Case study: Creating initiatives and metrics from the Forrester Wave insights

Aug 20, 2020

Case studies, Insights-Driven AR

Case study: Creating initiatives and metrics from the Forrester Wave insights

When the evaluation report in your category publishes – especially if the dot placement was less than ideal – it can be really tempting to immediately update the analyst on all the things you think they misunderstood about your company. 

Instead, we advise and help our clients find specific insights from the published research and analyst feedback. Evaluation reports are chock-full of indicators of how an analyst actually perceives your industry and business. These insights can then be used to inform very specific briefings, inquiries, and other analyst interactions that can be planned between report cycle publishes. Instead of just giving them a blanket update post-publish, you can use insights from the evaluation report to drive your AR plans leading up to the next publish cycle. 

Using insights to drive initiatives

This scenario recently happened with one of our clients. The Forrester Wave for their category published and they placed in the middle of the pack. They knew they wanted to try to improve their dot for the next version, but their first reaction after publication was, “we need to update the analyst!” They felt the analyst didn’t give them enough credit in some areas and they wanted to address their misperceptions.

Instead of jumping straight to a briefing, our team sat down with the client and helped them understand the analyst’s POV, specifically in regards to their write up and scores. We uncovered many insights about our client’s performance and attributed sentiment to each.

  • What was the analyst complimentary about?
  • What did they have reservations about?
  • What was a misperception?

After creating our initial list of insights, we encouraged our client to have an inquiry with the analyst to dive deeper to understand how the analyst arrived at these conclusions.

Turning insight themes into initiatives

After reading the Forrester Wave and having an inquiry with the author, three analyst insight themes bubbled up related to our client’s offering and market:

#1#2#3
INSIGHTThe analyst was positive about our product roadmap
(OFFERING)
There is opportunity to differentiate in this category with the way the product is sold
(GO-TO-MARKET)
Our customer references cited that implementation takes longer than anticipated
(CUSTOMER)

Establishing initiatives

After looking at these insight themes, we knew it was important to outline tracks of work to accomplish our program goal of moving our dot for the next Forrester Wave. We created initiatives for each theme to help guide our overall AR plan:

#1#2#3
INSIGHTThe analyst was positive about our product roadmap
(OFFERING)
There is opportunity to differentiate in this category with the way the product is sold
(GO-TO-MARKET)
Your customer references cited that implementation takes longer than anticipated
(CUSTOMER)
INITIATIVEPROMOTE – Showcase roadmap executionLEARN – Inform pricing and packaging strategy with analyst perspectiveCONVINCE – Highlight positive implementation experiences

Planning analyst engagements

By having initiatives set, we ensured every AR activity we planned aligned to the themes we needed to address:

#1#2#3
INSIGHTThe analyst was positive about our product roadmap
(OFFERING)
There is opportunity to differentiate in this category with the way the product is sold
(GO-TO-MARKET)
Your customer references cited that implementation takes longer than anticipated
(CUSTOMER)
INITIATIVEPROMOTE – Showcase roadmap executionLEARN – Inform pricing and packaging strategy with analyst perspectiveCONVINCE – Highlight positive implementation experiences
INTERACTIONS* Quarterly update briefings on product launches

* Customer case studies highlighting innovation
* Inquiry series to receive feedback on pricing strategy

* Competitive intel inquiries to learn about successful pricing differentiation 
* Customer interviews with successful implementation

* Briefing to highlight implementation process and best practices

Measuring our work

In order to hold ourselves accountable for executing on these initiatives (and consequently our overall AR goals), we established a key performance indicator for each:

#1#2#3
INSIGHTThe analyst was positive about our product roadmap
(OFFERING)
There is opportunity to differentiate in this category with the way the product is sold
(GO-TO-MARKET)
Your customer references cited that implementation takes longer than anticipated
(CUSTOMER)
INITIATIVEPROMOTE – Showcase roadmap executionLEARN – Inform pricing and packaging strategy with analyst perspectiveCONVINCE – Highlight positive implementation experiences
INTERACTIONS* Quarterly update briefings on product launches

* Customer case studies highlighting innovation
* Inquiry series to receive feedback on pricing strategy

* Competitive intel inquiries to learn about successful pricing differentiation 
* Customer interviews with successful implementation

* Briefing to highlight implementation process and best practices
KPI>8 positive analyst touchpoints where we highlighted roadmap execution 3x increase in insights about pricing and packaging80% of feedback insights about our customer implementations are positive

The best part about these KPIs is that we were already tracking these in Spotlight Oz, which made it easy to create on-demand reporting. On a daily basis, we could evaluate the progress we were making on our initiatives and gauge if we were changing analyst perceptions. 

The Insights-Driven AR framework allowed our client to identify opportunities for improvement, make targeted, decisive actions towards changing analysts’ perceptions, and measure their progress with metrics that were fair and indicative of the work they do every day. This streamlined approach was not only easy to execute but is providing immense value back to the company. The AR team is changing the analysts’ perspective, but they’re also repositioning their reputation inside their company. 

We continue to use the Insights-Driven approach with our clients and are excited about the results. If you’re looking to learn more about this approach, take a look at some of our webinars or get in touch. We’d love to discuss what being insights-driven can do for your program. 


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