You’ve worked diligently to build a proactive and purposeful AR program, putting in the time and resources necessary to grow positive analyst relationships with those industry experts most influential in your space. And your insights-driven approach consistently yields substantial feedback and market intel. But you still struggle to secure the budget you know the program deserves. What gives?
As AR professionals, our day-to-day is consumed with understanding and managing analysts’ perception of our company – so it’s easy to overlook the work it takes to manage the perception of AR itself, as a function within the organization.
The perception of AR must shift from being seen as an influencer marketing function to a key driver of business insights.
The most visible AR-generated outcomes, understandably, tend to be research mentions. These are important, to be sure; ranking report placements are a major asset leveraged by sales and marketing. But an AR program should not be solely defined by a dot. To earn the appropriate share of wallet, you must be able to communicate the value you drive internally into the business. Here’s how:
Establish insight collection as a team sport. AR should live on the same level as other business-valued insights function like competitive and market intel, the voice of the customer, etc. Listening to external signals is crucial to decision-making at the executive level. By leveraging tactics like perception audits, real-time insights capture, and sharing results with key leaders, you will reinforce that analysts are an always-on sensor – proxies to the market who have daily and direct access to your competitors, emerging players, customers, and prospects.
Collaborate constantly. Just like you want your relationships with analysts to be mutually beneficial, the same should be true internally. Is the sales team developing competitive battle cards? Product looking for feedback on roadmap prioritization? Leadership assessing M&A opportunities? Set quarterly sessions with stakeholder groups to both report out on AR-driven assets and insights, as well as to understand key initiatives to which AR can contribute. Once you have systematically established AR as a critical intel source across the organization, it will become an interdependent relationship, each group relying on the other to inform decision-making.
Report up. Executives don’t care about activities and report counts. They also don’t need to be presented with rainbows and unicorns. If we as AR professionals don’t have any cautionary feedback to share, we’re not doing it right. Your executive reporting must focus on actionable intel and insights, with clear indications of increasing or decreasing analyst sentiment, the comparative share of voice analysis, and constructive feedback on key areas like product, go-to-market, and customers. Check out the below example of an executive-level AR report: