• 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 […]

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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