Sunday, 18 September 2005

Models of the AR process

I've just re-discovered a cool chart that Bill Hopkins put together for the AIIM Advisory Trade Members meeting in Phoenix earlier this year. Bill's presentation outlines the eight steps for a successful AR program:

  1. Target the right analysts
  2. Establish the right partnerships
  3. Build a contact strategy and plan
  4. Nominate an interactor team
  5. Arm them with the best presentations
  6. Train them in analyst interactions
  7. Integrate AR with the sales force
  8. Measure the results of the program.
These are okay, but they focus on how to start up an interaction program with analysts. More is required to start-up and maintain AR. So a number of questions remain unaddressed:
  • How do you get buy-in to AR in the first place?
  • What goals can be 'sold' to executives in order to get resources for AR?
  • Is there more to AR than telephone and face-to-face interactions -- what about newsletters and extranets?
  • Is there more to integration than connecting to sales - what about marketing, PR, competitive intelligence and senior executives?
  • How can you get the most benefit from your relationships with analysts?
Perhaps these are questions that don't concern many of Bill's clients. Serving 700 organizations (according to his website; over 800 according to the slides) must mean that most of his business is with mid-sized firms. He's explicit that he isn't doing in-depth consulting with most of them. It did seem to be that these are questions that SageCircle addresses before it went bust, and I am hopeful that we'll start to dig deep on some of those questions as SPAR gets going.

A lot has been happening with SPAR recently. Most of you outside the Bay area won't know what we're doing, so I'll make another post about that next week.


Bill Hopkins, CEO, The Knowledge Capital Group said...

As I sit here this fine Monday morning, working on a AR program comparison project, designed to help our customer fight for more headcount and budget dollars at a $57 billion (with a B) tech company, it staggers me how ignorant this poster is of what we do and how we do it. The piece was written specifically for AIIM to address how their members (not AR Pros, but Interactors) could do a better job interacting with analysts. This wasn’t about building or maintaining AR programs, for that we would draw from some of the other hundreds of slides and reams of intellectual property we have developed over the years.

OK, so despite their ignorance and the obvious logic flaw in this poster’s argument (Our experience shows that if you worked with more mid-size firms you would, by definition, have more experience with “starting up and maintaining” AR programs than if you worked with large firms, which already have established programs) what about the KCG client question?

KCG is almost 8 years old now and in the course of our business we have worked with over 800 different tech companies (the website needs updating). Over those 8 years we have trained over 3000 folks in Industry Analyst Relations, certified over 100 of them through our Certified Industry Analyst Relations Professionals (CIARP) program and done deep consultative work (which our website most certainly does say we do – what we don’t do is PR-like AR execution) with a little over 350 of these clients from across size, geography and product boundaries - little bitty companies like AMD, Avaya, BT, Cisco, CSC, Dell, EDS, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola, Oracle, SAP, Sprint, Sun, T-Mobile, Verizon and XEROX to name a few off the top of my head.

What we offer, and have always offered are Best Practices – the encapsulated sum of the experiences and knowledge of our clients. I can assure you that our clients, whose experiences we draw on, know more about Analyst Relations than any hoard of self proclaimed “experts”.

Now the good news on the AR organization front – you don’t have to wait until something gets going. You can hear it all at KCG Connects in Orlando on 15-16th October or in Cannes 4-5th November. Besides incredible networking opportunities for AR pros, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about starting up, maintaining and running AR programs, the best practices of the leading AR programs, and thoughts on the future of the analyst industry from the CEOs and Senior Executives at Gartner, IDC, Ovum, Tower and Yankee. Come along, join us and hundreds of our friends and clients and learn more than you can in years of reading bloviating blogs.

Bill Hopkins, CEO, THe Knowledge Capital Group,

theARpro said...

Calm down Bill. My post said that a number of topics were unaddressed by your slides. They also said nothing about football, but I guess you have some insight there too.

In fact, I wondered if these were questions that you felt wouldn't concern your audience. You seem to think so, since you say that reason why your presentation didn't address those points is because they were interactors.

I don't doubt that you can let firms know what other firms are doing on a wide range of topics, but it seems interesting to see what you focus on when you set the agenda. In that regard, your presentation in Phoenix is just like your training course, and your newslettter: the focuss on better analyst briefing tours much more than linking AR up to the rest of the organization effectively.


Anonymous said...

“We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.”
- Herman Melville

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