Ovum ups the ante in campaign to recruit AMR analysts and sales representatives

Tip o’ the hat to the tipsters who sent in information about this Ovum news

Updated 12/16/09 1:32 pm PT – Added photo of truck outside Gartner’s HQ

Here is the Ovum truck making the rounds around Gartner main offices on Top Gallant Road in Stamford, CT (click on the picture to enlarge). Carter’s office use to be on the second floor nearest Top Gallant Road. Carter says that this truck would be quite visible from any of the window offices.

Please read the comments below. A Guerilla Billboards staffer mentions that a member of Gartner’s legal team came out and told the driver to get lost. Interesting.

As SageCircle reported in Special offers for AMR Research’s clients, sales professionals and analysts Ovum is one of the firms that is making a play for AMR’s sales and analyst staff. This is a common tactic by competing firms immediately after the announcement of a sizeable acquisition. However, offers like these do not necessarily result in the pickup of key staff because there is little effort put into the campaign. Usually there is just an announcement on the poaching firms’ websites and maybe a few phone calls to staff at the targeted firm.

Ovum has demonstrated that it is willing to increase the stakes by actually investing in getting the attention of the staff at the targeted firm. SageCircle has received reports about the rolling billboard that Ovum put on the streets of Boston to circle the Gartner and AMR Research offices (see picture). While this technique is likely a modest expense it does demonstrate that Ovum is serious about expanding its presence in the US market where it has a relatively small presence. In addition, it is a nifty publicity stunt sure to get some notice.

This development could work to the advantage of enterprises and vendors looking to wrap up contracts before the end of December and the official Gartner takeover. AMR prospects or clients looking to renew should point out to AMR sales representatives that there is increased risk in signing a contract as key intellectual capital, i.e., analysts, might walk out the door to a competitor. As a consequence, the prospect or client should look to receive a significant discount on the contract.

Replay of the webinar “SageCircle Analysis of Gartner’s acquisition of AMR Research” is now available. To receive a link and password to watch a streaming version of the webinar please email “info [at] sagecircle [dot] com”. Please include your job title and company name. Agenda:

  • Basics of the deal
  • SageCircle Analysis of AMR’s and Gartner’s Motivation
  • Highlights from Gartner AR Community Call
  • Commentary on Points from Gartner AR Community Call
  • Recommendations for Research Clients
    • Enterprise
    • Vendors
  • Recommendations for Vendor AR Teams

SageCircle Technique:

  • AMR clients and prospects should be negotiating hard on any AMR contracts
  • Vendor AR teams need to keep their fingers on the pulse of AMR and Gartner analysts intentions about staying with the firm (one AMR analyst has already resigned) and adjust outreach plans accordingly

Bottom Line: For the next few months, there will be a level of uncertainty about Gartner’s ability to retain key AMR staff. Therefore, enterprises and vendors need to closely monitor development and change their plans if necessary.

Question: Enterprise research consumers and AR professionals – Are there key AMR analysts whose departure would cause you to rethink your relationship with the “new” AMR once Gartner assumes control?


16 Responses

  1. Whatever one thinks about this – it was a great buzz generator, and your posting of the picture certainly helped. Guerilla marketing is always fun (except when you’re on the receiving end.
    Somebody at Ovum is clearly willing to think out of the box, and that’s not your typical Research firm these days, even the ones that make a practice in marketing.

  2. I’m sure there’ll be takers for Ovum’s offer. My answer to your question is “yes.” Full stop.

  3. Via Twitter from @kitson Josh Weinberger


  4. Via Twitter from @neilwd, Neil Ward-Dutton, analyst with Macehiter Ward-Dutton

    Wow, this isn’t the Ovum I remember…

  5. Merrrrrrrrrvvvvv!

  6. […] Comments Register for the Gar… on Gartner Acquiries AMR Research…Tom Grant on Ovum ups the ante in campaign …Tim on Analyst departures start at AM…sagecircle on Ovum ups the ante in campaign […]

  7. I guess Ovum doesn’t realize that very few Gartner analysts actually work out of Gartner’s HQ offices these days. They’d be better served driving around the greater NYC (or Central Ohio, or Nashville or Austin, TX areas) with that sign….:)

  8. What a low rent tactic. I guess Datamonitor was a bit too cheap to spend money on recruiting candidates using more traditional means (i.e. headhunters.) This just reinforces the fact that Ovum is a third tier analyst firm and nothing more.

  9. Hi Charles, Thanks for the comment.

    There is no indication that Ovum is or is not also using headhunters and other traditional recruiting methods. It could be that they are supplementing traditional approaches with a little guerilla marketing.

    In general, do you not approve of guerilla marketing techniques? This type of marketing is not everybody’s cup of tea so I am curious if your distaste for Ovum’s stunt reflects a general dislike for guerilla marketing.

    • I feel that guerilla marketing (is there anything guerilla about this?) works best when it’s used to draw the the public’s attention to a new product or service. I do not see how a truck circling the building with a direct message like “come work for Ovum” is guerilla. It just seems tacky and a publicity stunt that might have played well in the dot com days. Maybe they should have sneaked into the building and left offer letters in everyone’s mailbox. Now that would have been more on the right track. I am glad to hear that they are using traditional methods of recruitment as well.

  10. Hi Beth, Thanks for the comment.

    Oh sure, the Ovum folks know that there are not a lot of analysts that actually work at the HQ site. But for something like this to work they do not need direct eyeballs on the truck. This type of guerilla marketing works by creating buzz that is spread through email (I bet there were a lot emails flying around Gartner and AMR), social media like blogs and Twitter, and publicity in traditional media.

  11. You are correct, Carter. We — I work for Ovum — in fact, are using traditional recruiting methods, including headhunters (commission and retained), our own web site and third-party job sites.

    And yes, Beth, we realize that virtually none of Gartner’s analysts are in Stamford. However, judging by the messages I’ve received from analysts around the globe, putting the truck in Stamford got the requisite exposure that sending it to, say, central Ohio may not have achieved.

    Neil, no, this isn’t your father’s Ovum. 🙂 I hope you approve of the new-found aggressiveness. We are excited by the opportunities in the marketplace for a differentiated solution…and approach.

  12. Ovum’s mobile billboard ad is back in Boston’s Financial District today.

    But before it left Stamford yesterday, Gartner sent its Building Super out to visit Bob the billboard driver when he was parked roughly 1/2 mile away at Southfield Park. A nice guy according to Bob, the Super was apparently tasked with telling him that virtually all of Top Gallant Road is not a public street, and therefore the billboard truck is not allowed to park on or travel along it.

  13. […] Comments Andrew Erickson on Ovum ups the ante in campaign …Charles T. on Ovum ups the ante in campaign …Jonathan Yarmis on Ovum ups the ante in campaign […]

  14. […] a passerby in downtown Boston photographed the truck and sent the shot to the well regarded blog Sage Circle where the truck’s visits to Boston and Stamford became part of the on-line […]

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