• 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 […]

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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