• 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 […]

The questions that Forrester and Gartner clients ask the analysts

While it is illegal for analyst relations (AR) teams to wiretap the analysts, it is possible to eavesdrop on their conversations with enterprise IT managers and other technology and telecommunications buyers. Well, sort of.

 The “Big Two” advisory firms have services, Forrester Client Advantage and Gartner Customer Insights, which are databases of the questions clients ask when scheduling a client inquiry. The insights available in these simple databases can be incredibly useful for vendors who invest the time and budget in data mining.

The information that can be extracted is of use to multiple constituencies within a vendor including AR (of course), market research, messaging, product management, sales and others. There are many more uses of the insights than there are audiences. For instance, for AR the questions illustrate the type of information that the analysts need… which might be different from what the AR team had been providing the to them. For Sales, the same questions might point out that prospects do not understand the vendor’s messages and that the talking points the sales representatives are using need to be modified.

There are limitations to the data. It includes questions only from clients of the firms, the questions are mostly those captured by client service staff scheduling the inquiry and don’t include other issues that arise during the call, and the answers are not included. However, even with these shortcomings, the databases are worth mining.

There is a caveat, and it’s a big one. These services are only worth the money if they are actually used. Too often the buyers become distracted by other tasks or lack of habit leads to the databases becoming “shelfware.”

SageCircle Technique:

  • Request a briefing by your Forrester and Gartner sales representatives about these services
  • Evaluate your current purchasing from the firms to see if there is planned spending that can be diverted to acquiring these services
  • Develop a plan for who will be the consumer of the information from these services and how the information will be used
  • Assign responsibility for who will analyze the data and create the reports that will be used by the research consumer
  • Periodically check that the reports are being generated and actually used

Bottom Line: Understanding the questions that advisory firm clients are asking analysts can provide valuable insights for many professionals in a vendor. However, the services are only worth the investment if the analysis will be used to change actions by the vendor.

Question: Have you considered using these services?  How could the analyst firms make the data more useful to you to encourage your purchase?

2 Responses

  1. Carter

    Yes, we got offered these services a couple of years ago by HP – and they were very, very pricey indeed. One way to get added value is to insist on having a dedicated analyst assigned to the service – and them provide a precis or evaluation of the report, built into the price.

    At the time we were looking specifically at hardware, and the insights would have been invaluable – as they were directly linked to customer issues – and it was going to be possible to categorise them to identify the most common, and knock off competitors accordingly.

    Unfortunately, the direct value that this would have showed analyst relations providing sales, never got past the beancounters barriers. But for those who can get past them – I’d recommend it as a well worthwhile service.

  2. Sorry my last post should read ‘by Gartner whilst at HP’ – wonder if you can correct?

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