Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-11-16

16 November 2009

  • RT @buzzmethod: New Buzz Method blog post: Analyst Relations Basics – Part 1. Check it out at: http://bit.ly/1RH1c3 #

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Mobile Device Market Driving Analyst Relations Interest in Asia Pacific Region

04 November 2009

Hi I’m Myrna Van Pelt, Head of Analyst Relations in the Asia Pacific region. I’m excited to join my colleagues on ARcade and present our view of the industry from our specific geographic viewpoint. My first post is about the excitement surrounding the wireless device market.

 APAC is a fascinating market, the pace of growth continues to defy all forecasts. Emerging markets such as India and China continue to confound with the sheer growth spikes as adoption of mobiles and specifically smartphones becomes more widespread. Surprisingly too, there’s an explosion of growth in emerging markets such as Indonesia as smartphones start to become the choice of device for youth as opposed to the traditional enterprise buyer, a shift clearly being driven by the huge popularity of the Facebook market and a social media-hungry user base.

Of late, the H&K AR team in APAC has experienced strong growth from clients for planning and execution of analyst relations. We have been working closely with mobile device manufacturers whose reach is expanding into the EMEA, UK and the US markets. Conversely, we’re also working with multinationals in the UK and EMEA regions who want to reach out to the Asia Pacific region so the parallel growth of these two areas is a strong driver for the growth of our practice.

This is good news and indicates that mobile device manufacturers are well and truly on the way to sharing their success and challenges in the market with a keen and attentive analyst community. There’s a leap of faith being shown in the process of analyst relations by those APAC markets who are starting to recognise that analysts can help to shift their position in the consideration set, and drive improved market capitalisation by raising awareness of their brand with this influential pool of thinkers.

Research firms in this region that are particularly well-recognised for their telco expertise include Ovum who has a formidable arsenal of analysts including the much quoted David Kennedy. Gartner’s well-respected mobility expert Robin Simpson is a much called-upon favourite for incisive analysis on all aspects of the mobile ecosystem.

Further, there’s evident growth with some of the firms such as Frost & Sullivan who are establishing a strong ICT footprint in the region and hiring a number of new analysts, including ex-Gartner staff to grow their research teams. Craig Baty, known to almost every vendor across the region, is now the global head of ICT based out of Sydney and brings both credibility and strength to the revitalised F&S operations in this region.

But back to mobile devices; it will be intriguing to watch the impact of smartphone penetration unfold across the mobile sector, both at the regional and the global level. Helping brands to navigate their way into the hearts and minds of the analysts will become increasingly important for these device manufacturers as adoption of smartphones starts to accelerate across all regions. H&K is at the forefront in driving outcomes for those clients. We are the only analyst relations firm in this market that has invested in fully fledged seats with the key research firms. This allows us to gather insight and critical market intel for those vendors wanting to take their place on the global stage. It’s an exciting time, and an exciting market. We’ll have much more to report on ARcade so watch this space!

 

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-11-02

02 November 2009

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Speaking at Forrester AR CouncilTel on Digital AR This Thursday

27 October 2009

Technology purchase decisions are impacted through a variety of communication channels—digital, analysts, media, word of mouth and others—and the influence of those channels is merging. We’re going to be discussing why it’s critical to understand the rapidly evolving influence industry analysts have on sales and reputation through digital channels such as blogs, Twitter, social networking, and vendor web sites.

 

This Thursday morning (October 29 at 8:30 am PT), I’ll be presenting at the October Forrester AR CouncilTel with my boss, and H&K Global Tech Practice lead Josh Reynolds. What questions do you have about Digital AR that we should address?

 

Looking forward to your questions. I can be found on Twitter @ruthbusbee.

 

P.S. If you’re not a member of the Forrester AR Council and would like more information about the group, please email ARCouncil@forrester.com.

 

 

Report from Orlando

25 October 2009

The technology influencers landscape changes rapidly, and it’s an increasing challenge to know where to prioritize your time — what trends do you follow, which ones do you use to test the waters, and which ones have the most impact on actual revenue? I just finished up at the Gartner Analyst Relations Forum in Orlando where we discussed these very topics, and I am headed next to Gartner’s Symposium in Cannes Nov 2-3 where they will host a European Analyst Relations Forum meeting. I’ve been presenting H&K’s data and insights into how social media, industry analysts and other communications channels are merging, and the impact on B2B sales.

In the four years we’ve published the study, word of mouth and analyst recommendations have always ranked as two of the top tech sales drivers. Rapidly emerging digital channels such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the ever-growing blog presence are the modern-day word-of-mouth network. We find that the boundaries between digital channels and traditional spheres of influence are getting harder to delineate. H&K recently conducted a study that measured the impact of social media and third-party influencers on B2B tech sales, and explored how the two channels of influence are merging. Among other findings, 44 percent of US tech decision-makers said that analyst commentary on a blog rated an average of 4.5 out of 5 for influencing their purchase decisions.

This continued collision between traditional and digital channels creates new challenges for tech marketers, PR strategists and AR professionals. The universal take-away from my conversations at the Forum are: everyone is focused on learning how to integrate digital channels into their plans. What I find is that some people (or companies) are in early experimental phases with social media, but very few have defined the roles, processes and metrics to make it work.

The other big takeaway at the Forum: Mark McDonald rocks, but he needs new shoes. Mark heads up Gartner’s CIO Council and presented a sneak peak at very preliminary results from Gartner’s much anticipated CIO Agenda report. An hour with him is like a day with 50 of the world’s most informative CIOs. If you want insights into the psychology and politics of B2B buyer’s mindset heading into 2010, nothing beats an inquiry with Mark or a member of his team. But if you do wind up talking with Mark, be sure to offer any advice you have for a less painful way of breaking in a stylish pair of black Italian dress shoes than hiking the grounds at Disney’s Swan resort.

Up next: H&K shares more insights into digital analyst relations on an upcoming Forrester AR Council call on October 29.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-10-19

19 October 2009

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AR Certification — An Important First Step from IIAR

16 October 2009

The Institute of Industry Analyst Relations (IIAR) recently took a welcome step in the advancement of the analyst relations profession when it announced its Analyst Relations Certification examination. The test, which is administered online, provides an opportunity for AR professionals to demonstrate their knowledge of best practices, industry analyst protocol, and industry history and landscape. The multiple choice test covers the basics and it will be interesting to see how the test is adopted and what format advanced certifications will take.

I had coffee with the IIAR’s Peggy O’Neill earlier this month and she’s excited about getting the test up and running. She has always been a vocal proponent of advancing AR as a discipline and this is an important first step. AR accreditation is offered by other firms, but I’m most impressed by the impartial nature of the IIAR and the administration of the test. Also the test is not tied to an expensive workshop; it’s £100 for non- members and conducted online.

I took the sample test and was challenged to test H&K’s best practices against the ones blessed by the IIAR. I’m happy to report that I only missed one out of 20 and I’m looking forward to see how I fare in the longer 120 question test.  If you are an AR professional and looking to benchmark your own best practices the test is an obvious first step. And before you do, sit down with a cup of strong coffee, flex your brain and be ready for a 60-minute mental marathon. I’d love to hear from other AR professionals who have taken the test or want to brush up on best practices before they do!

Former Forrester Analysts Join Altimeter Group

27 August 2009

Big news today in the world of social media and analyst relations!  After weeks of speculation following their resignations from Forrester, Jeremiah Owyang and Ray Wang are both joining their former colleague Charlene Li at Altimeter Group. Jeremiah is one of the most widely followed and quoted social media analysts with more than 50,000 Twitter followers, and his Web Strategist blog is a must-read for social media and community managers. Enterprise software guru Ray Wang is nearly as active as Jeremiah in the social media sphere, as any of his followers on Twitter can attest. He’s blogged at A Software Insider’s Point of View for years and is a vocal proponent of enterprise software vendors embracing social media.

These moves are not altogether surprising. It is yet another sign of the emergence and growing influence of solo practitioners and small analyst boutiques who are exploiting social media tools (Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn, etc.) to their fullest to build relationships and influence.  Social media is already allowing analysts to connect more directly with clients and followers than they ever could behind the iron editorial curtain of the big firms. RedMonk figured this formula out years ago, and more recently ex-Forrester analysts Merv Adrian and Maribel Lopez are gaining traction as independent analysts leveraging social media. This trend is backed up by Hill & Knowlton’s annual Technology Decision Makers research , which shows the growing influence of blogs and consumer-generated online media on generating vendor short lists for technology purchases. An additional study into the growing field of Digital Analyst Relations as a discipline further tracks the increasing convergence of “digital influencers” and traditional industry analysts. Hill & Knowlton expects to see more departures from big research firms as analysts see their former colleagues successfully make the transition to solo practitioner or small consultancies.

What does this mean for AR professionals? Well, if you aren’t currently engaged in digital AR then you had better start following your analysts online now—both to see what they’re saying when not being filtered by the big editorial boards at the large analyst firms¸ and to see which ones might be next to make a move.

Today’s news does raise some questions about Forrester’s social media coverage. The firm took a hit last year when Charlene Li, Peter Kim, and Brian Haven all left within a short span. Jeremiah filled the vacuum and took on the mantle of social media guru, but his departure begs the question who will be the next social media lead? They certainly have a deep bench with Sean Corcoran, Nate Elliot, Emily Riley, Rebecca Jennings and others. We also hope that as a consequence Josh Bernoff, co-author of Groundswell, will publish more research as we’ve always admired his work — going back to the TiVo days! This is particularly important as Forrester has devoted considerable resources to cover this segment, including the Forrester Marketing Forum, and we don’t want to see them lose momentum.

In the interim, now is a good time to renew your contacts with other social media gurus such as Gartner’s Andrew Frank or IDC’s Caroline Dangson—and to check out Charlene and crew online! They could just well turn out to be the next Chasm Group of the Web 2.0 era.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-08-24

24 August 2009

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-08-17

17 August 2009

  • RT @bkwalker: Are you a vendor who is a Forrester client? Here is our new citations blog: http://bit.ly/18eLTo #
  • @IIAR announces the 2009 analyst(s) of the year, Part 1….CONGRATS to all recognized. http://bit.ly/xjfCT #
  • RT @jowyang: Reuters: Gartner’s Hype Cycle foretold Twitter backlash http://bit.ly/v7BF4 #
  • RT @bfr3nch: New post: What’s your definition of an industry analyst http://cli.gs/t8htu #
  • RT @gartner_inc analyst Ray Valdes: Facebook to acquire FriendFeed. Makes sense, but poses large UX/UI challenge to the resulting melange #
  • Always useful analysis from Jeremiah Owyang RT @jowyang: Takeaways: Find out what the Friendfeed Facebook deal means: http://bit.ly/H8MX4 #

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