Taking action on analyst insights

Jul 21, 2020

Insights-Driven AR

Taking action on analyst insights

Analyst relations planning is a staple of our jobs as AR pros, but it can be tricky making the most of the limited interactions we actually have with analysts. Every interaction with an analyst has to count and your AR program has to support your business’s goals. So how do you make sure you’re taking the right steps towards moving the needle with analysts? 

With Insights-Driven AR, you can feel empowered in every plan you make with an analyst. By using insights to drive your program, you can identify the exact thing you need to say to the exact analyst at the exact time. Here are a few steps to get you started. 

Step 1: Determine which insights are fair feedback and which are misperceptions

Once you’ve collected and organized analyst insights into themes, you need to determine which are fair feedback and which are misperceptions. Some feedback you may agree with – every company has known performance issues or roadmap challenges. In other cases, you won’t always agree with what analysts tell you about your performance in your market. But these misperceptions provide an opportunity to strategically re-engage to help manage and change your company’s perception. By labeling your insight themes as fair or misperception, you’ll be able to prioritize your next actions. 

Step 2: Compare insights to your corporate priorities

After categorizing your themes as fair or misperceptions, resurface your corporate priorities. Analyst relations must always be working towards and supporting the overall business goals. So ask yourself:

  • What does my company want to be known for?
  • What are we trying to bring to market?
  • What story are we trying to tell?

Then revisit your insight themes:

  • Do analysts’ perceptions match how we want to be known? 
  • Are analysts seeing challenges or issues that we’re not? 
  • Is the story we’re telling resonating? 

Highlight or make note of any misalignment between what your corporate goals are and the themes you’ve found from the analyst insights you’ve captured. 

Step 3: Decide which insights need to be acted on

Now it’s time to make some decisions. Looking at the areas you highlighted in step 2, prioritize the themes that impact the most essential corporate goals and/or could be the most detrimental to reaching those goals.  Does your company want to be known for its channel partners, but analysts just aren’t seeing it? Recognize that you need to put more AR effort into this story. Does your company lack AI capabilities and analysts are recognizing it? Share this feedback with your product teams to help validate the need to update the roadmap. 

Perhaps more importantly though, what are the corporate goals that you don’t have any or enough insights for? If there’s a business priority that you don’t have insights for, that’s a sign that you need to talk to analysts more about this endeavor to find out what they (and consequently the market) think. When we plan with an insights-driven approach we can clearly see what we don’t have – and what we need to do next.

Step 4: Create an action plan

After you prioritize your initiatives, it’s time to get to work. Pull out the briefings, inquiries, and advisory days from your AR toolkit and make a plan for addressing these topics. Do you need to create a briefing campaign about your channel partners? Once your company addresses its AI capabilities, do you need to schedule inquiries with the authors of your Magic Quadrant to get feedback? And for those missing insights, can you request inquiries or conduct a perception audit to gain that missing information? 

These are just a few examples of how the plans and initiatives you can take when running an insights-driven AR program. There are countless other AR scenarios that require different execution plans, but with insights-driven AR the process is the same – collect, organize, and prioritize the insights you hear to truly drive your program forward. 

In our next webinar, we’re going to talk about what comes next. Now that you have the plan, how do you measure it? AR metrics are notoriously elusive, but we believe with an insights-driven approach, you can start to measure the madness in a meaningful way.

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