• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    Netscout continues unwise Gartner suit

    Netscout continues unwise Gartner suit

    Netscout and Gartner have scheduled their trial for next July. The case stands little chance of improving Netscout’s value. It does, however, risk harming the reputation of both analyst firms and analyst relations professionals. Over the last weeks, pressure has mounted on Netscout’s lawyers. Netscout claims Gartner’s Magic Quadrant harmed its enterprise sales and that the truth of Gartner’s statements […]

    Is this how the Quadrant lost its Magic?

    Is this how the Quadrant lost its Magic?

    Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is the most influential non-financial business research document. In the late 1980s, it was a quick and dirty stalking horse to provoke discussions. Today it is an extensive and yet highly limited process, based on the quantification of opinions which are highly qualitative. The early evolution of the MQ tells us a lot about the challenge of industry […]

    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 […]

AR Strategic & Tactical Plan – The Intersection of Many Activities

As is often the case with blog posts, I scan the AR profession and SageCircle’s client work to determine “What’s hot” – i.e. the common theme running though our engagements and inquiries. This time the issue is the AR Strategic & Tactical Plan.  We encounter planning issues when starting an AR Diagnostic; it often comes up in an inquiry or when planning training by saying “Let me see your AR plan”; and clients reviewing our research will exclaim, “This should be incorporated into my AR plan.”   It is significant that we are seeing Strategic & Tactical planning take precedence in practitioners’ minds.

This emphasis is not surprising since AR is an activity-intensive function with scheduled and unscheduled events spread throughout the year. The slowing economies in many countries heighten this emphasis by placing pressure on AR programs to prove their value.  As AR programs take up this challenge and pursue strategic goals such as “Arming Sales to Close Business”, their need for tighter planning increases.  Unfortunately, in performing AR Diagnostics with clients or prospects, we often find that clients answer “No” to the majority of questions in the AR Planning section while answering “Some” or “Yes” on other sections such as “Responding Rapidly to Critical Analyst Opinion.” This is putting the cart before the horse. For example, we know that AR programs will find it more difficult to develop an effective measurement program to prove their value and build a case for executive investment if they don’t have a solid plan that helps them identify what data needs to be collected in the first place.

Another trend that is putting pressure on AR teams to have a good AR Strategic & Tactical plan is the rise of social media like blogging, Twitter, social networks and so on. Social media should be an additive set of communications tools that needs to be incorporated into an overall mix of interactions, not something “special” or separate. If social media is not part of the AR plan, then it can become “random acts of analyst communication” that might drain resources from more appropriate activities or forms of communication. On the other hand, social media that is part of an AR plan can be a powerful communication strategy that make the AR team more efficient and effective.

SageCircle Technique:

When starting the AR planning process, here are some questions that AR teams need to answer: 

  • What are your AR program goals, and how do they fit into overall corporate goals?
  • What results do you plan to deliver, and how will they be measured?
  • What analysts are you targeting, and why?
  • What programs will you execute? How do they integrate with your calendar of activities?
  • What are the types of interactions you plan on including in your toolbox?
  • What resources (including headcount) do you need to accomplish AR’s goals?

Bottom Line: IT and telecommunications industry analyst relations (AR) should be a professional discipline with measurable business value and repeatable results. Consequently, AR programs require robust planning. Having a solid AR plan will give AR teams the framework for more effective, efficient and consistent execution.

Question: Do you have an AR plan? If the answer is “No,” why is that?

One Response

  1. […] Posted on December 12, 2008 by sagecircle Analyst relations (AR) teams that are building their AR Strategic & Tactical Plan need to have insights into what critical analysts are planning to publish over the next few months. […]

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