If you’ve been following my blogs or are a client, you’re familiar with my position on alternatives to the tech industry analysts for research and advisory.Â With this post, I’m bringing these conversations about alternatives to the industry analysts online. This post introduces some basic ideas and examples.
My position is simple: well-respected alternatives are out there; more sources are popping up all the time; only a fool ignores the good ones. Likewise, only a fool rushes in. The supply ofÂ ersatz research is bountiful as ever. Caveat emptor.
Today, I see very few cases where the alternatives completely displace the industry analysts. Typically, they coexist as vital resources. Often, they’re served up side-by-side in an integrated information portal available to employees. The alternatives tend to be most useful in 3 scenarios:
- Supporting specific decisions in real time
- Delving into topics that don’t attract dedicated industry analyst coverage
- Helping professionals develop broader, deeper or more inclusive perspectives
So where’s the good stuff? That depends on whether you want data-driven intelligence to help you buy and implement tech, or build and sell it. To start, here’s a short list of examples.
Associations: Long a sales and marketing channel for the tech industry analysts, many associations now offer their own research services to members and the public. Â Some groups permit members to conduct custom research and encourage well documented case studies and best practices. Others leverage member-supported research for advocacy and thought leadership. Classic examples include theÂ Consumer Electronics Association, IEEE, NASCIO and Socitm.
Academics: The ongoing disconnect between business and academia, at least here in the U.S., baffles many including me. The mutual disrespect might have been appropriate in years past. It is not today. Here’s the bite: some of the most successful companies in the world know this and fund research. Â Classic examples in this category include MIT Sloan School of Management, Stanford University and Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Consultants: Management consultants have produced insightful research for decades. This group has the greatest overlap with the industry analysts who advise tech buyers. Classic examples include Booz Allen Hamilton,Â Deloitte and Â PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Smaller associations, universities, and consultancies can produce equally valuable data-driven insight. Plus, there are several other categories. Media and government agencies jump to mind.
Data-driven insight is available from many reputable sources. IT professionals look to them for information, validation and advice. As a result, tech providers need to see them for what they are: influencers.
Peggy O’Neill, a San Diego-based board member of the IIAR, has extended an open invite to analyst relations practitioners to the IIAR 2010 kick-off meeting in Silicon Valley. The meeting takes place on Thursday, January 21st at Cisco’s headquarters in San Jose, CA.
- SageCircle’s Carter Lusher will kick off the meeting with a presentation that reviews 2009 trends in the analyst ecosystem and a look ahead for 2010.
- Peggy O’Neillwill provide a brief update on IIAR initiatives.
- Cisco will host cocktails at the end of gathering.
Institute of Industry Analyst Relations 2010 Kickoff Meeting
Date: January 21, 2010
Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: Cisco headquarters Building 9, 260 East Tasman Drive, San Jose, CA 95134
RSVP to Peggy [dot] Oneill [at] analystrelations.org or visit the IIAR online.
Chris O’Brien over at the Merc published The Influencers of Silicon Valley, a list of 10 important influencers in Silicon Valley. I’m on record as one who likes lists, and I’m recommending you read this one. These are people you may want to get to know. Plus, Chris revealed a bit about how he compiled the list, and you’ll find that of interest if you’re compiling your own list of market influencers.
First, who’s in: Marnie Webb, Susan Wu, Dave McClure, Charlene Li, Kevin Surace, Vish Mishra, Criag Hampel, Lisa Stone, Steve Blank and Tim O’Reilly. These are not just the usual suspects. The group is made up of people who each influence the industry in a special way. They don’t seek influence for the sake of influence. They’re driven by innovation and furthering business.
Next, Chris’ approach to list building:
Through conversations, emails and tweets with colleagues, friends and sources, I compiled an initial list of more than 100 candidates, including many I had never heard of. Then I whittled it down, in part by focusing on those who are having a real, quantifiable impact. In many cases, these people might be superstars in their realm yet barely known outside of it. My final 10 are not necessarily the most influential, but they are playing an essential role in shaping the valley’s innovation economy.
Take-aways for building your own list of influencers:
- It’s a great idea to talk to people on the ground when you’re compiling a raw list of influencers. Like Chris, you’ll discover people you don’t know and would otherwise overlook. Talking to people can also help in validating and ranking your list. You’ll begin discovering which of the big-name luminaries really hold sway and which are filtered out.
- Articulate a clear objective for compiling the list, and stick to it. Are you looking for the famous? The rich? The movers and shakers? The people who talk to start-ups or mid-size enterprises?
- Document the reasons for including each person on your list. A simple numerical ranking is not enough. Human beings need human reasons to pursue relationships. What kinds of relationships do your influencers build and why are these relationships important to you?
Congrats to everyone, and hats off to Chris for great work.
Jon Peddie and Kathleen Maher are two of the reasons that analysts make such an impact in the graphics industry and beyond. Like many of the top players, they’re not content with producing market intelligence and opining. They’re part of their market. Case in point: in addition to analyzing what’s hot and not at the upcoming Siggraph, they’re working with the Siggraph Graphics Pioneers to sponsor a Make-It-Right house for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. And you can help.
Make It Right, a collaboration between actor Brad Pitt, Graft Architects, Cherokee Gives Back and William McDonough + Partners was founded in 2007 to help rebuild the New Orleans Lower 9th Ward. The area was wiped out by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The Make It Right Foundation is committed to building 150 energy efficient, solar powered, storm resistant homes in the 9th Ward and the Siggraph Graphics Pioneers wants to help.
Jon Peddie Research is an active supporter of the Siggraph Pioneers and the Siggraph Pioneers Make It Right housing project. The firm will donate $200 from every report it sells from the 1st to the 31st of August to the project. They are also promoting a link so that you can donate directly to the Siggraph Graphics Pioneers House. Go to Make It Right - Team Sponsored Homes and scroll down to “The House That Siggraph Pioneers Built”. Or go right into the donation process.
They’ll continue fund raising after the conference, and will recognize significant donors on their site.
Drop me a line if youâ€™re in the high tech influencer / influencer relations space and are out there doing good deeds â€” or know of someone who is. Happy to help get word out around my corner of the community.
The 2009 World Innovation Forum takes place tomorrow and Wednesday in New York City. Academics, experts, practitioners and other thought-leaders will present their views on how innovation can help businesses grow and increase their profitability. In addition to an impressive speaker line-up, the organizers are expecting an executive audience representing more than 100 companies in more than 20 countries.
The World Innovation Forum was ranked as the #1 best new forum in the “2008 Most Valuable Podiums Survey” by Burson Marsteller.
This year’s speakers include:
- Clayton Christensen on Disruptive Innovation as a Platform for Growth
- Fred Krupp on Untangling the Future: Why Innovations Never Follow a Straight Line
- CK Prahalad on The New Age of Innovation
- Paul Saffo on How Todayâ€™s Technology is Defining Tomorrowâ€™s Creator Economy
- Vijay Govindarajan on Strategic Innovators: From Ideas to Execution
- Dan Ariely on Changing Focus: Why Human Behavior is the Hunting Ground for Insight and Innovation
The agenda also includes real-world innovation examples from Jet Blueâ€™s revolutionary terminal at JFK Airport to GlaxoSmithKline driving growth through innovative ways of relating brands to customers at an emotional level.
When: Tuesday & Wednesday, May 5-6
Where: Nokia Theatre â€“ 1515 Broadway, New York City
Conference details including specific speaker times can be found at: www.wifny.com.
The Tech for PR blog offers an insightful tip for leveraging Tekrati Industry Analyst Reporter for storylines — particularly for PR professionals with tech industry clients. This is a solid “how to” on using research findings as a launchpad, whether as a hook in pitching a story idea or the basis for an entire article. While freelance writers and editors visit Tekrati on a regular basis with this in mind, I suspect that many public relations professionals feel that they don’t have time to explore these avenues. Erik shows the process can be fast and easy.
In fact, he illustrates that creative pitching can leverage a single Gartner press release or whitepaper for several different articles. This is much more mileage than citing a statistic in a press release.
Naturally, it’s imperative to follow the citation policies of each research company when preparing the final submission.
Check out the complete post, “Use Tekrati to come up with ideas for bylines”, and browse more tips while you’re there.
Reprinted from Tekrati
Chuffed! Harvard Business School Working Knowledge reviews selected websites, and Tekrati made the cut. In the site review, HBS Working Knowledge says,
“With the possible exception of investment analysts, no one follows the IT business as closely as technology analysts, so a site that tracks what they are saying is an extremely valuable URL to bookmark. Tekrati reports on …”