Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Industry Analysis Process 2

In my previous post, I discussed the essential qualities of an industry analyst.
  • a passion for learning
  • a passion for communication
  • integrity
Some large software vendors have a special department (known as analyst relations) for handling communications with industry analysts, while others bundle this function within general marketing or delegate it to an external PR firm.

Most of the analyst relations people I deal with are pretty good communicators themselves, as well as being "people people". And communication means listening as well as speaking. I really appreciate it when a technical briefing turns into a genuine two-way exchange, rather than being a thinly veiled attempt to use me merely as a channel to push out the standard marketing messages. And when I need to follow-up some technical enquiry, the analyst relations department should be able to arrange a quick exchange with a real expert.

Meanwhile I welcome innovation in the vendor-analyst relationship. I get any number of emails from vendors and their PR agencies, telling me about new stuff. But I now find it much easier to process this kind of material when it arrives via RSS rather than via email. I have been twisting a few arms about this, and I hope to see more software vendors offering RSS feeds for industry analysts soon.

So how much overlap is there between the essential qualities of the industry analyst and those of the analyst relations professional? I'd be interested in comments from either side.

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