Seth Godin recently pointed out the benefit of focusing on just one thing — being a “wallah” — as opposed to trying to do a little bit of everything. Being a wallah means focusing on excelling in one particular area of business. That strikes a chord with me and the evolution I see for analyst relations within tech marketing.
Today, most people see analyst relations as being all about the analysts. If you do analyst relations, they see you as the analyst wallah. You get the analysts to think, say and publish positions that benefit your business objectives. And you bring information back from the analysts that benefit your business objectives.
What I foresee is a shift from being the analyst wallah to being the relations wallah. Getting people across the company to build mutually beneficial 1-to-1 relationships with different kinds of decision-maker influencers. You mentor and support and measure the relationships that benefit your business objectives.
AR will continue to play a vital role in tech companies for years to come. Applying the AR skill set not only to analysts but also more broadly is a logical evolution for this role. For each of us it comes down to this: What kind of wallah do you want to be?
It’s easy to get caught up in what to say, how to say it — even how many characters to say it in — and completely lose sight of the simple truth that our words are just words, unless they’re backed by actions.
This is certainly not a new idea. However, it’s being expressed by lots of different people right now. Everyone has a different context. Witness:
Seth Godin talks to it in terms of authenticity.
Greg Cordell talks about it in terms of love.
Duncan Brown touches on it in terms of what makes a good analyst.
We’re all facing the same tough year. Maybe this is a good time to take stock of ourselves and the people we trust. Ask some of the hard questions. Look for the proof points. See who measures up while the chips are down.
Labor Day is a good time to reflect on why you insist on thwarting the best marketers in the nation. You do it every time you tune out those repetitive, interrupt-driven mass marketing ads. And, you’re not alone.
You’re a walking case study of why mass marketing doesn’t work as well as it used to.
Seth Godin explained it really well at TED a few years ago: “In a world where we have too many choices, and too little time, the obvious thing to do is just ignore stuff.” This is why interrupt-driven mass marketing doesn’t work, while influencer marketing does.
In this talk, Seth characterizes our time as “a century of idea diffusion.” He asserts that people who can spread ideas — regardless of what those ideas are — win.
Even then, to get influencer marketing to work, you need to be remarkable. Hence, Seth’s famous parable about invisible cows and purple cows. “Remarkable is a really cool word. We think it just means ‘neat.’ But it also means worth making a remark about. And that is the essence of where idea diffusion is going.”
I count this TED talk, “Seth Godin: Sliced bread and other marketing delights,” among the influencer marketing classics. See if you agree.