• 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 […]

If you have to say you are the market leader, you probably aren’t

Forrester analyst extraordinaire and social media poster boy Jeremiah Owyang (Twitter handle, blog) recently posted a very useful article How to Translate Vendor Talk into Plain English. Besides Jeremiah’s thoughts in the post, there is also a vigorous debate going on in the comments so read them as well.

 While written for enterprise IT managers getting pitched by vendor sales reps, this is a useful post for AR professionals as well.  Not because it necessarily covers new ground (see our posts listed below), but because it is always important to reinforce best practices.  Even the best can fall into bad habits, especially with PowerPoint.

There is one new example that Jeremiah raises that I want to encourage everybody to check carefully and that is “The Fallacy of Vendor Math.”  This concerns vendor claims like “30 of the Fortune 50 are our clients.” Yeah, so? Probably all the vendor’s competitors could make the same claim. 

One last point. If a vendor has to tell an analyst they are the market or industry leader then the vendor probably isn’t the leader. You can save your spokespeople grief by helping them eliminate this sort of marketing hype.

SageCircle Webinar - Ranking and Tiering Your Analyst ListRelated posts:

SageCircle Technique:

  • AR managers need to develop a checklist of presentation mistakes to use in PPT critique sessions
  • Content developers need to be educated about the best practices for building presentations for analyst briefings, which are very different from sales or press presentations
  • Spokespeople need to be educated about what type of language will derail analyst briefings even if the language works fine with the press or other constituencies

SageCircle clients can download our checklist of presentation mistakes in Word format from the Online SageContent Library or send us an email to obtain a copy. In addition, we recommend setting up an inquiry to discuss best practices for presentation review.

Bottom Line: Nothing will take a briefing off track faster than using “vendor speak” and making unsupportable claims. AR managers should work to educate their colleagues about analyst hot buttons when it comes to the use of marketing hype in briefings.

2 Responses

  1. As someone with a multi-million budget for computing hardware, have to say this is terrible advice.

    A vendor who claims leadership is far easier to champion throughout the organization. When I ask my boss to check out a website with a bland slogan or unclear company overview, it’s makes my job selling a vendor’s product internally much more difficult.

    Be bold, say you’re the leader. But be specific – don’t say you’re the leader in IT infrastructure, say you’re the leader in storage arrays, tax compliance software, etc – trust me it works

  2. If you have to say you’re the market leader, you haven’t realized that the more ‘au courant’ phrase is that you are the “premier provider” of “superior products and services”. Premier and superior have the added advantage of being conveniently unverifiable.

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