• 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 […]

Involving the analysts – The need for early and often

sagecircle-need-for-early-and-often-200w.pngToo often, communications and IT vendors wait until a few weeks prior to a major announcement to brief the analysts. This is a problematic practice for a number of reasons which we will investigate in future posts.  Perhaps the most important is that the advisory analysts are talking continuously to many people that fill many roles. When analyst relations (AR) teams are not involving the analysts early and often, the vendor is missing the opportunity to influence all these other people.Advisory analysts (i.e., analyst firms where enterprise IT managers are a major part of their client base) talk or interact with IT executives, IT buyers, financial analysts, reporters, vendors, bloggers and others. Concurrently, the analysts are preparing and giving speeches, writing research, conducting teleconferences and so on. All of these activities are intertwined and occur frequently (click on the graphic to enlarge). Without information from the vendor, analysts will not be able to appropriately inform the various constituencies. Sometimes you do not want the analyst to explicitly give out your information, but you want them to give general guidance to a constituency. For example, you might not want an analyst to give out your product roadmap to your customers and prospects. But you do want the analyst to counsel IT executives to budget a certain amount of money for the 2nd half of next year because there will be some interesting product releases that are relevant to this client. The analyst can be coy about which vendors and what products, which they love to do because it shows they are in the know. The IT executives understand the game and appreciate even purposefully vague intelligence because it does contribute to planning and budgeting exercises.

Some vendor executives argue against early involvement of the analysts because they do not want their confidential plans leaked to the marketplace. Our experience shows most analysts can be trusted with confidential information due to their reputation, as long as the AR team shows diligence in specifying what is and is not sensitive data.  

SageCircle Technique:

  • Periodically review your analyst list(s) to ensure it is up-to-date
  • Periodically review your interactions database (see You need a strong ARM to help you lift your ARprogram) to ensure that you are interacting with each tier of analyst at the appropriate frequency
  • Be sure you have a standard process for all AR team members regarding sensitive information
  • Schedule interactions with those analysts where you have not had sufficiently recent interactions

Bottom Line: The advisory analysts are often talking to your prime audiences, especially IT executives. Do not miss the opportunity to influence these audiences by keeping the analysts in the dark about your plans. Cultivate an “early and often” attitude that provides trusted analysts with non-disclosure information with nuanced guidance about how the information can and cannot be used.

Question: Analysts – Have you ever wished that a vendor had come to you earlier with information because you had recently been advising an IT executive who could have used that information?

Are you uncertain about how early to get analysts involved? SageCircle can help – Our strategists can:

  • Review your briefing plans to determine whether you are interacting with analysts at the appropriate times and frequency
  • Discuss best practices for sharing early information with analysts

Visit http://www.sagecircle.com/ and click on Advisory to learn more about SageCircle’s on-demand phone advisory services. Or, call 650-274-8309 to speak with a representative about how SageCircle can help you take your AR program to the next level.

2 Responses

  1. […] interact with many communities on a daily basis – As we pointed out in involving the analysts early andoften, analysts do a significant number of touches each and every day with IT buyers, reporters, […]

  2. […] of the reasons why SageCircle recommends that AR teams interact with their most relevant analysts early and often. Unfortunately, some vendors do not interact with vendors sufficiently due to either under […]

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