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Aug 24, 2009


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Okay, I hear your frustration. So where does a marketer like me go for credible advice on who are the top dogs among analysts?

When I used to manage investor relations I had the same problem. I needed to identify and take my company story to the key buy side and sell side analysts. But then we had rankings from magazines like Institutional Investor and similar and that really helped.

In the AR space, I've come across companies like the Knowledge Capital Group that put out what seems like insightful stuff on industry analysts. What do you think of them? Or let me broaden the question--what AR ranking lists do you respect?

Traditionally, the 'influencers' have been those individuals or firms that were privy to deal knowledge over a number of deals and had information databases on pricing, arbitrage and so on - typical analyst firms mentioned in this thread. However, along with the tremendous increase in the availability of such information as well as increased relative outsourcing maturity levels of clients, there is definitely a change in who the real influencers are. In my view, the influencers today have more of a management consulting profile - a strong understanding of strategic and organizational challenges and ability to provide leadership not only on "macro" areas such as market trends and vendor scans but also an ability to make it work in the specific client environment, addressing challenges across policies, procedures technologies and personnel.

My thanks to Vinnie and Phil for hitting this hard. I've never been what anyone calls an analyst, and I haven't even launched my blog yet, but I do think that, within the world of HR technology and the HRM delivery system, I'm considered a significant influencer of vendor products/services and buyer methodologies and decisions. Or perhaps I too am delusional.

Ex-research "analysts" (who couldn't cut it as analysts) ranking analyst firms is basically a circle jerk. There is also a big difference between providing aggregated market commentary ("x percent of the global 2000 did y last year") and tangible execution advice and support (e.g., how do I structure and govern a global ADM effort). On the latter I agree with Mr. Mirchandani that buyers are increasing looking to their peers, or select third parties, for support and not the traditional "analyst" firms.

and don't forget the biggest influence these days...peers

in 70s, buyers turned to IBM for advice, in the 80s to Andersen, in 90s to Gartner, now they turn to each other...

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