ARcade » Gartner http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/arcade Weblog maintained by Hill+Knowlton Strategies\' global Analyst Relations team. Wed, 30 Nov 2011 02:40:13 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 Analysts can’t have all the fun… http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/arcade/2009/11/20/analysts-can%e2%80%99t-have-all-the-fun%e2%80%a6/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/arcade/2009/11/20/analysts-can%e2%80%99t-have-all-the-fun%e2%80%a6/#comments Fri, 20 Nov 2009 19:56:37 +0000 Kevin Fong http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/arcade/?p=133 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.

-Kevin

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Chatting with Gartner http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/arcade/2009/05/05/chatting-with-gartner/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/arcade/2009/05/05/chatting-with-gartner/#comments Tue, 05 May 2009 17:58:42 +0000 Jay Andersen http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/arcade/?p=84 Last week our US-based analyst relations team spent a lively hour with Jenni Lehman, Group VP in Gartner Research, when she visited our offices to talk about the firm’s research structure, social media policies, and whom to call when things turn south.

If you haven’t met Jenni, she is responsible for research operations including the functions of Research Methodology, Research Agenda Management, Primary Research, Secondary Research, Global Editing, Research Engagement Scheduling, Research Events Programs, Research Workforce Development and Research Business Operations.  Jenni explained how Gartner has six other GVPs of research who have oversight of markets including Servers & Storage, IT Operations, Business Intelligence, etc. while she is charged with creating the framework for repeatable and high-quality research. Yes, her plate is a full one. And yes Gartner pays close attention to how research is created and developed. I might have coined a new acronym when I asked her how their recently launched CCA (Critical Capabilities Analysis) methodology was going. After explaining what I meant (I guess nobody other than me refers to them as CCA), Jenni let us know that client response has been strong and that more than 20 are planned for 2009. We’re curious to hear if anyone out there has had any experience working on a CCA (there I said it again!). She also confirmed that Hype Cycles are one of the most-often downloaded research documents at Gartner.com.

While some have rightly criticized Gartner for being slow to have a blogging and Twitter presence, the firm is now embracing digital. Gartner has established a clear set of guidelines for their analysts to follow including avoid inflammatory subjects, don’t post information and advice for which clients pay Gartner, protect and enhance the value of the Gartner brand, and be personable and have fun. The link for their policy can be found here. As a long-time Gartner client we appreciate the fact that they are respecting our rights and not giving away one of our competitive advantages. Gartner has a number of active Twitterers which can be found here. We are encouraged to see Gartner join the conversation on Twitter and in the blogosphere. Jenni mentioned one interesting side effect of social media; analysts sometimes blog about subject areas outside of their core focus. When they do, they need to be careful that what they post does not contradict what Gartner has officially written on the subject. It might be a good best practice to search across the Gartner blog network to see if analysts you don’t normally follow are writing about your company or market. And finally, Jenni confirmed our suspicion that Gartner tracks blog readership to see which analysts are getting the most hits. A little friendly competition amongst the analyst ranks is alive and well.

And finally we talked about the role of Ombudsman, which Jenni referred to as Gartner’s Switzerland. If a vendor has an issue with published research, including blogs and Twitter posts, they are urged to take it up with the Ombudsman to address the issue. The Ombudsman’s main goal is to be responsive to end-user and vendor issues to maintain the company’s integrity, evaluate research for balance and objectivity, and deliver visibility into Gartner’s research process. It’s a lofty goal and our team has experience with the process. We’d be interested in hearing about anyone else’s experience.

Overall it was a great meeting; as an AR professional with a library research background I found it a fascinating look at what goes on behind the scenes at Gartner research. We’re hoping to meet with other folks responsible for research agenda at other leading industry research firms. Stay tuned!

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