When it comes to analyst prioritization and segmentation, there are many ways to divvy up the landscape. Some models we love are organizing analysts by core and opportunistic to our objectives, tiering by levels of engagement, or our personal favorite – the Spotlight Way Maturity Model.
In the Spotlight Way Maturity Model, we take a relationship-focused approach to cataloging analysts on our list. We use this model to track and assess program progress, relationship status, potential red flags, and potential fans. By evaluating our clients’ relationship with each individual analyst we can label them as either detractor, stranger, acquaintance, friendly, or advocate. These designations shore up implications and help us prioritize what actions need to be taken next in our overall program with each analyst.
The Spotlight Way Maturity Model
Detractor: The analyst is skeptical of your product or service and sees gaps or perceives lack of value. It’s possible they may produce reputation-damaging coverage.
Stranger: The analyst is unaware of your product or service offerings.
Acquaintance: The analyst has passive awareness of your product or service, but has not rendered positive commentary.
Friendly: The analyst sees the value of your product or service and has rendered positive commentary in published research.
Advocate: The analyst sees the value you deliver and is an active, positive promoter of your product or service.
What signals a relationship is moving forward?
To go from Stranger to Acquaintance: All it takes to move an analyst from a stranger to an acquaintance is an introductory conversation or touch point.
To go from Acquaintance to Friendly: Once you see the analyst showcasing you in research or positively promoting you, you’ll know their warming up in their relationship with you.
To go from Friendly to Advocate: After a major win in an evaluation report or if they’ve given you a known and attributed lead, you can say with certainty that the analyst is your advocate.
What signals a relationship is falling back?
To go from Advocate to Friendly: If you notice your wins have lessened or if the analyst’s commentary becomes more neutral, it may be a sign that your stronghold with that analyst is slipping.
To go from Friendly to Acquaintance: If significant time has passed since your last interaction with the analyst and/or if the number of showcases or outcome you receive decreases, the analyst may be less acquainted with your services and offerings.
To go from Acquaintance to Stranger: After a year or more of no engagement, it’s safe to assume you may be less of an acquaintance and more of a stranger to the analyst.
What does it take to become a detractor?
While we never want our relationships with analysts to go sour, sometimes differences in opinions and world views may cause us to label an analyst as a detractor. We generally see four situations that signal an analyst has turned:
Negative commentary via interactions and/or via public research
Negative feedback provided by the analyst to customers and/or prospects
Strong skepticism around services, platform offering, organization, and/or viability
Contentious relationship between analyst and client
Why does understanding relationship maturity matter?
By cataloging analysts based on their relationship to us, we’re able to easily see who our biggest fans are, and who we need to spend more strategic time with. When our sales teams ask us who would be a positive analyst referral, knowing your advocates empowers you to contribute to closing the deal. If report authors change or if an analyst picks up a new coverage area, placing them on the maturity model can help you prioritize your interactions with them and can help you see how far you are from making them advocates.
For more on analyst prioritization, check out this webinar. And please let us know – how do you track the relationships you have with your analysts?