• 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 […]

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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