Three tips for creating great AR plans from analyst insights

Jun 29, 2020

Insights-Driven AR

Three tips for creating great AR plans from analyst insights

Analysts prefer to be briefed 3-5 times a year, or as often as relevant, which means those interactions have to count. Inquiries and advisory days are other opportunities to hear from analysts, but the investment of time and resources into each of those means that they too have to be of substantial substance and significance. 

In order to know what actions to take next (and why!) you can use analyst insights to inform your planning. Analyst insights are the foundation of an insights-driven AR program, but more than that, they are the key to knowing what actions to take next. 

In past posts, we’ve discussed the importance of analyst insights and how to find them. We’ve even shared a free insights-tracking template available for download when you watch our most recent webinar. But now we want to share how you can take those insights and turn them into meaningful and effective actions. Here are three tips for how to use insights to inform your planning. 

#1 Keep your corporate priorities top of mind

To show off the value of AR, you have to make sure your AR program is actually supporting your corporate goals. This means when you review your analyst insights, you’re looking for specific commentary that directly relates, impacts, or is aligned to your business goals. Unsure where to find these business priorities? Ask questions and listen for these objectives during your communications with the C-suite and product managers. 

Once you have a grasp on these corporate goals, you can align your AR program goals to support them and search for the insights that relate to them.

#2 Look for intel gaps 

Once you have a lengthy list of insights, it may feel like the job is complete. While you should feel good about the work you’ve done to capture these insights, it’s important to recognize that you still may not have all the insights you need. Think back to those corporate priorities – do you have enough feedback that aligns with your company’s goals? Consider your AR priorities – do you have enough information about the reports and timelines most important to you?

A lack of information can certainly show you what areas you need to focus on. If you don’t have insights related to a key priority, you need to schedule interactions that will result in feedback. But a lack of information can also be informative of larger perception gaps. Not having insights on key corporate priorities may mean that analysts don’t yet see your company performing as you want. A lack of insights could mean that you need to take action to further educate analysts on your offerings through briefings or advisory days. 

#3 Highlight misperceptions

When capturing insights, it’s important to associate sentiment with each piece of feedback. This lets you analyze the overall perception analysts may have about your company and your company’s goals. When you analyze your insights list, sort it in different ways to see what learnings surface. Some ideas to consider are:

  • When you sort it by analysts, do some seem more favorable than others?
  • When you sort it by offerings, do analysts see you positively or cautionary?
  • When you sort it by analyst firm, do the perceptions differ?  

Each AR program will have its own priorities and objectives that will influence how they analyze their list of insights, but everyone can find themes by sorting their feedback in different ways. These themes will give you a better understanding of what actions need to be taken next. Do you need to address how Gartner analysts see your new product? Does the next author of your Magic Quadrant perceive your go-to-market strategy as problematic? The clues you get from your insights list directly inform what actions you need to take next. 

Align the themes you find with the goals you want to achieve

When you systematically collect insights and analyze them, your AR planning becomes clear – if the themes you find don’t align with the goals you have, it’s time to take action. AR pros have an arsenal of tools and smarts to change perceptions and gather new insights, but until you have a clear plan of what needs to be done, your progress will feel stunted regardless of your efforts. 

Finding themes in insights and aligning them to your business goals allows every interaction you plan, prepare, and execute will be intentional, meaningful, and impactful. 

If you’re curious to learn more about how the insights-driven approach to AR can help with executing a successful AR program – including planning – join us for our next webinar on July 14. In the meantime, keep finding those insights!

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