2020 brought important topics like diversity and inclusion and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to the forefront of conversations. Consumers, investors, governments and employees became more keen on the responsibilities of companies to be contributing and creating a positive impact in our real world outside of business’ virtual walls. As an AR professional, there is an opportunity to leverage the analyst community to help drive the conversation, identify what’s important to your audience, and prioritize the areas where you can make the most impact and help move your business forward.
Industry analysts know best
There are three key steps to think through as you start to leverage the analyst community. First is understanding the current status of your internal initiatives. Has your company started to contribute to a specific cause? Are audience members aware? In today’s world, most businesses are giving back to the community in some way. If your company is starting from ground zero, understand the voice of your audience and where there are opportunities to leverage your business capabilities for social good initiatives.
Next, select a cause and prioritize your efforts. Analysts know that these topics are creating waves in industries across the board and that it’s important to understand what your customers value. They can help you decide what aspects of CSR are most crucial to your business and where the overlap occurs between what your customers care about and where your organization can make an impact. Are you a supply chain company that should hone in on environmental impact? Are you a marketing agency looking for the best way to implement diversity and inclusion? Maybe you’re looking to implement data privacy and trust initiatives. If you don’t know where to start, asking an analyst is a proactive first step.
Once you’ve landed on your cause, analysts can provide you with a map and guide you on the journey. There is also an opportunity to have analysts help you execute and tell your organization’s story. They have firsthand knowledge and insight on how dozens of other companies have carried out similar initiatives. Crafting an action plan is extremely important to guarantee that your messaging is followed by the necessary actions.
Don’t stop there!
Values are constantly evolving and your CSR initiatives won’t be “one and done”. These types of projects are ongoing and building relationships with analysts can help you deepen your understanding of how consumer and buyer values are changing. Utilizing analyst insights to routinely check and improve your CSR initiatives is an impactful way to not only differentiate your company, but also show your employees, community, and investors that you care! Here are some questions you can ask analysts to get you started:
- What‘s most important to my customers right now?
- What are examples of what companies like mine are doing right now?
- What should I avoid? How do I avoid making mistakes?
- How can I make sure that my messaging matches my actions?
- How do social responsibility initiatives impact the bottom line?
- How do I emphasize the need to invest in these initiatives to my organization (even if it doesn’t turn out a profit)?
- Are you seeing elements of CSR included on RFIs or RFPs?
- Are you considering adding a CSR initiative requirement to future evaluative research?
Interested in learning more about an insights-driven approach to your AR program? Check out our resources on The Spotlight Way.