Friday, 3 March 2006

The Borg AR call

We were hoping that Joe, Duncan or Dave would write a take on Wednesday's Gartner call as it was really quite dull... The only really funny thing was that Pamela Miranda referred to the Miranda act, so she must have read this Gartner Watch post.

Laura McLellan, Gartner Research VP was first to speak. She covers vendor (IT providers) marketing strategies research. She started to say Gartner was not going to start to analyse AR (as the Oracle AR VP pointed out, this would be a conflict of interest) and compete with KGC.

She had an interesting take on analyst taxonomy, depicting it as an inverted triangle: on top analyst which are end users focussed (advise buyers), in the middle market watchers (who look at forecasts and trends) and on the bottom (tip) the vendor focussed analysts (advise sellers). Quite why the triangle is inverted, we don't know -there may be more user facing analysts in Gartner but in the overall analyst landscape the vendor facing analysts outnumber them by far. ARmadgeddon will be publishing an official Analyst Taxonomy soon. She then said that you need to adapt your approach to the kind of analysts. Not exactly new news but maybe a useful reminder.

She then further continued to explain grandmas (AR professionals listening into the call) how to suck eggs: one needs to segment the communication type to audience. Laura also plans to research which AR comms are effective or not and why. That would indeed make up for an interesting and more specific call.

She gave a quick round up on what analysts love most: face time, AR contact list (inc. responsibilities), announcement advance notice / pre-briefing and email opt-out.

She gave some insight on analyst psychology (gives a new meaning to analysing the analysts): they are motivated by influence and knowledge (explains the ego side) and turned off by community and reprocity (not sure what James will have to say on this).

These other points were on her charts:

  • Semi-annual tours with topic managers to discuss the “bigger picture”
  • Portal to find “basics” without bothering AR person
  • On-line presentations and [important] transcripts
  • Upcoming events calendar
  • Annual executive sessions [access to the “big cheeses”]
  • Opt out “push” e-mails with the news
  • Access to your customer presentations

Probably worth a reminder indeed. She finished by saying what makes a good AR person: being a good relationship builder. What does the R in AR stand for again?

She gave the following good and bad for AR managers:

  • GOOD: Enabler vs. roadblock, Proactive, Accountable, Responsive, Truthful, Trustworthy, Empowered, Persistent, Follows up, Management confidante, Value creator, Helpful, Relationship builder
  • BAD: Defensive & suspicious, Gatekeeper (analyst = enemy), Unresponsive, Self-important (does not mix well with analysts?), Territorial, Siloed (not like Gartner then?), Roadblock, Inconsistent, Inaccurate, Don’t understand own organization, Don’t understand how analysts work, Not influential in organization supported

She finally hinted that Gartner might create a research role to look at vendor marketing.

The call then moved on to Pamela Miranda, Head of Vendor Briefings who spoke about briefings. She did not really cover the points that were on her agenda:

  • How to seek analyst attendance at your events
  • What’s the latest on vendor-paid travel
  • Focus: The most frequently misunderstood parts of the process

Joe commented on the scheduling process here: Gartner's briefing on their briefing policy (Gartner Watch). As we've commented before, this process is lengthy and time consuming. One of the reasons that was

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