Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Key Media Trends in 2008-Thoughts from Jupiter Media

Jupiter Media has identified the key media trends for 2008 (link to the powerpoint).

•Media Fragmentation Continues
•Social Media & Marketing Evolve
•Internet Video Arrives
•Personal Technology: Integration vs. Convergence
•Mobile Media & Marketing Emerge
•Rising Importance of Globalization

Jupiter analyst David Schatsky describes the continuing and growing impace that internet, social media and mobile media will have on Marketing Strategy and Consumer Behavior.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

How to Grow Your Business with Social Media

For those of you who want to know more about how to use Social Media Networking to help your business, I recommend a free webinar: Using Social Media to Grow Your Business, December 7th 1:00 P.M. U.S. Eastern / 10:00 A.M. U.S. Pacific .

Social Media" is getting a lot of buzz these days. But for people who own or manage growing companies, it's hard to see what value Social Media has for their businesses. How can you engage your best sales prospects in a peer-to-peer, conversation-driven, online business community? How can you nurture and grow the community on a platform that increases your organization's visibility and influence? How can you develop an environment of trust that enables you to build relationships that ultimately lead to influence and leads?Is social media the new word-of-mouth marketing? Join us for a lively, interactive discussion of these questions -- and more -- with Seth Godin, best-selling author of Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends, and Friends into Customers, Jeremiah Owyang, Forrester research analyst and author of the blog,, and top SAP marketer Steve Mann. The moderator will be Robin Fray Carey, CEO and co-founder of Social Media Today.

I will be on it--for those of you who miss it--I will post on it next week

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Social Media Optimization (SMO)

The Definition for SMO is: to implement changes to optimize a site so that it is more easily linked to, more highly visible in social media searches on custom search engines (such as Technorati), and more frequently included in relevant posts on blogs, podcasts and vlogs. - Rohit Bhargava

Another buzzword for the Communications world, created in 2006 by Rohit Bhargava His original five rules for conducting Social Media Optimization are:

1. Increase your linkability
2. Make tagging and bookmarking easy
3. Reward inbound links
4. Help your content travel
5. Encourage the mashup

Another source with a longer list is The NewPR Wiki

Definitely not a term to be ignored in the new Communications world.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

To Be or Not to Be a Business Plan

I am currently mentoring some MBA students for a Business Plan Competition. I gave them my perspective on preparing a business plan including differentiating between theory and practice since there seems to be a wide gap in real life. Many of the companies I have worked with only worry about creating a business plan when they need one to raise capital with a VC. In theory it should be a decision making tool and one that is dynamic and updated regularly. In practice, that rarely happens.

Wikipedia has a great article on Business Plans and Dilbert--of the comic book fame-who actually has an MBA from Berkley, is used in another very good article, with a shot of humor:
Five Criteria for a Successful Business Plan in Biotech. The Five Criteria are: Management, Management, Management, Management and LUCK.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Gartner and Forrester's leftovers

Analyst Equity wrote a post last month on picking up the money Gartner and Forrester leave behind. As these two leaders concentrate on the big boys, the other analyst groups are focusing on their weakpoints: the smaller and medium sized businesses and the verticals. In my experience, Gartner, on the content side, is blown away by some of the other analysts, in the Financial Services space; but they still are the winners on the buy side.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Value of Customer Case Studies for Analysts

One of the most successful analyst relations strategies for a vendor is to use a customer case study or "success story". When you talk to an analyst you can suggest the possibility but be very sure that your customer has been fully briefed before and will deliver the success story to the analyst. Jonny quotes one of my favorite analysts at Gartner, Massimo Pezzini on this with his post on : Customer Evidence and the Source of Credibility.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Using Analysts for Market Intelligence

Another great post from Jonny at Technobabble on using Analyst Relations for Marketing Intelligence. A new site for me: gives you a list of all of the analysts reports on your topic. It is free but does not go into the reports themselves as does

In addition, I encourage my clients to ask the analysts for introductions to specific people in potential customer or partner organizations which helps on the sales and biz development side of business also.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Some Cool Tools to Measure your Positioning Power

I found a neat website: that focuses on the financial return from marketing process. It offers articles and practical tools, with tutorials to help measure your ROI on your marketing efforts such as : Perceptual Mapping, Bass Diffusion Tools, Markov Chains, Decision Trees, Simulation Tools and Competitive Radar Tools. You do have to register to get access but it is free. Check it out.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

More Best Practices and Tips for AR Professionals

Another good post which lists several good articles on Best Practices and Tips for AR professionals.

This is one of the best ones with some good tips from a former analyst. The bottom line is that, as with any other target audience, it's about building relationships.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mapping out Social Media

This is a great post on social media illustrated with maps of : the world of social media, online communities, and an internet trend map.

The map of social networks shows the international spread of the sites including one I have never heard of: which is considered the most international of all and on their home page gives you options for: english, french, spanish, dutch, german, portuguese, italian, dutch and romanian.

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Impact of Blogging on PR

I went to a seminar on Blogging yesterday by Alan Weinkrantz in Tel Aviv and came away thinking how powerful the blogsphere is becoming and how PR has to adapt to the new media ecosystem. In this new world, the bloggers get briefed sometimes before the media does and the bloggers get the news out faster sometimes than any other channel--and that's power.

Steve Rubel from Micropersuasion posted an older (yet still relevant) Presentation on PR and Emerging Communication Channels which analyses the new ecosystem and gives you 3 Steps to get started if you want to join this world (do we have a choice?). Step 1: Listen--he suggests tools to investigate what is out there; Step 2: Reach Out to other bloggers and create relationships; Step 3: Participate--become part of the conversation

Deborah Schultz also gave a lecture a few months ago in Herzilya on Blogging and she inspired me to go out and create my own blog (and here we are). She explained that Blogging is like a big party where you can invite people to join you at any time. So far the party just keeps getting bigger and more fun.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Best Practices in Analyst Relations

A good summary of different tips for Best Practices in Analyst Relations which is what I try to concentrate on in my blog.

One of the best tips is to follow up with the analyst which is many times overlooked. Since one of the goals of a good AR person is to create good ongoing relationships with key analysts- Follow up is essential for this. A good document to use is:

If you prefer the the sarcastically funny tips of Donald H. Taylor called Briefings and Balderdash, then check this out:

Please send me your tips.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Advice from Gartner on Gartner

I went to the Gartner Conference this week in Tel Aviv and the last session was on "How to work better with Gartner". I would say that the best advice was:
1) To use inquiries more often and get the value of : getting the analysts attention on specific issues; establishing your point of view on individual issues; receiving specific info on your messaging, competition, product development, etc.
2) Dont send more than 20 slides in a presentation for an analyst (if they are really interested you may not get past the first two)
3) Practice the briefing in advance to a critical audience
I also made some suggestions--that they should open the communication lines more, for instance, ie. run a blog for AR issues, etc.
The most interesting session at the Conference was actually on the Media Industry which seems to be making the most dramatic changes that will affect our lives.
An example: Dove uploaded a movie on YouTube rather than pay several million dollars for a TV ad, and generated 3x more traffic to: than their Superbowl Ad. This will probably do a lot to revolutionize the advertising industry, at least in the U.S....

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bigger is not always Better

My contact at Datamonitor believes that the biggest benefit will be that now they will be one of the "big boys".
However, bigger is not always better.
The article in Bloomberg also talks about whether Datamonitor is worth the price paid but the real test will be if Informa can rebrand the group to bring more value to their customers. If they want to compete with Gartner, the value is not just about better or more information but whether they can influence the buy side as Gartner does which is still Gartner's biggest differentiator and it isn't about size, it is about brand.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A New Entity in the Analyst World

Comments on the move by Informa to buy Datamonitor/Ovum/Butler.
I will check my sources at Datamonitor and get back to you on this.
What do you think?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

How to improve Analyst Perception

The author talks about how AR is meant to influence the analyst's perception; the analyst's opinion is not based only on reality or whether the product/solution is actually good, but rather how he perceives the product/solution to be.

He uses 3 areas of AR: Contact, Value and Reputation and advises AR personnel to either increase interactions, upgrade the training for briefings and/or redo the messaging if any of these areas are weak.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

The "Creators" of the Positioning terminology for Marketing

I can't talk about positioning without mentioning Al Ries and Jack Trout's books written over 20 years ago:

"Positioning: the Battle for your Mind" was chosen by Advertising Age as one of the 75 most important moments of the last 75 years.The concept that sparked a revolution. Before the launch of "positioning" by Al Ries and Jack Trout, advertising was viewed as "communications." You studied your product or service and then decided which ideas or concepts your advertising should try to communicate to your prospects. But in today's overcommunicated society, that approach no longer works. There are just too many products, too many companies, too much marketing noise.Start with the prospect. Positioning turned the process upside down. Instead of starting with the product, you start with the prospect. You ask yourself what open hole exists in the minds of prospects. And then you try to fill that hole with your brand. If there are no open holes, then you need to reposition the brand that already occupies a position

The second book is "The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing". One of my favorite laws is Law no. 4, the Law of Perception which says: Marketing is not a Battle of Products: it is a Battle of Perceptions.

The Law of Perception says that in the battle between products, perception is more important than reality.
People tend to think that the best product will win. However, as Ries and Trout say, "Marketing is not a battle of products, it's a battle of perceptions." Sometimes the best product does not win.

The Law of Perception is just one more reason why small ISVs need to get specific as they choose their competition. Don't try to create a "better" product. That strategy is too vague. Instead, try to create a product which is better for a specific group of people with specific problems that are not being solved very well by others. That specific group of people will perceive your product as the best.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

ARmadgeddon: AR 101 series: selling the value of AR

This article gives some good strategies to improve the value of your analyst relations and to improve the Perception of value in your organization. Some info to use when asked "who are you and why do you need budget, aren't you like PR and don't you just shmooze with analysts?"

72% of technology buyers use analysts opinions when short-listing products
45% of them have added in a vendor because of an analyst's recommendation, while 42% have removed a vendor on analyst advice
1/3 have consulted analysts
2/3 say they're influenced by analyst reports

ARmadgeddon: AR 101 series: selling the value of AR

Your comments welcome

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Free Source of IT Analysts Reports

I found a free source of IT Analysts Reports:
It has a limited amount of free reports from Forrester, Gartner, IDC, Aberdeen and others.
Enjoy it while it lasts. Vantelo was started by a senior Silicon Valley marketing and product management professional who was tired of fighting the constant battle of securing market data to support his plans and strategies without a significant budget for market research.
Check it out and let us know about your great search tips for valuable information

Monday, April 16, 2007

A Creative Exercise to Upgrade your AR SKills

A creative approach to ranking analysts; instead of thinking Tier 1-2-3, think of them as either Oracles (those who look into the past, present and future to tell you whether your product/service will fly); Wizards and Rainmakers (who look deep into your product/service and advise on your product strategy); and the Pirates (those that derive their research from other analysts but who may also influence key groups).

The real point is that from time to time you need to rethink your strategies and templates for thinking about things.

I also recommend signing up for Tekrati's free weekly newsletter.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

An Intelligent Conversation on what part Blogging plays in the Communication Process for Technology Companies

An interesting discussion by Eric Kintz, VP Global Marketing Strategy & Excellence for HP on his Blog: The Marketing Excellence Blog.
He brings together different perspectives on where Blogging fits in your overall Marketing Strategy along with PR, Advertising, Web and how it improves your "conversation" with your customers. What do you think?

Monday, March 26, 2007

One of the most powerful marketing tools there is

I believe that Analyst Relations, done well, is one of the most powerful marketing tools around. A few tips on creating, and sustaining a good AR program:

  • Be consistent. If you begin a relationship with an analyst, sustain it. If you drop the relationship without explanation, you may cause your company's brand harm
  • Choose the right analyst. Spend time on finding the right analyst for your company. Someone who will get excited about what you do --- and pass that excitement on to potential customers, partners, investors...
  • Create a personal connection with the analyst and be sincere about it. Be interested in who they are and what they do.
  • Ask questions..Do not spend all of your time talking at the analyst. Listen to them--they talk to your customer all day long..Learn from them

This is my first post ever. Will be back with more tips soon.