• 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 […]

Using inquiry… Influence the analysts’ research agenda

icon-phone-headset.jpgWe have repeated stressed the importance of inquiry, both from the role of the vendor and that of the research consumer.  Obviously it can be used to obtain information as well as inform the analyst.  Another aspect of inquiry is the use of it to influence the research agenda of an analyst or a firm on behalf of either IT clients or vendors.

From the IT client perspective it can be very valuable to align the research agenda in the direction of your specific research needs.  Analysts rate client inquiry highly in understanding the market direction.  Your questions and observations, coupled with those of other clients, often cause shifts in the planned research direction.  A single call is not likely to redirect an analyst, but multiple calls, even if from the same client, may have an effect.  We pointed this out when we suggested that you should push analysts for information they might not currently have (see this post) and always complement the use of written research with inquiry (do’s and don’ts).  If you need information that is not reflected in their past or current research plan don’t hesitate to ask.  You may not be the only client looking in this direction.

From the vendor perspective inquiry is one step in the process of “category creation” where you push the analyst (or firm) to view the market in a different light.  Asking questions about what other inquiry clients are seeking or questions on competitive stance in the marketplace can lead to discussions of market or product directions.  You have an opportunity to suggest possible areas of research that might interest the analyst or their clients that, of course, would be beneficial to you.  Moving the analyst to research in your market spaces is perfectly valid when done as part of an overall plan to educate the market, but you should not expect this to be a process that just gains an analyst endorsement. 

Inquiries of this type are also part of the “early and often” strategy that SageCircle promotes when planning a vendor interaction calendar.

SageCircle Technique:

  • Review all previously published research from all analysts in a firm before you schedule an inquiry
  • Work with your account representative to obtain any unpublished work such as speaking presentations or draft documents
  • Work with the firm’s inquiry process to connect with the most appropriate analyst, even if you have wait longer to schedule the inquiry
  • During the inquiry ask direct questions and push the analyst for more information than what has already been published
  • Request follow up inquiries for further exploration. This will let the analyst know you are expecting them to do some investigation.

Bottom Line: Both research clients and IT vendors may have the opportunity to influence the research agenda of analysts by using inquiry to investigate topics or markets.  When used as a part of the overall interactions plan it will also give you a strong background in the material and build analyst relationships.

Question: Research Clients:  Have you requested that an analyst do new research that you need?  Vendor AR: Do you do category creation?  How successful have you been?  Analysts:  How much influence do clients really have on your research agenda?

Are you uncertain about how to get benefit from inquiry? SageCircle can help – Our strategists can:

  • Review your plans to determine whether you are interacting with analysts at the appropriate times and frequency
  • Discuss best practices for scheduling and conducting inquiry

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.

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