• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    IDC could flourish after IDG’s sale to Chinese consortium

    IDC could flourish after IDG’s sale to Chinese consortium

    As we predicted in our April Fool’s Joke last year, IDC has been sold as part of a Chinese-led purchase that leaves CEO Kirk Campbell at the helm. IDG Capital will take control of the IDG Ventures; China Oceanwide will control IDG and most of IDC, and an independent trustee will take control of IDC’s High Performance Computing (HPC) practice, […]

    Kea Company acquires UK analyst relations consultancy Active Influence

    Kea Company acquires UK analyst relations consultancy Active Influence

    Merger consolidates Kea Company’s position as world’s largest analyst relations consultancy January 19, 2017. London — Kea Company, the world’s largest analyst relations consultancy, today completed its acquisition of Active Influence. Founded in 2010, Active Influence has helped many of the world’s largest technology companies to gain measurable business benefit from their relationships with analyst firms. Founder Richard East has become […]

    Top ten global analysts: 2016’s outstanding research

    Top ten global analysts: 2016’s outstanding research

    2016 produced some outstanding analyst research. We’ve picked the best articles from each of the world’s ten leading analysts firms, as ranked in the 2017 Analyst Firm Awards. Together they show how diverse analysts’ most compelling content can be, including deep quantitative research into mature markets, like cellphones; pointed competitive insight into corporate changes, like Dell’s integration of EMC, and […]

    IDC overtakes HfS in 2017 global Analyst Firm Awards

    IDC overtakes HfS in 2017 global Analyst Firm Awards

    Gartner and Forrester’s leadership is no surprise, but this year IDC has won back third place in our annual Analyst Firm Awards, pushing HfS Research into a still-impressive fourth place. PAC and Ovum have also risen substantially this year, rounding out the top six. In last year’s awards, we saw that firms that could create business leads for their clients […]

    Analyst Value Survey shows deeper frustration with industry analysts

    Analyst Value Survey shows deeper frustration with industry analysts

    I’ve been in New York this week discussing the Analyst Value Survey with both Kea clients and industry analysts. The 2017 report will be available early in January, but the responses show that many users of analysts’ services are reaching out to more firms than before, and are gathering quite uneven value. Firstly, the good news is that many users […]

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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