• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    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 […]

    Unmaking fruit salad: 6 ways to help analysts segment markets

    Unmaking fruit salad: 6 ways to help analysts segment markets

     It’s a common challenge for providers: some new or fast-changing market contains very different solutions. Clients want either apples or oranges, but the analyst research reads more like fruit salad. As new solutions come into old markets, or as analysts try to squeeze hot new solutions into their less-exciting coverage areas, it’s increasingly hard for users of analyst research to make […]

    Control in Analyst Attitude Surveys

    Control in Analyst Attitude Surveys

    Because a lot of analysts take part in our Analyst Attitude Surveys, we are able to offer clients what we call a control group. In the language of research, a control group is a group of people who don’t get the treatment that we want to measure the effectiveness of. For example, most firms might be focussed on a top tier […]

    Time for a new direction in AR measurement?

    Time for a new direction in AR measurement?

    Worldwide, Analyst Relations teams are committed to fostering the best information exchange, experiences and trusted relationships with tightly-targetted global industry analysts and influencers. Sometimes the targeting is too narrow and analysts are treated inhumanly. However, the technology buying process is transforming and so must the benchmarking of analyst relationships. There’s already a long-term transformation of analyst relations. Over one-third of technology […]

Social media is a multi-facet opportunity for major industry analyst firms

icon-social-media-blue.jpgMajor analyst firms like AMR Research, Gartner, IDC and Ovum are rightly criticized for being slow out the gate when it comes to addressing and using social media. The one major firm that has done the most to leverage the potential of social media is Forrester, but even Forrester has not been as aggressive as it could be. Here are some ways that major analysts firms should be involved with social media tools:

Research it

Social media should be a topic of research.  We think this is quite obvious, but with the exception of Forrester none of the major firms have done any in-depth, systematic research on the topic. No doubt some of the firms will say that their clients are not asking for research, nor doing any inquiries on the topic. Well, a couple of years ago the same could be said about Green IT and now look at the interest in the topic. AMR did hire Jonathan Yarmis (see here) and IDC hired Rachel Happe to research this space, but both need to broaden and deepen the teams focusing on social media.  We would expect analysts to take the lead in new areas and provide good advice to their clients.

Use it

Social media looks like it can be an interesting and useful research tool. Blogs can be idea development platforms. LinkedIn Answers offers the ability to ask questions of people not clients of the firm. Twitter can be a platform for snap polls and intra-event communications.  Can these tools be used to gather data?  How else could they be used to do research?

Analyst firms could use social media to manage internal collaboration and knowledge.  One of the great frustrations for the vendor AR community is that they have to conduct multiple briefings on the same topic for analysts for the same firm. This is because the analysts do not exchange information they receive from vendors because their firms do not invest in collaboration platforms and knowledge management. This would also offer the firms experience in how to recommend these tools to their clients.

The analyst firms have a huge asset locked in their published research and conference presentations.  They should use social media to deliver that content. Yes, some of the material can be accessed via search on the website, but those searches turn up discrete PDFs with no organization. Imagine how much more powerful all that content would be if it was poured into a wiki with appropriate links between articles. A wiki would also permit clients, end users and vendors, to add comments, vote on the usefulness of an article and add insights.

There have been many articles written on the marketing uses of social media so I won’t repeat that material here. Suffice to say that analyst firms would derive much benefit from enhancing their marketing using social media.

Promote it

Analyst firms are constantly looking for new products to sell. While some of the firms use focus groups and other traditional techniques to get new product input, social media has been demonstrated to be cheaper, faster and more intimate means to get this input. Once they get the information they could use that to promote both the social media and the information they learned from it.

Help establish social media communities.  This is a topic that has been covered in depth in both traditional and new media. What is relevant for analyst firms is that they have a built-in opportunity by leveraging their existing client bases and the various groupings like role-based clients, executive forums and conference communities.  By demonstrating the use of social media they could not only establish their own communities, but show clients how it can be done.

Bottom Line: The analysts are sitting on a potential gold mine of business value if they only leveraged the opportunity that social media represents.  If they think they are the though leaders of IT they should demonstrate some of that leadership.

Question: How would you like analyst firms to use social media for research or client delivery? 

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