“researching Is their job, not yours”.
I see. Isn’t the purpose of a briefing to provide information? Isn’t the job of an analyst to collect information? As it happens RedMonk doesn’t insist vendors fill in a form before we take a briefing, but I have considered it as a time-saving mechanism.
Often in a briefing the first five to ten slides are “set up” about a company- its goals, revenues, capabilities and so on. The kind of thing that could potentially be bypassed by a set-up questionnaire that looks something like this (which caused David so much pain):
– Core competence:
– Value proposition:
– Organizational structure:
– Financial performance:
– Market environment:
– Drivers & Business issues:
– Target markets:
– Profile installed base:
– Competitive differentiation:
– Products & Services:
– Sales Channel:
– Customer benefits:
– Success stories:
Vision for the Future:
Is filling out this information really such a pain for analyst relations professionals? Isn’t providing information a key part of the role? I must be missing something. I have received far more intrusive questionnaires from major vendors before they deign to brief me.
It seems to me that the purpose of a briefing is to get under the skin of a subject rather than skimming the surface. With that in mind a little prep is a good thing – why shouldn’t the vendor help at this point?
And while we’re on the subject – one of AR’s jobs is surely to research the analyst market, and analyst in question, and prepare an executive before he briefs an analyst, isn’t it? Research is a two way street, a conversation, not a broadcast. With that in mind I think questionnaires are probably acceptable.
The advice from ARonaut does seem a bit high-handed:
“AR Managers should push them back to their corporation’s web site and let the analyst do their homework”
All I can say is that if you take this advice you may well find the analyst becomes less interested in your client. Time is the analyst’s most important asset, and making extra demands on their time, especially for a briefing (remember this is not a client call) is not a great basis for a smooth relationship. Should an analyst know their market already? Absolutely. But do we need to be confrontation all the time? I think not. Obviously a lot depends on context, and the degree of depth asked for in a pre-briefing questionnaire. But a blanket refusal doesn’t make sense to me.
Finally there is the question of follow up, after a briefing, where the AR person has to go and find information that wasn’t available during the call, which is surely quite time-consuming. Wouldn’t it be better to get that out of the way first?