• 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 […]

Are you guilty? Classic analyst complaints

Lately we have given some time to complaints that vendor and end user clients have with analysts.  But analysts have a litany of issues with the typical vendor AR teams that they will gladly speak about given the opportunity.  Unfortunately many AR teams don’t listen. 

Recalling the analyst stages post and the hierarchy of needs we blogged about recently (part one and two) you can see that the specific complaints will vary from Novice to Sage but some stand out.

Vendor is not proactive enough
SageCircle research shows that most analysts believe that Vendor AR teams spend their day in reaction mode and rarely take the opportunity for the “early and often” approach that we suggest.  Analysts want to be given information ahead of the press, and on a timetable that suits their research.  They are happy to have appropriate briefings and other interactions.  A common complaint is “we never hear from them” or “I did not know they did that”. 

What is a sufficient number of interactions?  Well that depends on the particular analyst and your relationship – so ask.  Also do not concentrate on just briefings.  By doing a mix of interactions: briefings, inquiries, analyst consulting days, social, executive buddy calls, you have an opportunity for useful dialog that may better address analyst needs.  Those executive buddy calls are hard to maintain, but if you can convince your executives of the value of occasionally reaching out to their analysts you will enhance both the relationship and the information the analyst has on hand when speaking to their clients.

In all cases track your interactions against the interaction plan you created and be sure you are not forgetting key analysts.

Vendor is not responsive
Generally the research done by analysts is not on a deadline, or at least has long lead times.  But like many of us analysts find those deadlines creep up and then require some faster action.  Also an analyst may have a sudden research need based on a client inquiry.  This can place the analyst into a reactive mode seeking information from vendors to complete a report, a magic quadrant, or a speaking presentation.  We often hear of instances where a vendor is left out because they did not respond in a timely manner.  Analysts do the best they can, but without your response the information may not be complete.

Vendor is not leveraging me as an advisor
This is a key complaint, especially from the Sage analysts, who pride themselves on strategy advice and longer term activities.  They want early involvement in a non-disclosure process that allows them to impact strategy, positioning, products, key messages, PR campaigns, and so forth.  Too many executives view the analysts as adversaries and miss the opportunities to gain market perceptions based on real client information.  AR teams need to educate key staff on the many ways to safely use analysts for insights and reviews that can really promote a company.

 SageCircle Technique:

  • Ensure that your analyst interaction plan is adjusted if your ranking and tiering are altered
  • Track all analyst interactions and match them to your prepared interaction plan
  • Respond to all key analyst needs promptly
  • Communicate with your executives to educate them on the value and benefits of strategy interactions
  • Establish and promote a buddy plan and track the interactions

Bottom Line: Creating a proactive analyst relations program is based on early and often interactions with key analysts, responding to their needs on their timetable, and using them in a strategic fashion.  Setting these goals are part of the way in which AR teams achieve a best in class program.

Questions: Analysts:  Have we addressed your major complaints?  What else bugs you?

 AR Teams: Is your interaction plan current and tracked?  Do you have a working executive buddy program?

SageCircle can help

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.” See our website to learn more about our advisory services or contact us at info [at] sagecircle dot com or 650-274-8309. 


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