In The World Of Analyst Relations, Perception Is Reality

Oct 29, 2020

Best practices, Insights-Driven AR

In The World Of Analyst Relations, Perception Is Reality

Getting executive buy-in for engagement and investment in the analyst channel is key to any program’s success. But what happens when your stakeholders devolve AR down to an argument of right vs. wrong? Whether it’s a disagreement about where the market is going, what makes for a differentiated product, or how the competitive landscape stacks up, nearly every AR pro has at one point been tasked with convincing leadership that antagonism isn’t the answer. 

Analysts insights provide a well-rounded market perception of your business

The truth is, industry analysts are a proxy to the market. Whether or not we agree with them, analysts have a unique perspective that is based not only on what they’re hearing from you as a vendor, but also rooted in the questions and feedback they receive daily from customers, buyers, and competitors in the space. As such, the most effective AR programs are managed not only as an influencer channel, but as a perception management tool. 

Using a systematic approach to identify true analyst perception

When you choose to take this insights-driven approach to AR, it’s helpful to establish a systematic process by which to discover and act on analyst perception: 

  1. Unlock each analyst interaction to capture specific analyst insights. Every AR program tracks traditional activity-driven metrics like briefing counts and research mentions, but the true value lies within the engagements themselves. 
  2. Organize those insights based on category and sentiment. Key areas in which to collect insights include positive and cautionary feedback on your business and the market as a whole, as well as your offering, go-to-market strategy and customers.
  3. Surface themes through consistency in commentary. Just because an analyst says one thing one time, it’s not necessarily a meaningful input to program strategy. If we’re given the same point of feedback over and over again, however, it should be addressed in some way. 
  4. Classify insights as fair feedback or market misperception. When analysts observe an area for improvement or notify you of critical but fair commentary heard in-market (for example, a customer reports on a negative implementation experience), it’s the role of AR to surface that input to product, sales and marketing, customer success, etc. When feedback is based on market misinformation, on the other hand, that should trigger a program initiative to combat those inaccurate perceptions. 

Once you’ve established an AR program that systematically generates, tracks and executes on insights, you’ll have the pieces in place to take reporting beyond conventional KPIs and metrics. Measuring the progression of analyst sentiment over time, against business-driven initiatives, is key to earning stakeholder buy-in. It’s not about who’s more right – it’s about leveraging the channel to optimize your company’s perception in the market as a whole.

To learn more about how you can leverage Spotlight Oz to help track analysts perception and insights, sign up for a free demo today.

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