• Recent Posts: Influencer Relations

    Analyst Relations Value Forum to discuss Tragic Quadrant

    Analyst Relations Value Forum to discuss Tragic Quadrant

    The IIAR has updated its Tragic Quadrant, which ostensibly ranks the ten top analyst firms in terms of impact, relevance and ease of doing business with. Earlier posts have mentioned the weaknesses of both the Quadrant and the underlying method. The IIAR’s 2017 top ten drops PAC, the fifth most valuable analyst firm. Crisp Research, ESG and Machina (Gartner’s IoT […]

    Your pitch to analysts isn’t just about your solution

    Your pitch to analysts isn’t just about your solution

    In pitches to analysts, there are many conversations going on. At one level, there’s a communication about the business solution. There’s also a conversation about the wider market and about the personal credibility of the participants. Sometimes the slides used in pitches are just excuses for the interaction. The slides are used to assess both the market vision of the firm and the […]

    KPMG pushes out 451 in 2017 Strategy Analyst Firm Awards

    KPMG pushes out 451 in 2017 Strategy Analyst Firm Awards

    For the strategic heavy lifting, executives are reaching out to a very wide range of advisors. Gartner heads up the list when we look at the Analyst Value Survey data to find the analyst firms most valued by people who work on strategy. It creates almost 19% of all the value being produced by analyst services around strategy (If CEB, […]

    Save the date for our Analyst Firm Awards

    Save the date for our Analyst Firm Awards

    This year we’re publishing our analyst firm awards more or less monthly. Please put the dates in your diary. If you’re a subscriber to the Analyst Firm Awards, you can also access a webinar for each of these events, held on the final Thursday or each month. January – Global January 18 – Outstanding reports February 17 – Strategy March 15 – Internet […]

    IDC could flourish after IDG’s sale to Chinese consortium

    IDC could flourish after IDG’s sale to Chinese consortium

    As we predicted in our April Fool’s Joke last year, IDC has been sold as part of a Chinese-led purchase that leaves CEO Kirk Campbell at the helm. IDG Capital will take control of the IDG Ventures; China Oceanwide will control IDG and most of IDC, and an independent trustee will take control of IDC’s High Performance Computing (HPC) practice, […]

SageCircle joins Kea Company

On March 3rd 2014, Kea Company announced its purchase of SageCircle. It’s great news for the analyst relations profession, writes Duncan ChappleKea Company logo:

I am excited that Dave Eckert will be joining our advisory board. I’m looking forward to Kea’s role in developing SageCircle’s contribution. The press release explains that SageCircle has developed an immense reputation: “The integration of SageCircle’s vast expertise underlines Kea Company’s global Analyst Relations leadership. It strengthens Kea Company’s existing presence in the US market.”

Ten years ago, when SageCircle’s investors pulled out, it temporarily closed. In a note I wrote at that time for clients, I explained Sage’s strengths.

“Eventually, a quarter of the technology and telecoms firms in the US Fortune 500 were clients. SageCircle had built a successful analyst relations consultancy on five foundation stones;
  1. Analyst-led: SageCircle was analyst-led. Former Gartner analysts like Carter Lusher, Chris Germann, Dave Cappuccio, andChris Le Tocq gave the firm deep understanding of the pain analysts feel when meeting badly-prepared vendors. SageCircle, like its competitors Kensington Group and Knowledge Capital Group, opted to not run analyst relations activities for its customers.Without the continually-refreshed, front-line learning one can get from building analyst relationships for a vendor, SageCircle’s former analysts were a huge asset in overcoming the insight lost by refusing to conduct analyst outreach.
  2. • Top to bottom: The firm addressed itself to AR programs at every stage of development: not only the largest firms but also the smallest. The needs of the programs differ greatly. Large firms have in-house AR teams that need help in optimizing processes, training, winning executives’ time, defending and extending gains made in their internal political process and selling internally. Small firms need the basics: why analyst relations matters; how to target; what to say; who to use; when to contact analysts; where to allocate the bulk of their effort. Both sets of skills are essential.
  3. • Sales-led: SageCircle positioned analyst relations as a way to grow sales, not as a way to optimize media profile or coverage volume. This is a key conceptual break in moving analyst relations away from the subordination to media relations which constrains many analyst relations programs.
  4. • Objective measurements: SageCircle also developed measurement approaches that were focused on monitoring analyst opinions in research and the media. At the time the firm was founded, many AR measurement tools were based either on dangerously subjective, and often self-serving, “audits”of conversations or on surveying analysts opinions of the communications tools and channels that firms used. By focusing on written content rather than technique alone, SageTrack, the firm’s tool for measuring analyst tonality in published research and media interview, helped elevate AR to a strategic, sales-building, activity.
  5. • Capacity building: SageCircle played an important role in sharing knowledge, best practice and awareness of analyst relations both within and without its client base. Using seminars, conference calls, briefing notes and white papers the company aimed to give analyst relations advocates the tools they needed to educate the broad marketing community with the understanding and basic mind-set needed to conduct effective analyst relations.”

When Dave Eckert reopened the business a few months later, he maintained these strengths. Now that he is transitioning into an active retirement, and remaining a sage to guide Kea, our task is to build on the work already done, and to bring those strengths and more to a wider audience.