Two weeks until Influencer Relations’ Analyst Firm Awards for 2014

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Next month this blog will announce Influencer Relations’ Analyst Firm Awards for 2014 (AFOTY14). The awards aim to recognise the most valuable analyst firms, and to recognise firms that have won a leading role in specific market segments.

Other annual Analyst Firm awards have been tried in the past, most notably from Communications Day and the IIAR, but it’s not been possible to sustain those year after year. I think the Analyst Value Survey, which I have run each year since 2000, is a sustainable vehicle for the award. It has four times more participants than the IIAR study (The IIAR paused its Analyst Firm of the Year programme, launching awards to recognise AR professionals, and of course continues to run its popular Analyst of the Year awards). Unlike the survey which the IIAR used to run, the AVS reaches out beyond the vendor-side analyst relations community and allows us to rank analyst firms according to the value they deliver to the users of analyst firm services. The awards will recognise the leading analyst firms, chosen by the value delivered to users, in the following segments:

Global
Americas
EMEA
Asia-Pacific
Supply-side
Demand-side
Telecoms & Networking
Services
Software
Growth

Last year my colleague Ian Scott and I tested a methodology for turning the Analyst Value Survey into such a ranking: the Analyst Value Index. We launched the Index last year, and since then we’ve been discussing the methodology and refining it. The core of the methodology is asking participants what analyst capabilities they value, to see how high a value they put on that capability and then to see how well each of the analyst firms delivers each of those capabilities.

One of the issues that we faced in developing the methodology was the reality that each analyst firm’s impact varies greatly from segment to segment. Vendors need a different portfolio of analyst services than end-users, and end-users in North America value those services differently from their colleagues in Asia-Pacific. That led us to make some major changes in the AVS this year, and in particular we’ve looked at more analyst services, and we’ve discovered exactly how the value of those services differs from segment to segment.

Looking at the draft results, some things are obvious and probably expected. One is that value is a function of how many people are using a firm’s services, and how far those services march up with the services valued by clients. To deliver more value, firms need to reach more people or provide more, and better, services across the full range of services. It’s unsurprising, of course, that Gartner leads comprehensively.

But the other thing that strikes me, is that in comparison with the Analyst Value Survey, these awards are much more about value than about value for money. Nucleus Research, for example, is a leader on value for money but because it focusses on delivering one form of value – which it delivers is exceptionally well – it does not have the impact it needs to have a global leadership role. Another example is Ovum, which is shortlisted in only one of the ten areas: it’s widely used but it does not deliver high value in all the areas that its users are looking for.

We’ll be reaching out to analyst firms next week to give them embargoed news about the awards they have won, and tweeting about it using the #afoty14 hashtag

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10 Comments

  1. Ludovic Leforestier December 9, 2014 Reply

    Duncan, the IIAR Analyst of the Year survey is well and alive and it’s not been replaced with awards for AR pros. In fact both coexist. So not only you took the name but you’re also misleading people. Kindly amend your post and survey name.

  2. Duncan December 9, 2014 Reply

    Thanks for pointing that out Ludovic. I’d meant to write “Analyst Firm”, not analyst: those are the ones the IIAR retired in 2012. I’ve added a link to http://analystrelations.org/tag/iiar-analyst-of-the-year/

  3. Ludovic Leforestier December 10, 2014 Reply

    Thanks for the link. We did not retire anything. The Analyst of The Year and Analyst Firm of The Year are still running -we indeed had a hiatus in 2013- alongside the Analyst Relations Professional of The Year and The Analyst Relations Team of The Year.

    • Duncan December 11, 2014 Reply

      That’s great news. I am an IIAR member, of course, but I had no idea that the IIAR had plans to restart its AFOTY awards since I’ve seen or heard no mention of them since 2014. I encourage the IIAR to do so: we’ll get a very different group of participants, and comparing the awards will be very useful. Let me know what I can do to help.

  4. Ludovic Leforestier December 18, 2014 Reply

    Duncan, all it would have taken is an email or a call… Now, it would be quite alright if you did not usurp the name.

    • Duncan December 18, 2014 Reply

      I announced the Influencer Relations awards last month, and had no idea that the IIAR was planning to relaunch its awards until well after its survey invite went out. The IIAR’s outgoing board and staff were the only people who knew there would be two awards with similar names. No-one has a monopoly on awards, but shall we work together next year? There’s space for both awards from AR pros and from the wider industry.

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