In layman’s terms, this is quite a simple equation. A Tragic Quadrant vendor review can consume as much as 3 FTE over 2 weeks. However, the risks of not providing a structured response on that same Gartner Magic Quadrant can waste months of efforts and much goodwill in the marketplace. We can despise Gartner’s pricing, but a bad MQ can still be career-limiting for an AR professional. It can also lead to lost sales and depressed share values.
That means that the two options for reaching out to a wider community are:
- to increase the resources available for AR, especially headcount and budgets and/or
- to adopt tactics similar to consumer marketing or PR: newsletters, multi-firms briefings, etc…
ARmadgeddon’s take for AR Managers:
Analysts influence unfolds in different markets through many different channels and it is important to segment this audience more finely than just in 3 tiers. AR managers should, more than ever, align their goals with their stakeholders' business plans and use carefully chosen goals to impact carefully selected analysts. For instance, in the software world some analysts influence the developer community and it might be right for a start-up to target those analysts rather than those who influence CIOs, others might influence a key region or industry and should be focussed on if, and only if, that specific region or industry is a business priority.
It nevertheless remains true that filtering insight from noise is increasingly difficult: AR managers should explore Rebels -- but do not ignore the Dinosaurs. We should be, however, careful on how they engage with a fast-flowing and dynamic community: bloglysts tend to be very reactive and it is not enough to deal with them in a one-way mode as PR is often accustomed to.
AR managers should also be wary of preserving reputations and not waste analysts’ brands and community goodwill by being over-aggressive: in the best case the output of pressured analysts will be bland and irrelevant, in the worst they will be stifled publicly. Do read Dale on the patronage model for more.
Bloglysts need to figure out what new business models are coming out of the Web 2.0 age and how to provide value to the IT buyers community or face being commoditised.
Independent analysts need to find a way to put aside their egos and work as a community to effectively compete for their fair share of the IT analysis industry. They also need to provide more proof-points for their influence than just simply citing names of clients they work with.
Traditional IT Analysts need to embrace communities and Web 2.0 tools and move up the value chain by offering contract negotiation and other high-value services.