• 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 […]

2009 the year that was in the analyst ecosystem

2009 was interesting to say the least when it came to the analyst ecosystem and the analyst relations (AR) community. Now is good time to step back and do a quick review of what happened in 2009 to prepare for looking ahead to 2010. Luckily for us, we have a lot of content to draw upon as SageCircle has become the definitive source of analyst ecosystem news and commentary. In 2009 we published over 250 blog posts with over 1,000 comments. Many of the blog posts started with information from the community, both analysts and AR, with almost all the comments coming from the community. 

People are still very interested in the analysts – SageCircle’s blog gets about 25,000 unique visitors per month, which is pretty good for such a narrowly-focused blog. However, we always get a huge spike in readership whenever there is news about the analyst firms (e.g., layoffs and M&A). News related posts are also the ones that typically get the most comments, links, and tweets. 

The recession has been brutal, but not fatal for firms – Early 2009 was very tough for analyst firms with layoffs by at least 13 firms, cancelation of events, and plummeting consulting revenues. However, unlike the last recession, there have not been any prominent firms that went out of business. We checked the SageCircle newsletters from the previous tech recession (roughly 2001-03) and every month we were reporting on the shuttering of some analyst firm. That has not been the case this time around. In addition, the second half of 2009 has seen reports of firms starting to see improved revenues and event attendance starting to recover.

Social media’s adoption by the analyst ecosystem has been expanding, but lumpy – The number of analysts and AR professionals on Twitter has more than doubled in the last year – but that does not mean that Twitter is being heavily used. There are more blogs being written by analysts, but that does not mean the number of unique visitors is high or the quality of the content is great. Is AR using blogs? Nope, there are only a handful of AR blogs. There are a few interesting communities/social networks, but nothing widespread has happened yet on this front. 

M&A yes, consolidation no – While the CEOs of the two publicly traded firms consistently mention an aggressive acquisition strategy at investor events, there were only three acquisitions of note: TowerGroup by Corporate Executive Board, AMR by Gartner, and Strategic Oxygen by Forrester. This is very light when you consider that in the latter half of the 1990’s there were an average of 15 M&A events per year. Because the barriers to entry in the analyst market are so low there are actually more analyst firms now than at the beginning of the year if you count single practitioners and boutiques. Several new firms were launched in the wake of layoffs at larger firms.

Enterprise IT managers continue to sign up for advisory analyst services – Even though many people in the blogosphere and press breathlessly proclaim that that the analyst firms are so 20th Century, somebody forgot to send the memo to the buyers of IT and telecommunications at large enterprises. For instance, even in the midst of this recession, Gartner has added over 1,000 large enterprises (defined as $1bn or more in revenues) to its client base in 2009.

The AR-Sales Partnership concept draws interest – One of the most discussed topics around SageCircle has been the concept of a formal AR-Sales Partnership. We have been getting inquiries from vendors of all sizes and markets about the pros and cons of this idea. While we have not seen a lot of formal AR-sales efforts in 2009, we think all the discussion presages active launches in 2010.

Bottom Line: The analyst ecosystem is constantly evolving in response to the economy and changing technology. Keeping a finger on the pulse of this change is critical for any member of the ecosystem from AR to analysts to research consumers.

Question: What do you think were some of the interesting developments in the analyst ecosystem in 2009?

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