Observations on changes in the analyst ecosystem

Gerry Van Zandt  [This commentary comes from guest contributor Gerry Van Zandt (Twitter handle), AR manager with HP Services. This guest post started as a letter that Gerry sent to his HP colleagues. We are posting an edited version with his permission]

I think it’s important to read and internalize what’s happening in the analyst ecosystem at a macro level.  Please note that this is my own take, and not the opinion nor the official position of HP.  Thus, you may or may not agree with it.

For the past 6-7 years, since blogs began to take hold and proliferate, a sea change has been occurring in the influencer (press and analyst) ecosystem.  The strict lines between press and analysts have been increasingly blurring, and a new class of influencers emerged circa 2002, and began really solidifying in late 2005.  I coined the term “blogalysts” for these influencers around this time.

Dozens of reporters and editors have left the press ranks to become industry analysts over the years — that’s not news.  However, we’re seeing more analysts who are contributing regular content to print and on-line press publications (i.e. Gordon Haff/Illuminata and Peter Glaskowsky/Envisioneering writing for C/Net).  Furthermore, laid-off press people and now analysts are leaving their traditional organizations to join on-line blog networks (and going solo) as “expert commentators” around particular topics. Some have strong reputations, others are striving mightily to build or re-build them.

RedMonk was probably the pioneer “blogalyst,” deliberately eschewing traditional paid, data-based research services and publishing commentary free, and 100% on-line.  They joined other newly formed “new-era” research firms like The 451 Group who aggressively embraced blogs and other emerging on-line tools.  Since then, Continue reading


Best practices for partner collaboration on AR

This best practice comes from guest contributor Gerry Van Zandt (Twitter handle), AR manager with HP Services.

Joint product, service, or customer announcements with partners are a common part of the marketing repertoire for large and small companies in the technology world. But far too often these “announcements” consist of two names or logos at the top of a press release, with only modest coordination between the PR teams of the two companies (mainly securing approvals and edits to press release text) and then shot-gunning the news release out on the newswires.

As always, AR teams should assess the potential benefits of joint announcements and engage in the process early to help shape content and key messages. To maximize effectiveness of important joint announcements, AR also should coordinate closely with AR counterparts (or resources handling AR) at partner companies and jointly plan an analyst engagement strategy and timeline, executed by both companies. By doing this, analysts get informed about the upcoming news in advance, and learn its context and significance to both companies. This also gives them the knowledge to accurately comment if called by a reporter as a third-party story source.

When engaging with AR counterparts at partner firms, AR should:

  • Identify appropriate AR and marketing resources early at the partner firm. When AR is called into a project, they should as early as possible inquire with Continue reading