Recently, we discussed objections to the “AR game,” but we know objections in AR don’t stop there. Too often analysts are misunderstood by our leadership and stakeholders. Others in our orgs usually don’t know analysts as closely as we do, so they’re unaware that their research coverage and clout can be impactful.
Sometimes when leadership or stakeholders question a key analyst’s influence, it can be a roadblock to our strategic plan. We may know that we need to engage with an analyst because he or she is the most influential analyst in this space. But if your leadership isn’t fully bought-in, it can be hard to get them to participate in briefings and inquiries with this analyst.
Common questions about analyst influence
Critics often gravitate towards a few areas when they question analysts’ influence. They either don’t believe anyone reads the analyst’s research, or they don’t believe the analyst is a true thought leader in the space who can help them create their category. When we’re confronted with these doubts, it’s a cue that this skeptic needs more education about AR in general and about the analyst in question.
We respond to these types of objections in these ways:
They say, “I don’t think my prospects and clients read analyst research.”
We say, “They may not read the reports, but I bet your prospects are influenced by analysts in some way – especially via inquiry. The content analysts publish represents only a fraction of what they know and what they observe. Every day, analysts dispense advice and share perspective with their clients / your prospects that aren’t necessarily reflected in formal reports. If you don’t think your prospects will find the content themselves, take it to them. Analyst research (with appropriate reprint rights) is great content for our marketing and sales teams.”
They say, “I don’t think these analysts can help me create my category – they don’t seem cutting edge.”
We say, “If you’re trying to create a new category, you’ll have to bring everyone along. You have go-to-market messaging to help your customers understand why your business is important – you’ll have to do the same with analysts. Show them why you exist and examples of where your product is important. Ask for their feedback and perspective. Leverage that to enrich or validate your strategy.”
Evangelizing AR and the analysts
When others doubt the power of analysts, consider it an opportunity to further evangelize analyst relations. While it may take more than one conversation, usually AR outsiders just need to understand more about who they’re talking to and what the potential of that analyst could be. When the education is there, the doubt usually resolves, and participation in analyst interactions increases.
Educating stakeholders is a critical piece of running a successful AR program. We discuss further tactics to overcoming AR objections in our Evangelizing AR webinar series. If you’re still struggling to show an analyst’s value, research scope, impact or more, consider using our analyst relations platform, Spotlight Oz. We use it to keep track of important information like analyst plans and clout, plus it can measure the progress we’re making with each analyst – all important data to have when questioned by a skeptic.