• 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 […]

When talking about partners, avoid the dreaded “shaking hands” clipart

Two of the hoariest clichés used in PowerPoint presentations for analyst briefings are a slide full of partner logos or using clipart showing shaking hands as a sign of partnership.

The partner slide is an important component of many presentations made to IT industry analysts. Unfortunately, too many vendors use these clichés and miss the opportunity to communicate real information that supports key messages.

A better way to design the partner slide is to use text names instead of logos and organize the name listings in a way that adds information (see the second figure). The organization of the names should support the key strategic messages of the current briefing. A key message-centric slide is much richer than a logo-centric slide and more partners can be listed. In addition, by organizing the customer list by key message, this slide does double duty. If practical, additional information could be added such as how the partners complement each other’s offerings or a table for showing what each partner contributes.

Two critical reminders about briefing best practices: there should only be one to three key messages addressed in any single briefing. By keeping your briefing focused on a small number of key messages, it makes it easier to build a partner slide around key messages.  Secondly, reducing the font size to cram more information on a slide is not the way to focus your message.

SageCircle Technique:

  • Start with a blank bullet slide, do not copy an existing partner slide from another PPT deck
  • Type in the key messages for this briefing
  • Type in the relevant partners as sub-bullets under each key message
  • Identify key partnership success factors (e.g., investments each side is making) and put those into sidebars

Bottom Line: Vendors need to avoid the easy but clichéd partner slide approach of simply scattering customer logos around a slide. A better approach is to use text names organized in a fashion that supports the key messages of the analyst interaction.

Question: Analysts – What information would you like vendors to present when it comes to partners?

2 Responses

  1. One of the problems is that “partnerships” are cheap. I tend not to put a whole stock in the mere existence of a partnership. It gets more interesting when there starts to be accumulated evidence of meaningful sales or development initiatives that are a direct result of the partnership. Otherwise, it’s mostly “I love you, you love me, put your logo of my…” well, slide, but that doesn’t rhyme.

  2. Hi Gordon, Thanks for the comment.

    I completely agree. A future post will discuss what topics and proof points are needed to make a partnership discussion worthwhile.

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