• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    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 […]

    Unmaking fruit salad: 6 ways to help analysts segment markets

    Unmaking fruit salad: 6 ways to help analysts segment markets

     It’s a common challenge for providers: some new or fast-changing market contains very different solutions. Clients want either apples or oranges, but the analyst research reads more like fruit salad. As new solutions come into old markets, or as analysts try to squeeze hot new solutions into their less-exciting coverage areas, it’s increasingly hard for users of analyst research to make […]

    Control in Analyst Attitude Surveys

    Control in Analyst Attitude Surveys

    Because a lot of analysts take part in our Analyst Attitude Surveys, we are able to offer clients what we call a control group. In the language of research, a control group is a group of people who don’t get the treatment that we want to measure the effectiveness of. For example, most firms might be focussed on a top tier […]

    Time for a new direction in AR measurement?

    Time for a new direction in AR measurement?

    Worldwide, Analyst Relations teams are committed to fostering the best information exchange, experiences and trusted relationships with tightly-targetted global industry analysts and influencers. Sometimes the targeting is too narrow and analysts are treated inhumanly. However, the technology buying process is transforming and so must the benchmarking of analyst relationships. There’s already a long-term transformation of analyst relations. Over one-third of technology […]

Budget cutting part two — Alternate solutions for analyst contracts

icon-budget-cuts-105w.jpgLast week (see Budgeting cutting can help AR focus and innovate) we suggested that potential budget cuts may have the effect of causing AR teams to prioritize and innovate in their programs and might not always be as negative as when first viewed.  Another way to deal with the possible cuts in funding that follow any economic slowing is to look to alternative solutions.  These techniques obviously take precious time and effort that AR teams also don’t have, but may be reasonable choices when money is not available.

Analyst seat holder contracts

Review each analyst contract for usage and determine business group seat holders who need to be eliminated.  Then contact the high value and high usage seat holders to see if the business group can pick up some or all of the cost.  Be prepared to justify the cost as the business group is also looking to save money.  Be careful not to lose appropriate executive access to key analysts.

Work with the analyst firm account managers to understand seat usage and have them help you rattle the tin cup.  They have a vested interest in not losing seat revenue.

Market Research

Consider alternate analyst firms for market research.  In some cases specialized boutique firms may be less expensive and provide better service than Gartner or IDC vertical research services.  For custom projects consider niche analyst firms that are cheaper and usually over deliver because they want the next contract.

Review the past use of the research and be selective in purchasing only the research that really gets used.  Use some caution not to cut work in emerging markets.

Consulting Days

Have business groups pay for or contribute to analyst consulting days that benefit their areas.  Be sure you are getting full value from the days you purchase.

Consider alternatives to consulting days where appropriate such as using multiple phone-based inquiries.

Analyst Reports

Review the process for purchasing reprints of analyst reports.  Have field sales marketing or another similar group purchase the analyst report reprints used by sales or that are put on the website for marketing purposes.

Account management

Work with your account manager for each analyst firm to establish the value you are receiving.  While it will not work with Gartner you might find some account managers who will throw in some freebies to boost value to save the contract renewal

In this and future posts, we will discuss ways for AR mangers to cut costs without cutting effectiveness. In addition, we will be discussing ways to avoid the budget axe by proving the value of AR.

SageCircle Technique:

  • Analyst contracts represent a large part of the AR budget and might be seen as easy ways to cut spending. Avoid across the board decisions that do not look at value
  • Consider finding funds from the people who use analyst services
  • Look to less expensive boutique firms for specialized information

Bottom Line: When funding is an issue AR teams should look to alternative solutions rather than just cutting programs.  High value activities should not simply be sacrificed just because budgets are reduced.

Question:

Analyst firm sales executives – Are you working to ensure that every part of your contract is getting fully utilized and delivering visible business value?

Analysts – How does budget cutting that impact your firm’s contract affect your opinion of the vendor?

AR managers – How do you approach budget cutting? How much of your current spending really belongs in someone else’s budget?

Are you concerned that cutting your budget will hurt your relationships with the analysts? SageCircle can help. Our strategists can:

  • Identify spending areas that can be safely cut
  • Brainstorm innovative – and cheaper – substitutes for expensive activities
  • Discuss whether it will be necessary to hold a conversation with an analyst to explain the cuts to his or her firm’s contracts

SageCircle strategists understand your opportunities, challenges and priorities because we have been AR practitioners and executives as well as industry analysts and AR researchers. SageCircle emphasizes the use of phone-based inquiry through its Advisory Service, which is your lifeline when you need timely access to an AR and analyst expert to exploit an opportunity or mitigate a problem. Advisory is available through an annual “all you can eat” contract or blocks of two or five hours “by the drink.” Click here to learn more about our advisory services.

To learn more contact us at info [at] sagecircle dot com or 650-274-8309.  

SageCircle Annual Advisory Service Click the image to see the Advisory Service brochure

2 Responses

  1. […] Budget cutting part two – Alternate solutions for analyst contracts […]

  2. […] Budget cutting part two – Alternate solutions for analyst contracts […]

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