• 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 […]

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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