Forrester Wants More Analysts Using Social Tools

Wow. There are a lot of comments flying around about Forrester's yet-to-be released blog platform and associated policy - some accurate, some not. The blog posts from Forrester analysts like Josh Bernoff and Augie Ray have had the most accurate information to date.

Since my job is to lead many of Forrester's social initiatives, including the new blog platform, I thought I would weigh in. So let me add some clarity to what we working on:

  1. Forrester wants more analysts using social tools because it makes for better research. The research we write for clients has always depended on a rich two-way conversation with experts and practitioners in the marketplace. The rise of social tools like blogs and Twitter allows analysts to extend that conversation with more people in the marketplace. The more smart people our analysts interact with, the better our research will be. That's the basis of the Groundswell. Therefore, Forrester is investing in building social tools and associated best-practice training for our analysts so that more of them get involved.
  2. We are building a new blog platform to provide each analyst with a personal blog. Our platform today supports team blogs based on the professional roles we serve - such as the Forrester Blog for Consumer Product Strategy Professionals. The new platform we are building will allow our analysts to also maintain an individual blog on their coverage area. We are doing this so that our analysts can have direct conversations with key players in the marketplace and so clients have the flexibility to engage at an individual analyst level or a team level.
  3. We want to make it easy for our clients. Our clients rely on us to help make them successful. They have told us that they are starved for time - they subscribe to our services in part because they conveniently get the insight they need from us and others who join in the Forrester conversation. Therefore, we can best serve client needs by placing all of our blog content in one place (at Forrester.com), and put it in context alongside the rest of our data and analysis.

I hope that adds some clarity to what we are working on - I'll share more as we move closer to roll-out later in the quarter. However, I felt it necessary to add to the conversation now since there has been discussion about analysts' brands and the Forrester brand. The fact is we want to do everything possible to give analysts a high degree of visibility. Giving every analyst a personal blog is a step toward that goal. Our analysts' reputation and our own are tied together. Our new blog platform is being designed to boost them both.

Cliff Condon

Comments

re: Forrester Wants More Analysts Using Social Tools

Cliff, Just a question. Do you think that clients follow the analysts or the topics?
Yes Analysts are followed but not from a business point of view. It's normally for the thoughts they share...
Mainly clients are looking for relevant topics..irrespective of the analyst.
Having said that I don't want to demean the fact that analyst should have their personal blogs so that they can share more information apart from the professional roles they server

re: Forrester Wants More Analysts Using Social Tools

Manish, I think clients are interested in both.

Many follow a topic and so they want our content across a number of analysts. They engage a group of analysts to solve a business need they have or to develop a new product or strategy. That topic tends to change or evolve over time based on what they are working on. At www.forrester.com they see all that content -- be it reports, blog posts, data sets, etc.

Many others prefer to work with their favorite analyst and form close relationships. The analyst is a trusted advisor and supports the client on key business issues. One of the key ideas for new blog platform is to support these ties by providing each analyst with a blog branded with their name.

After a long time in the business I would say that the most common client relationships I see are a blend of both. Either way the client/analyst relationship lies at the heart of the business. Cliff