Nucleus Research’s Rebecca Wettemann On B2B Vendors, CIOs, ROI and More …

May 15, 2017 Ed Harrison

Today, we’re continuing InkHouse’s series of interviews with journalists to include industry analyst (and CIO Magazine contributor) Rebecca Wettemann of Nucleus Research.

Industry analysts are critical for B2B tech vendors and an important component of any marketing and PR strategy. Analysts provide both critical third-party validation (in press release quotes, as media sources or in their research) and serve as a source of pre-qualified leads.

Straightforward, right? Well, it gets muddled from here.

Without a consulting agreement (ie, $) in place:

  • Most firms have a “one-and-done” policy -- analysts will meet annually with non-clients.
  • Many analysts will have a policy of not provide quotes for press releases (not even their clients).
  • The conversation will be one directional: most analysts won’t provide feedback on messaging or go-to-market strategies.

This can create a vendor’s conundrum -- become a client, or risk being left out of research that may tout all of your competitors.

Good news for PR: unlike many analysts, Nucleus has an “open door” policy, meaning their analysts will take briefings from vendors that are not clients, and will provide quotes for press releases and take media calls, too.

Recently I talked with Wettemann, the firm’s VP of research, to learn more about Nucleus, how they work with tech marketers and PR professionals, and their work to get CIOs and CFOs to speak a common language, the language of “return-on-investment.”

For nearly two decades, Boston-based Nucleus Research has been issuing ROI-focused research reports on major enterprise technology vendors and their customers’ implementations, analyzing the bottom-line benefits of deployments (its mission is to provide “technology advice built on real-world outcomes, not analyst opinions.”)

For vendors, its analysts counsel tech marketers on how to best use value-based messaging (primarily around its customers’ deployments) to reach potential buyers. Nucleus also helps CIOs make technology buying decisions while equipping them with financial arguments to support their their purchasing decisions.

Q: In one or two sentences, can you tell us how Nucleus Research is different from Gartner or Forrester.

A: We provide research and advisory services that are focused on value, taking a case-based, investigative view of technology. We’ve published more than 650 ROI case studies over the past 17+ years and are the only IT analyst firm registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy – meaning we count ROI the way a CFO does.

Q: Nucleus Research is best known for its ROI reports for enterprise technology vendors. Can you tell me a little bit how those work?

A: Both vendors and users of technology need to know not just what ROI customers receive, but how they achieve it. We work with customers to independently assess the ROI their projects have delivered – and having an external “audit,” if you will, is helpful for those project champions that have put their neck on the line for a project. For vendors, having ROI case studies is a great way to show customers and prospects the value their clients have achieved and how – and it’s helpful for those trying to have a conversation with the CFO, because it supports a clear value message.

More recently, we have increased our efforts on services for CIOs, project managers, and CFOs that need a consistent way to financially justify projects – both on an initial and ongoing basis.

Q: In recent years, the "big thing" for enterprise technology has been the Cloud, Software as a Service, Big Data, the Internet of Things and the like. Clearly, each of these technologies are demonstrating value to their users. What is Nucleus watching as the next big thing? Is it AR/VR for the enterprise, or something entirely different?

A: Cloud continues to be a big area where customers and vendors are rethinking the way they buy, sell, and justify investments. Although it’s somewhat early days for adoption, artificial intelligence is impacting every traditional application area, from CRM to ERP to HR to supply chain.

Q: How can PR practitioners work with you?

We’ve always had an “open door” policy for vendors, whether we have a business relationship or not. In addition to our ongoing end-user research, briefings from emerging vendors are a great way to identify new areas where customers can achieve value. And, yes, we are always happy to take press inquiries or provide quotes for press releases.

You can follow Rebecca on Twitter @rebeccawetteman.
Topics: Public Relations, Enterprise Tech, Journalism, B2B
Ed Harrison

Ed Harrison is a senior vice president for InkHouse and leads the east coast's enterprise technology practice. He has led B2B tech PR programs for clients large and small since 1996.

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