ARcade » AR Weblog maintained by Hill+Knowlton Strategies\' global Analyst Relations team. Wed, 30 Nov 2011 02:40:13 +0000 en hourly 1 GigaOM Continues to Innovate Wed, 13 Jan 2010 23:24:34 +0000 Jay Andersen GigaOM Pro made another interesting announcement today when it unveiled a program targeted specifically at Analyst Relations professionals. Their new program gives verified AR pros complimentary accounts and full access to market research and reports. The program also allows AR folks to communicate directly with world-class analysts on reports about their companies. I view the news as a positive sign for the AR profession as GigaOM appears to recognize the critical role that AR can play in raising the profile and business value of analyst research, and the importance of strengthening the relationship between AR and analysts.

The move reminds me of RedMonk’s open-source business model, but GigaOM looks to be taking it a step further with the inclusion of analyst interaction. The likely aim is to develop strong and lasting relationships with vendors with the hope of engaging them in consulting gigs. If you are an AR pro I can’t think of any reason to not take advantage of this offer as GigaOM is producing some interesting research on cloud, green, mobile, and the digital home. They are also building an impressive roster of analysts including Clint Wheelock, Rachel Happe, Dan Taylor, and Chetan Sharma.

The devil will be in the details but it will be interesting to see how GigaOM rolls this out!

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Analysts can’t have all the fun… Fri, 20 Nov 2009 19:56:37 +0000 Kevin Fong In late October 2009, one of my clients held its first Investor Day in years, and H&K was right in the thick of scheduling, planning and supporting the much-anticipated event. The day marked my first time witnessing an Investor Day firsthand, and more importantly, the day’s events gave me a glimpse into what it’s like to walk in an analyst’s shoes for a day.

Both financial analysts and industry analysts were invited to the two-day event on-site and at a nearby hotel. H&K supported AR efforts during the event, overseeing the analyst roundtables and accompanying the 25 industry analyst that attended the show, including key business watchers from Gartner, Forrester, IDC, Ovum, Yankee and CCS Insights.

A cocktail reception the night prior to the Investor Day was held at the company’s headquarters, which allowed me the rare opportunity to meet analysts I’ve only ever spoken to over the phone. What an experience it was to finally put a face to a name I’ve seen on bylines of research reports and whose bios I’ve read to the point of memorization. While meeting through face-to-face interactions is essential to building strong analyst relationships, many often settle for periodic phone calls and exchanging long email chains. I took advantage of the chance to check out the various product demos, ask detailed questions to the execs, and helped myself to the catered food at the event. After tasting the first bite of lamb shank, I began to think analyst life wasn’t half bad after all.

The following day, the Investor Day presentations took place at a local swanky hotel. Executive roundtables for industry analysts followed the general session allowing analysts to get a deeper dive into their research areas with business unit executives. Hearing executives outline their strategy and products first-hand was enlightening, but interacting live with some of my favorite analysts was the icing on the cake.

What surprised me the most was how down to earth everyone was. Not to downplay their influence in the market, but I came to the realization that while analysts may make their living off understanding back-end technologies and wireless spectrums, they still share similar interests with you and I. I thoroughly enjoyed conversations around vacation plans and debates over the best local steak houses, but the epiphany really hit me when a flood of analysts rush off to watch Game Two of the World Series at the conclusion of the event.

Most interesting of all was observing the analysts interact with one another, especially those from competing firms and different coverage areas. Here I expected analysts to feel more of a rivalry between firms, but I didn’t sense anything other than the friendliest of competition when over 20 analysts from different firms piled into a banquet room to mingle with each other and product execs. I noticed analysts from the various firms greeting one another as if they were long time friends – and some are. At that point it became clear just how small the analyst community really is.

Over a dozen executive handshakes, a pocketful of analyst business cards, and a couple foot blisters later, I got a glimpse into a day of analyst life and both the work and play that accompanies it.


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Mobile Device Market Driving Analyst Relations Interest in Asia Pacific Region Wed, 04 Nov 2009 19:49:41 +0000 Myrna Van Pelt 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!


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Former Forrester Analysts Join Altimeter Group Thu, 27 Aug 2009 19:11:54 +0000 Jay Andersen 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.

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