SageCircle has learned that Yankee Group has initiated a round of analyst layoffs. At this time the exact number of staff and coverage is not known, but we have heard that 10% might be the size of the action. AR teams need to hope for the best for their favorite Yankee analysts, but plan for the worst.
Of course, layoffs impact real people with families and obligations. Often AR people are genuinely friendly with the analysts they work with and this sort of news can be a shock. Unfortunately for AR professionals, analyst firm layoffs also raise important issues that need to be addressed ASAP no matter how much sympathy they feel for the analysts caught in the layoffs.
The stark reality is that an analyst firm will not admit that they have pushed critical intellectual property out the door. Because none of the major analyst firms – including Yankee – have knowledge management systems or collaboration platforms in place, almost all IP is stored between the ears of analysts. When an analyst leaves, critical information and context leaves as well. For vendors that means that reporters or end users that call the firm with a question may be given access to analysts that might have had only peripheral contact with the market space, your company, your products and services, and your competition. Until they are educated in this new area there is a chance they could give out incorrect information or recommendations.
As a consequence, AR teams need to be proactive.
Sign up for the free SageCircle Coffee Talk “What to do when an analyst is laid off” on Tuesday, September 2nd, at 8:30 am US Pacific time. Register at http://www.sagecircle.com/pages/Coffee_talk.
- Ascertain whether any of your primary analysts are being affected
- Identify or guess which analyst(s) might take over inquiry responsibility
- Insist that you be given the opportunity to brief the interim analyst(s) quickly
- Generate an analyst education plan to get the interim analysts up-to-speed on your products and how they fit into the overall marketplace
- Determine if any of the affected analysts were scheduled to do an analyst consulting day for your company (e.g., on-site strategy review session or marketing speech). If so, decide whether there is an acceptable substitute. If the answer is no, cancel the session or get a top analyst from another firm to do the engagement
- If the layoffs occur as you are moving into annual contract renewal negotiations, determine if this impacts the services you buy from the firm
- If the analyst is respected, check to see if there are job opportunities for the analyst in your company
Bottom Line: Analyst firm layoffs are not acts of nature that have to be passively accepted. Rather AR teams need to move into action to safeguard the interests of their companies.
Question: Have you ever been adversely affected by an analyst layoff?