The Influencers

April Fools? Nah, fools all year round.

Welcome to The Beat by Rockstar CMO. I’m Ian Truscott, a 3xCMO, trusted advisor, strategy consultant and Chief Bottle Washer at Rockstar CMO. In this newsletter, I’d like to share a mix of what’s caught my eye from our community, our podcast and our street knowledge blog.


Thanks for opening this newsletter. Not only is today April Fool’s Day, but it’s also the Easter Monday holiday here in the UK. There is no fooling here or reference to the holiday, but I hope you enjoy whatever you celebrate today.

The topic comes directly from the podcast this week, as Jeff Clark and I dived into analyst relations and B2B influencers.

If you are a listener, you’ll know that Jeff is a former Forrester Research Director, joining them through the SiriusDecisions acquisition. I had a short stint as an analyst for a firm that no one has heard of today, but they were once a fairly influential player in the content management industry. So we have some form here.

One of the things we explored was whether the big analyst firms, like Gartner, Forrester or IDC, are still relevant in a world where there are fewer gatekeepers to information.

As we shared on the podcast, we have plenty of experience with the impact of being in a wave or a quadrant from our, frankly, long careers, but have times changed?

Well, no, as I’ve recently worked with a company that has just received some analyst attention and appeared on the Forrester Wave for the first time, and yes, it really makes a difference with risk-averse enterprise B2B buyers. It has brought leads.

But, the grandees of Forrester and Gartner don’t have it their own way. Trust is the currency we are talking about here, and “trusted advisor” is not a favor bestowed by enterprises to ONLY folks working for a big firm.

For example, I have a good chum who has carved her place as the go-to expert in a specific category and is very influential. And I don’t mean the bollocks of “influence” in terms of social media, LinkedIn or audience, I am talking about influencing revenue.

And, anecdotally, it feels like the big guys are shrinking, as I seem to have many more “recently ex’d” analysts in my network.

A quick look at the numbers on LinkedIn seems to confirm that Forrester has shrunk. There are 11% fewer of them over the last year, and in March 2024, they only hired 3 new people, whereas in March 2022, they hired over 50 new folks across the business. None of this is scientific, but it seems that despite the space they cover getting more complex and the tech choices growing, Forrester is not.

So the advice we shared in the podcast is that an AR strategy needs to have a broader net.

While yes, if you are shooting for the enterprise, the price of entry is going to be a well-resourced analysts’ relations strategy. And, I don’t mean pay them to be positioned on their Wave or Quadrant, that’s really not how it works.

Yes, you should pay them for the subscriptions that give you access to briefings and advisories, but most importantly, the analyst and influencer community should be included as a marketing persona, and you invest in the messaging, targeting, and leveraging that access.

Whether or not you are elephant hunting the enterprise buyer, that advice holds true. Who has your buyer's ear, and what are you doing to influence them? You need that information in your campaign planning.

Or, having said all of that, I might have picked this subject line mostly because I am a tiny bit obsessed with The Influencer, a new track from Bootsy Collins, who, along with Westcoast Stone, Wiz Khalifa, Dave Stewart, Snoop Dogg and Fantaazma - something that I think will get your marketing mojo working (link below). And, as you know, that’s how I pick the subject line.

Speaking of the links below, please take a look at what I have included. If you have any thoughts on anything I share, please reply to this email. It would be great to hear from you.

Enjoy your week!



Ian Truscott | Chief Bottle Washer Rockstar CMO

Street Knowledge

Is this influenced by the influencers? You decide with this selection of posts on today’s topic.

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