How Cool is That?

Today, of all days , I spend some time in a sub par hotel in the deep south of the Netherlands. Nothing cool about that I hear you thinking, but if I tell you that this place has a 750 seat capacity, the next bit will sound like winning the lottery. I walk in, pick a good seat close to the wireless access point. When I wanted to start with my first course two people sat down next to me and started to discuss next years budget. Nothing cool about that either you might say, and I was just enjoying my meal at first. Then it became clear that they were responsible for a tech company, just over the border in Belgium. They were discussing marketing and then, you’ve guessed it, the magic words came out – “Analyst Relations”.

Now we are talking!

The second course came and I was still listening to “what should we do next year about and with Analyst Relations?” Now I am not really the type of guy that just hops on board and start taking over a conversation that is not even for my ears to hear, but then the following happened. “Look Patrick, we have some options here. We can talk to Forrester or Gartner or we can look into companies that can help us for introductions and guidance”. What else do you need to hear. And then the usual overestimating began. “What should we reserve for this?” “Well, I only see big companies doing business with Gartner and Forrester. They probably charge by the hour or you buy a retainer. We need to look smart to them otherwise we pay top dollar”.

I decided to skip the final stage of my lunch to be able to make my move quickly when the opportunity would arise. I noticed that Patrick opened his Macbook Pro to learn some stuff about research firms and his colleague picked up the phone to take care of some other, non related, issues at hand. I got up and walked towards Patrick and asked him If I could get a minute of his time. He had no problems with that at all and was just as surprised as I had been when they started talking about Analyst Relations.

How cool is that! You go somewhere for a funeral and end up with a great sales call. Some things are just meant to happen I guess. There is one last thing that I need to do today, and that is buying that lottery ticket for next week.

Enjoy the weekend.


A photo by Alejandro Escamilla.

Guess Who’s Looking for Top Talent in Analyst Relations?

Looking for a new direction in your Analyst Relations career? October is a time when new opportunities pop up in the field. From IBM to Google, we gathered the top US Analyst Relations firms with vacancies needing to be filled. If you’d like to learn more about the opportunity and to schedule an interview, contact these firms directly. However, if you do not know who to reach, contact Kea Company’s North American business partner Stacey Alexander for an introduction.


Reference Manager – Value Engineering

Infor – New York, NY

Infor Value Realization and References is an exciting, strategic, global team that is playing a pivotal role in driving the company’s growth. The Reference team at Infor is integral in helping drive sales across our industries and regions


Senior Product Specialist / Product Expert for System Provisioning

SAP – Walldorf/St. Leon-Rot

We are looking for a Senior Product Specialist for System Provisioning to strengthen our Product Management Team in the areas of efficient provisioning of new SAP systems (including new concepts for cloud provisioning) and adapting existing SAP systems to new requirements. In detail, these areas comprise such topics as installation processes of SAP (back-end and front-end) systems, system copy procedures, or migration projects to new platforms – procedures that reside in the core of every SAP administrator’s tasks and are therefore used regularly by every SAP customer and SAP cloud provider. The Senior Product Specialist for System Provisioning will be part of our global development organization with teams in Germany, Bulgaria, India, and other countries. Its Product Management team is based in SAP’s headquarters at Walldorf, Germany.
Director of Communications

Eid Passport – Hillsboro, OR

Reporting to the Chief Marketing Officer, the Director of Marketing Communications will develop and execute national marketing communications programs, including press and industry analyst relations, social media, events and content development for government, commercial and consumer markets that drive awareness, demand generation and customer satisfaction for our company and product brands.


Analyst Relations Professional

IBM – Austin, Texas

Your future made with IBMIBM is now hiring experienced professionals. In this new era of Cognitive Business, IBM is helping to reshape industries as diverse as healthcare, retail, banking, travel, manufacturing, and many more, by bringing together our expertise in Cloud, Analytics, Security, Mobile, and the Internet of Things. We are changing how we create. How we collaborate. How we analyze. How we engage. IBM is a leader in this global transformation. We’re looking for talented professionals to join us in this new era. Transforming healthcare, improving the retail shopping experience, rerouting traffic and even designing the next generation fan experience in sports stadiums around the world – this is what IBMers do. Join us and be part of a diverse and global team of thinkers and doers – people who want to make an impact, cultivate their expertise and collaborate with some of the world’s top business and technology professionals.


Senior Product Manager

Philips Healthcare – Pewaukee, WI

The Senior Product Manager is the pivotal marketing role in the Invivo Clinical Solutions organization and drives creation of disease-oriented oncology solutions (integrated combination of products and services) from idea to market, within certain clinical domain(s). The Senior Product Manager is accountable for defining, launching and building profitable product solution platforms that transform healthcare. They work directly with R&D and other marketing functions to ensure the products/solutions are developed to the feature and price specifications that each target market segment demands. The Senior Product Manager owns the product lifecycle from concept phase through development and launch and eventually, end of life. The Senior Product Manager is required to have deep expertise in market segmentation, product strategy, competitive strategy, and product development .


Sr Analyst Relations Manager

BMC Software – USA

The Lead Analyst Relations Manager will be responsible for leading and managing all aspects of analyst interactions including inquiries, briefings, and analyst consultations. Additional responsibilities include establishing strong collaboration with BMC sales, maintaining the BMC Global Analyst Relations web presence and the commissioning of analyst webcasts, whitepapers or speaking engagements.


Client Evidence, Global Marketing Manager

Avanade – Chicago, IL

The Global Client Evidence Lead is responsible for the strategic vision and direction of the global client evidence program, as well as the tactical development and amplification of external client evidence. This role is responsible for leading and driving the external client evidence program and pipeline, managing the client evidence program infrastructure, amplifying and promoting the program and client stories internally and externally, and ensuring the evidence content meets the needs of key stakeholders, especially sales and marketing. This role drives and oversees the development of strong, high-quality client evidence stories and serves as a centralized resource to provide Avanade’s best client stories to public relations, analyst relations, marketing campaigns, events, internal communications and more – ensuring that our client stories are used in many different ways and in many different places.


Senior Analyst Relations Manager

ServiceNow – Santa Clara, CA

ServiceNow, The Enterprise IT Cloud Company, is the industry-leading cloud platform provider for building enterprise applications.  We are redefining markets and changing the perception of enterprise software.  Our cloud platform allows enterprise IT to bring together business strategy, application design and operations in a powerfully simple solution. As Sr. Analyst Relations Manager you will work with the Sr. Director of Analyst Relations as well as the VP of Corporate Communications and various business units and product marketing to further ServicNow’s position within the Industry Analyst community with firms such as Gartner, Forrester, and IDC among others.  In this position you’ll be responsible for executing and managing the company’s visibility, interaction and influence within a diverse analyst community. The role is a mix of both internal and external analyst relation’s activities.


Head of Analyst Relations

ServiceNow – Santa Clara, CA

ServiceNow is changing the way people work. With a service-orientation toward the activities, tasks and processes that make up day-to-day work life, we help the modern enterprise operate faster and be more scalable than ever before.  Customers use our service model to define, structure and automate the flow of work, removing dependencies on email and spreadsheets to transform the delivery and management of services for the enterprise. We are seeking a Head of Global Analyst Relations to communicate our product vision and roadmap to firms to include: Gartner, Forrester and IDC among others.  In this role, you will influence how analysts think about our fast-growing products.


Product Marketing Manager, Security, G Suite

Google – Mountain View, CA

Whether you’re on a consumer product (like Gmail, Search, Maps, Chrome, Android) or a business product (AdWords, AdSense, DoubleClick, Analytics), you take part in a complete marketing experience as you lead every facet of the product’s journey. From determining positioning, naming, competitive analysis, feature prioritization and external communications, you help shape the voice of the product and help it grow a loyal consumer base. This means you work with a cross-functional team across sales, corporate communications, legal, webmasters, product development, engineering and more. In this role, you’ll be involved with product marketing strategy from beginning to end.


Head of Global Analyst Relations

Google – Mountain View, CA

In this role, you will influence how analysts think about our fast-growing enterprise products, particularly Google Cloud Platform and G Suite products (e.g., Gmail, Docs, Drive and Sheets). You will help define how companies select enterprise technology partners for the next decade. We are looking for an entrepreneurial, strategic marketer with a background in developing high-impact relationships with analysts and other industry influencers. You will work closely with leaders across Google, collaborating with teams in communications, product management, sales, and field marketing. You’ll have a blend of high level critical thinking with more tactical operational activities


Associate Director, Analyst Relations & Research

KPMG – Boston, USA

The fastest growing Big Four professional services firm in the U.S., KPMG is known for being a great place to work and build a career. We provide audit, tax and advisory services for organizations in today’s most important industries. Our growth is driven by delivering real results for our clients. It’s also enabled by our culture, which encourages individual development, embraces an inclusive environment, rewards innovative excellence and supports our communities. With qualities like those, it’s no wonder we’re consistently ranked among the best companies to work for by Fortune Magazine, Consulting Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, Diversity Inc. and others. If you’re as passionate about your future as we are, join our team.


Analyst Relations Manager – Client/Wearables

Intel – California, USA

The Analyst Relations Center of Excellence is looking for an Analyst Relations Manager to drive strategic communication programs to top-tier industry analysts for our client and wearables businesses. This position will be responsible for building and driving a high impact AR program to deepen analyst relationships, build mind share and to bring their insights back into our business units.


Analyst Relations Director

USAA – San Antonio, TX

Purpose of Job This role serves as a strategic relationship manager for external broker-dealers, retirement platforms and banks. Responsible for representing USAA funds to manager research groups, analysts and professional buyers, presenting USAA mutual funds and ETFs for recommended status, models, and cultivating sub-advised, bundled and asset allocation opportunities. A key component will include presenting USAA’s investment capabilities, investment theory and performance to platform decision makers, and increase shelf-space on platforms and recommended lists. This position is not location specific and can be worked remotely.



A photo by Alejandro Escamilla.

Failure is not Always Incompetence

Anyone who can think straight and does more than reading the local newspaper or watching one of the indoctrinated television channels around the world, knows that the “economical crisis” is not so bad as it sounds. A group of people who run this world via the banking corporation messed up big time and now they let us pay for it and call it a world wide economical crisis. Enough said here. In this particular case, failure is incompetence.

I would like to shift my focus a bit more to the people who work hard and play hard. In this current environment you need to invest just as much time and energy as you did in the times that there would not be a so called crisis. In advertisement it is always about showing your face. In good times and in bad times. Companies that stop developing their core business will shutdown sooner than later. Stop telling yourself that this happened because of the crisis. It didn’t. There is always a market ready for you. You need to shift, not stop doing what makes your product or services so different from the competition.

Let me point the finger towards my own business. I know a lot of people that would call it a ‘nice thing to have’, just like owning a Porsche. What they seem to forget is that Analyst Relations actually adds value, and a Porsche decreases in value. I can live with people making that decision, because whoever does is doomed in the world of business anyway, but not on my watch. Don’t ever think for a minute that you deserve something because it is yours, when banks or investors are involved. You need to bring in the money. Keep operational cost low and invest in what your customers benefit from. Claiming all is going well under the circumstances is not what makes you a survivor.

If you really think that you have done everything in your power, than there is no shame in shutting it down. This won’t come as a complete surprise to your staff or investors. They are well informed about it all. Sometimes even the stuff I write about can’t motivate people to make it happen. No worries. Close the book and give it a rest. If you feel that you’ve learned something, you start a new book, and if you feel that it wasn’t for you, try a comic book.

As a closing note to stimulate you all: I once had a client at Gartner, a Belgian company. They paid big bucks for their great service. All the analysts the CEO spoke to, told him that his product was basically shit and didn’t meet the criteria for his core business. He kept on going and kept his operational cost low and shifted on certain points within the business, but he did not change his core product. Today, six year after his first contact, they write research papers about the company. Now they are the big glory within their sector. For these people the hard times they had, did not correlate to incompetence. It was failure from somewhere else.



Do You Know Who That Is?

We get the feeling that sales enablement is something that popped-up recently in the office of the AR professional. How is that possible you might ask yourself. Well, the people that pay your salary are just being informed about what AR does and how it can contribute even more to the company.

Our apologies for that “extra” work (not really).

We like to look at it in a different way; We just saved your job. Informing the analyst firms is only fifty percent of your job today. Please make sure you do understand that things change, also in the world of marketing and influencer relations. I spoke many times about shifting budgets. It happens too often that people wake up when it is already too late. Make preparations. Move to the front before your budget holder does. Make sure you provide them with ideas that other parts within the organisation can benefit from.

Just a quick suggestion from Kea Company: make twenty questions. Of course, those questions should be AR related. Ask people if they know companies like Gartner or Bloor Research. Also ask them if they are aware of your company showing up in research, written by X firms and if they would use it for selling to new clients. Now start to push every week a one-page sheet to the sales force with the information they can do something with. Try this for about ten weeks. Evaluate and ask the same twenty questions again. I bet you they can all answer them by now. The real creative part I’ll leave to you, but if you need help you know of course where to find us.

The point being awareness. This will not be accomplished by hiding behind doing vendor briefings or making power point slides nobody cares about. They won’t see the benefit that the senior management team will see. But that other fifty percent of your time you can show the value to the man and women of the salesforce. Make fans and position AR as a true added value to your total organisation, not only your shareholders.

Kea, out!



Do Analysts Want to Talk to You?

Of course this is nothing new, VC’s asking entrepreneurs the question: “do analyst want to talk to you guys?” What a great example of faith in the IT sector. VC’s who think that every IT company is aware of the analysts they need to talk to, just want to confirm that there is an interest in the company which is seeking investment.

There is nothing wrong with VC’s who think that people who need investment are aware of companies like Gartner and Forrester. That general knowledge of research firms would be great! Makes talking about it much easier when the question pops up from the VC. However, is it a realistic question to ask, and is it it fair to presume that entrepreneurs know the benefits from talking to analysts? The general perception is that it costs a lot of time and money to do analyst relations, and that it is a billion dollar club. So my first reaction would be ‘no’.

We have a department for Technology Investors. Great guys that talk to people who need cash and guidance to conquer the market. They like to think, since they work for a firm that offers influencer relations services, that people understand what they are talking about when they discuss analyst relations and vendor briefings. Everybody understands public relations, but many people fail to understand analyst relations.

Some figures to give you folks a nice idea. Last year we spoke to 24 entrepreneurs in the IT sector from the Benelux region who needed an investment. Of those 24, 15 had heard of Gartner and 11 of Forrester. That was it. Never mind the ones who didn’t even know what we meant when we talked about analyst relations or analyst firms. Considering we do business with over 30 research firms ourselves, we were amazed by the lack of knowledge from people that need to be on top of their game. Now I know this is our core business, but than again, research firms have been around for decades.

So it is great to notice that VC’s do more and more business in Public Relations and social media. But how many VC’s are actively engaging with analyst firms after an investment has been made? Life would be much easier for VC’s if entrepreneurs who are operating in IT and need their money and guidance, opened up relations with research firms before they ask for the VC’s services.

And to the other side of the table. If you are an IT company who needs help, don’t think that you need investment before you can get introduced to your core analyst. Increase your chances of getting that investment by talking to people who know the analyst industry. Finding a VC to talk to is the least of your worries. Succeeding and getting the investment from the VC in order to grow your business and full fill your dreams, starts with understanding what preparations you need to take to get the right attention, from the right people, at the right time. Now that you are aware that VC’s are likely to ask you this question, make the necessary preparations.

Best of luck, to both of you.



Analyst Relations is Not a Billion Dollar Club

If we would receive a free lunch every time a Tech SME owner says “So you are in Analyst Relations, so mainly high-end customers, right?”, we’d be eating for free the rest of our lives. Why is this perception there? Why don’t people see that Analyst Relations is not about how many employees a company has or how high the revenue is. You don’t have to own a big office and be on top of the world (yet). In every stage there is value to be added by communicating with analysts worldwide.

It is all about what you have to offer, and how you can communicate that to the world. It isn’t about what your competition is doing or how big they are in comparison to you. Of course it all relates to one another, but these should not be the reason not to undertake the steps needed to communicate to the outside world via the professional channels. You need to benchmark your vision and product with outsiders who’s job it is to know what is happening in the world. These analysts judge you based on their twenty something years of experience. Yes they can be critical, but that is what you look for in feedback. If you can’t handle that, quit being an entrepreneur.

If you feel that you don’t need any help than that is completely up to you. Personally I don’t think it is about needing help, but leveraging every opportunity you get and about making an extra effort to introduce your company to the world via independent experienced professionals, who know what they are talking about. Yes they are still only human, but we all have our core business and this is how we help each other. Make a 25K reservation in your budget and show the world what you have to offer, you’ll end up saving time and money. Working smart, efficient and listening to others is something anyone can do, not just billion dollar companies.