• 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 […]

This Holiday Season Don’t Play Santa Claus to the Analysts [AR practitioner question]

question-mark-graphic.jpgWe are starting to get the annual round of inquiries about what is the best gift for AR to send to analysts during the holiday season. Common Items that vendors have sent in the past include bottles of expensive wine, boxes of chocolates, consumer electronic gadgets, pen sets, clocks, Steuben glass trinkets, and so on. This annual exercise can produce anxiety in AR staff and distract from the true strategic mission of AR, which is generating leads and assisting sales to close business. 

Frankly, this annual exercise is a waste of precious time and resources. Why? Analysts receive so many packages during the holidays that any one package does not stand out. Many items are not even kept by analysts, either ending up in the trash or in the coffee room for administrative staff to pick through.

While some analysts like gifts, many others cannot accept them because of firm policy. In this age of media stories about financial analyst conflicts-of-interest, IT analyst firms are starting to forbid analysts to accept gifts to avoid any PR disasters. See the comments from analysts on both sides of the issue in Analysts and swag – A waste of time and money… or worse. Complying with firm policies on vendor gifts just adds an additional layer of effort onto already overstressed staff.

SageCircle Technique:

  • AR should skip the “gift giving” exercise this year
  • Reallocate the time to additional analyst touches, planning or staff training

Bottom Line: Every year AR departments waste precious time and money sending analysts holiday gifts. Because these gifts are ineffectual and not wanted by the analysts, we suggest that AR drop the practice and use the resources more productively. If you really, really have to give the analysts a gift, give them something that they really, really want – a private conversation with your CEO.

Question: AR – have you given analysts gifts in the past? How have you measured the effectiveness of this exercise?

One Response

  1. I’m afraid that I don’t agree with the sentiments posted about not sending gifts to analysts. I feel that, at Christmastime, it’s a thoughtful gesture to send a good, but not necessarily expensive gift to analysts. Say an US$15 bottle of wine is absolutely fine. As I’ve worked as an analyst, at the end a hard year, it’s nice to receive a gift. The vendor’s not necesarily trying to curry favour – all that’s being done is that they’re using Relationship Marketing techniques to raise awareness of a vendor’s brand. The exercise doesn’t necessarily sway an analyst’s opinion of a vendor, but it does not harm and it’s a relatively low cost exercise for the vendor to carry out.

    And yes I have a list of the gift policy of analyst companies, so it’s all above board.

    I would guard against giving analysts larger, technology-related gifts but sending a low cost gift to analysts at special times of the year is fine in my view.

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