Something that came up yesterday at the AR Effectiveness Seminar is that nobody knew that they could rate and comment on research notes on Forrester.com. This is another example of Forrester embracing social media and they deserve kudos for doing so. However, to make it really powerful, Forrester should actively promote the use of this feature to its clients. This will begin to create a true community focused around the conversation on research.
A key issue for vendors is the ability to easily influence the impact of Forrester research. This feature should be a powerful tool for all vendor analyst relations (AR) teams.
End users (aka IT buyers, your customers) are using Forrester.com to find and read research notes. You can use the ratings and comments to provide your side of the story or enhance information in research notes. You can use this feature to promote research notes that you think are especially insightful, so just don’t hammer on those notes you dislike. I experimented with this feature last fall when I was still working for a vendor. I commented on a few of the Forrester AR research notes, in some cases taking exception with the conclusions. In all cases, my comments were published and the analysts responded respectfully even if they did not agree with my comments.
- AR should be judiciously leveraging the comment feature on Forrester.com to provide their side of the story
- Enlist other Forrester seat holders in your company so that multiple voices are being heard and not just AR
- Develop policies and best practices that ensure that your commentary is seen as positive and not just “sour grapes” on the part of disgruntled vendors
- Comment on more than just research notes that cover you company.
Bottom Line: Engaging in an on-line conversation with analysts can be a powerful social media tool for AR professionals. This technique should be used as part of the overall education efforts by you about your company. It can also be used to mitigate negative research that you feel misses the mark due to errors or off-the-mark analysis.
AR teams — Have you started using this feature to join the conversation? If no, why not? Are you concerned that the analyst might be annoyed if you disagree with them or point out a factual error?
Are you thinking about experimenting with social media? SageCircle can Help – Social media represents new opportunities and challenges to AR teams. SageCircle can help AR teams by:
- Providing on-site or distance learning sessions to get AR teams up to speed on social media and how it might be adopted
- Acting as a sounding board as you brainstorm how to add social media to the AR tool box
- Advising on how to develop a pilot program to experiment with social media
- Playing the role of analyst in social media experiments and providing critiques of how the experiment went
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.
Call 650-274-8309 or e-mail info (at) sagecircle dot com for more information. Also follow Carter’s commentary www.twitter.com/carterlusher to get a feel for how information is now being transmitted using micro-blogging.