• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    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 […]

    AR managers are failing with consulting firms

    AR managers are failing with consulting firms

    Reflecting the paradoxical position of many clients, Kea’s Analyst Attitude Survey also goes to a wide range of consultants who play similar roles to analysts and are often employed by analyst firms. The responses to the current survey show that consultants are generally much less happy with their relationships with AR teams than analysts are. The paradox is that as […]

    Fersht: some IIAR award-winners “just tick the boxes”

    Fersht: some IIAR award-winners “just tick the boxes”

    Some of the firms mentioned by the IIAR’s analyst team awards fall short of excellence. That’s the verdict of several hundred analysts who took our Analyst Attitude Survey, and of the CEO of one of the top analyst firms. Phil Fersht left the comment below on our criticism of the IIAR awards. We thought we’d reprint it together with the […]

    Do the IIAR awards simply reward large firms?

    Do the IIAR awards simply reward large firms?

    The 2016 Institute for Industry Analyst Relations’ awards seem to be rewarding firms for the scale of their analyst relations, rather than their quality. In a blog post on July 6th, the IIAR awarded IBM the status of best analyst relations teams, with Cisco, Dell and HP as runners-up. Together with Microsoft, which outsources much of its analyst relations to […]

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?

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