details:

“Well of course I have my answer, but I’ve come to realize there’s a lot of misconception out in the market as to what we really do.

Rather than me tell you, I’d want to first learn what you think, so perhaps we, as an industry can better explain our value -and place in the market.

So give it a shot, try to first explain what you think our day job is, then explain the business model. I want open and candid responses, but Continue reading

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