Spotting opportunities and planning for obstacles in your analyst relations strategy

Jul 25, 2018

Advanced AR techniques

Spotting opportunities and planning for obstacles in your analyst relations strategy

The circus of analyst relations

For those on the outside of analyst relations, it may be easy to think of AR as just a sporadic briefing or two with a handful of seemingly relevant analysts. For those of us on the inside, we know it’s much more complex.

Analyst relations professionals have to be master jugglers and puppeteers in order to implement successful analyst relations strategies in their firms. From product releases to industry events to strict blackout date rules from analyst firms, there are many factors that influence how you plan analyst relations activity.

You have to think through when is the best time to schedule an advisory day with an analyst. You have to think through what market events are happening and who will be attending. You have to think through when is the best time to ask for input on your product roadmap and when is the best time to announce the complete state to your key analysts. You have to think through when your customer references are due and consequently when you’ll need to reach out to them. Plus, don’t forget out of office time for vacations!

From AR obstacles to AR opportunities

The list of activity in your purview could go on and on. It can be easy to see all of these competing factors as obstacles to your overall analyst relations objectives. At Spotlight, instead of fighting against and being dragged down by the multitude of conflicting schedules and events, we try to reframe these obstacles as opportunities. We’ve found capitalizing on the opportunities within the chaos, allows your executives and product teams to shine with your key analysts.

Be the AR ringmaster, not the clown

Reframing the obstacles as opportunities allows you to have a better grasp on when and where you can gain momentum with analysts. Without thinking through every possible interaction in every possible situation, you risk being caught flat-footed when an executive asks you about a missed opportunity.

We know there is nothing worse than that feeling of not having an answer when you know you should. Proper organization and awareness of all activity can help you avoid those awkward questions like, “Jane Analyst and I were both at Dreamforce this year… why didn’t you set up a meeting with me and her?” Or, “What do you mean we can’t brief Joe Analyst? How did you not know he was in a blackout period?”

Strategic analyst relations planning requires a comprehensive understanding of all activity that could impact your AR goals. Let your executives see that you can masterfully navigate around tricky obstacles and find opportunities instead.

See the whole picture when planning your analyst relations activity

It’s certainly challenging to keep track of all the activity that impacts your analyst relations strategy, but it can be done. We recommend using your resources, like these listed below, to help you plan the right interactions at the right times:

  • Ask the analysts about their upcoming research plans and event attendance
  • Ask your analyst firm account managers for updates on analysts’ travel activity
  • Check event websites to find lists of attendees or speakers
  • Revisit which analysts you’ve prioritized. Look for opportunities with relevant analysts who may be in your lower tiers
  • Set recurring check-ins with your executives and product teams to understand their availability and timelines for product updates

Put it all together with a comprehensive AR plan

Planning AR Activity with Context and Purpose (Part 1) Webinar

At Spotlight, we’ve found having a visual into all of the activity that impacts our clients’ analyst relations strategies is critical to running a successful AR program. In our free on-demand webinar we talk about how we do this. We also have made our Comprehensive AR Planner available for download upon viewing the webinar.

Watch the On-Demand

Planning with Context Webinar

How do you spot opportunities and plan for obstacles?

We’d love to know the best practices you use to tackle this complex challenge. Leave a comment below to join the discussion.


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