• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    Why KCG’s analyst relations awards beat the IIAR’s

    Why KCG’s analyst relations awards beat the IIAR’s

    We used 18,777 data points from the Analyst Attitude Survey to compare the two leading awards for analyst relations teams. Although we found that KCG‘s awards are more useful than the IIAR‘s, both primarily reflect corporate performance rather than that of the AR teams. As a result, there’s very little that AR teams can do better or worse in these […]

    Netscout continues unwise Gartner suit

    Netscout continues unwise Gartner suit

    Netscout and Gartner have scheduled their trial for next July. The case stands little chance of improving Netscout’s value. It does, however, risk harming the reputation of both analyst firms and analyst relations professionals. Over the last weeks, pressure has mounted on Netscout’s lawyers. Netscout claims Gartner’s Magic Quadrant harmed its enterprise sales and that the truth of Gartner’s statements […]

    Is this how the Quadrant lost its Magic?

    Is this how the Quadrant lost its Magic?

    Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is the most influential non-financial business research document. In the late 1980s, it was a quick and dirty stalking horse to provoke discussions. Today it is an extensive and yet highly limited process, based on the quantification of opinions which are highly qualitative. The early evolution of the MQ tells us a lot about the challenge of industry […]

    Saying farewell to David Bradshaw

    Saying farewell to David Bradshaw

    A funeral and celebration for David Bradshaw (shown left in this 2000 Ovum awayday photo, arm raised, with me and other colleagues) is to take place at West Norwood Crematorium, London SE27 at 2.45pm on Tuesday 23rd August and after at the Amba Hotel above London’s Charing Cross Station, on the Strand. David considered that that Ovum in that incarnation was […]

    David Bradshaw 1953-2016

    David Bradshaw 1953-2016

    David Bradshaw, one of the colleagues I worked with during my time as an analyst at Ovum, died on August 11. He led Cloud research in Europe for IDC, whose statement is below. David played a unique role at Ovum, bridging its telecoms and IT groups in the late 1990s by looking at computer-telecoms integration areas like CRM, which I […]

What am I missing? Why would a vendor brief a competitive intelligence firm?

While an AR director, each time I received a call from a competitive intelligence (CI) firm analyst requesting information, I would politely decline. When asked why I had declined, I would respond “Why would I give you information that you will turn around and give to my competitors?” This CI types often tried to persuade me by suggesting that I did not want them to have out-of-date information because that could cause them to inaccurately inform their clients. “Hmm,” I would answer, “wouldn’t it be better for my company if you were giving my competitors and their sales representatives inaccurate information so they would be less effective in stealing sales from us?”
 
Am I missing something? Is there value giving information to CI firms, even if they are going to turn around give that information to my competitors?
 
Remember, they are likely fulfilling a contract with your competitor to obtain this information. Just look at how the CI firms market themselves. If you visit CI firms’ websites you see tag lines like:
 
 “Outsmart your competitors”
 
And the About Us has descriptions like:
 
“…helps clients beat the competition by providing continuous, in-depth competitive intelligence. We enable sales teams, marketing professionals, product managers, and executives to quickly anticipate and respond to competitor threats.”
 
Now granted, all market research and advisory firms will provide some competitive intelligence if asked, but they are careful to use more-or-less public information. It is not their business model to directly provide CI to vendor sales teams in a rapid manner.
 
If the CI analysts follow the guidelines of organizations like the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) then what they do is ethical. I have nothing against CI firms in general and will recommend that IT vendors become clients of CI firms. But would I actually brief CI analysts? I’m still doubtful.
 
Bottom Line: Not all analysts are the same in terms of their clients and how they impact your company. Segmenting the analyst market into the types of analysts is a critical task for AR managers as this task will help them decide who does or does not get briefed.
 
Question: For CI analysts, please address the issue of why you should be briefed. For AR managers, do you treat CI analysts just like other analysts and respond to briefing requests?

%d bloggers like this: